Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. J. Eldon Molto


Skeletal nonmetric traits have been used since the 1960s in genetic distance analyses, largely ignoring the potential for intertrait correlation. Using a skeletal population sample from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, this thesis tests the null hypothesis that intertrait correlation is not occurring in the population at a significant level. Additionally, this thesis tests whether the odds ratio is a suitable statistical test for intertrait correlation. Using the phi coefficient and odds ratio, pairwise comparisons between 39 cranial nonmetric traits were calculated. The results of the statistical analysis show that intertrait correlation is occurring in the Dakhleh Oasis at a significant level, meaning that intertrait correlation should be tested for in genetic distance studies using nonmetric traits. The odds ratio is found to be a suitable test for intertrait correlation, and is most helpful when combined with the use of the phi coefficient.