Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. W. Scott Street IV


Minorities are significantly overrepresented in America's prison population, and many studies have been conducted to determine possible causes for such a disparity. Few of these studies, however, have examined small stature as a potential contributor to criminal behavior. This study examines the relationship between criminal behavior and stature among American males. The heights, weights, stature scores (a function of the product of height and weight) and the body mass indices of criminals are examined as a whole, as well as by subgroup based on race, locality, and nature of the crime committed. The average weight of the male criminal population is substantially lower than that of the general male population. The center of the height distribution for urban criminals is found to be lower than men who commit crimes in suburban or rural areas, as is the center of the weight distribution for index criminals when compared to non-index criminals. Murderers demonstrate the smallest mean and median heights and weights when compared to the rest of the criminal population. Although small stature can be associated with certain crimes and localities, size cannot be associated with the racial disparity in today's prisons.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008