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Pearlstein, Kristen Ellen

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
American U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
October 11, 2012
Project Title: 
Pearlstein, Kristen Ellen, American U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'An Analysis of Immigrant and Euro-American Skeletal Health in 19th Century New York City,' supervised by Dr. Rachel J. Watkins

KRISTEN E. PEARLSTEIN, then a student at American University, Washington, DC, was awarded funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'An Analysis of Immigrant and Euro-American Skeletal Health in 19th Century New York City,' supervised by Dr. Rachel J. Watkins. This project evaluated and compared the skeletal health of European immigrants and Euro-Americans in New York City from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in order to understand the impact of socio-economic inequality and poverty during this time period. The skeletal collection selected for analysis was the George S. Huntington Anatomical Skeletal Collection, housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The association between low socio-economic status and negative trends in morbidity and mortality is often expressed in the skeletal remains of vulnerable populations and includes the physical evidence of trauma, disease, and activity. Therefore, comparisons of skeletal health were carried out using measurements of trauma, bone lesions, and osteoarthritis. A total of 1550 non-commingled partial skeletal remains were selected and evaluated. The preliminary analysis indicates that compared to the U.S.-born group, the immigrant group as a whole does not have significantly higher frequencies of trauma and disease, contrary to the original hypothesis. However, the initial results also indicate that differences in the frequencies of health indicators do exist between the selected Irish, German, and Italian immigrant groups. A better understanding of the preliminary results will be accomplished following statistical analyses.