Title

Physiological consequences of adverse early-life experiences: A skeletal investigation of frailty and resilience within an institutionalized sample using a modified version of the Skeletal Frailty Index (SFI)

Author

Ashley Dafoe

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Zuckerman, Molly K.

Committee Member

DeWitte, Sharon

Committee Member

Osterholtz, Anna J.

Date of Degree

5-1-2020

Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 2 years||forever||5/15/2022

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures

Abstract

This study investigates frailty, defined as the accumulation of deficits in physiological functioning, by applying the Skeletal Frailty Index (SFI) to a skeletal sample (N=67) recovered from the Mississippi State Asylum (MSA), and in a comparative sample, the Terry Collection. The SFI was statistically modified to increase its utility here. Variables that influence frailty, including age, sex, stress in early-life, and resilience, were assessed relative to four SFIs: Overall, Nutritional, Activity, and Infection. This study finds that the predicted relationships between the SFIs and the aforementioned variables are largely absent in the MSA sample. When compared to individuals in the Terry, MSA individuals generally manifest a lower prevalence of biomarkers but have reduced longevity, which suggests that MSA patients experienced higher frailty and lower resilience. This may be attributable to negative biosocial experiences over the life course prior to institutionalization, but primarily to often-negative environmental conditions during institutionalization.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/16945

Comments

Mississippi State Asylum||Skeletal Frailty Index||Developmental Origins of Health and Disease||Bioarchaeology||Paleopathology

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