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  Access Rights: Use restricted to UNT Community
 Department: Department of Sociology
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study

American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study

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Date: December 2013
Creator: Bales, Rodney A.
Description: It is commonly assumed that when confronted with an imminent hazard that people will react rationally, and prepare for, or at least attempt to avoid, danger from pending disasters. However, this conventional wisdom is not as evident as it appears. People prepare for, react to, or take social action to avoid hazards when they perceive the risk of danger to be threatening enough to warrant action, providing one has the will, insight and resources to do so. However, not all people perceive risks similarly. Risk is perceived differently by different people which affects risk perception and responses to hazards. This dissertation explores the relationships between American Indian worldviews, risk perceptions and disaster planning. To carry out this research 28 American Indians were interviewed. The sample consists of 14 American Indians residing in a rural are on the northern plains and 14 urban American Indians. The results only partially support that worldview is linked to risk perception and subsequent disaster planning. Other factors found to relate to risk perception and disaster planning for this non-representative sample of American Indians include various forms of social vulnerability.
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Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups

Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups

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Date: May 2014
Creator: Sun, Qi
Description: The primary objective of this research was to explore the impact of possible social factors on non-institutionalized adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States who exhibited severe mental illness (SMI). A holistic sociological model was developed to explain SMI by incorporating elements of social learning theory, social disorganization theory, and gender socialization theory with social demographic factors. Based on the holistic sociological model, the following factors were investigated: demographic aspects of age, education, income and gender; gender socialization; influence of neighborhood area; social network influence based on communication and interaction among peers and family members; and socially deviant behaviors such as frequently smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs specifically marijuana. The impact of these factors on SMI was examined. A sample of 206 respondents drawn from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 was assessed. These respondents had answered all the questions related to SMI; social deviant behaviors; neighborhood environment; and communications among peers, family members and friends; and the other studied factors. Ordinary linear regression with interaction terms was employed as a statistical tool to assess the impact of social determinants on SMI. Being female, living a disorganized neighborhood, and frequent and ...
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Determinants of Mental Health Problems Among College Students

Determinants of Mental Health Problems Among College Students

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Date: December 2010
Creator: Mirbaha-Hashemi, Fariba
Description: Many college students have reported struggling with mental health problems while dealing with challenging demands of college. The initial theoretical framework for this research was Pearlin's stress process model (SPM). Building on the SPM, the three additional mediating variables of perceived control, meaninglessness, and financial worries were added to create a composite model for the research. Mental health outcomes in the model were measured by a comprehensive range of factors, which included: psychological distress, suicide, substance abuse, and anger. Data were collected from a non-probability convenience sample of 463 undergraduate students attending a large state supported university in the southwestern region of the United States. Among the social status variables measured, being married, female, and white were significant predictors of poor mental health in the sampled college students. Poor self-image, feeling of meaninglessness, and worrying about current and future finances were significant mediating variables. Poor mental health could make individuals overwhelmed and discouraged. This is a formula for failure in college. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the correlates of mental health problems among college students. A greater understanding means that families and college administrations will have better ideas about how to intervene to reduce ...
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The Function of Social Structure in Controlling Violent Crime in Turkey

The Function of Social Structure in Controlling Violent Crime in Turkey

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Date: December 2010
Creator: Guclu, Idris
Description: This dissertation examines the relationship between social structural factors and violent crime rates in Turkey. The relationship between social structural characteristics and violent crime is worth exploring in areas that have attracted little academic attention, such as violent crime in Turkey. In order to understand and prevent the occurrence of crime, researchers have long investigated possible factors related to crime. Examining how crime varies across different regions can help us to understand underlying reasons for violent crime, which is considered one of the enduring problems in society. The findings of this research, to some extent, support the assumptions of social disorganization theory regarding the distribution of violent crime. Both the findings of multivariate and bivariate analysis indicated that poverty, unemployment, and family disruptions may have a positive effect on the distribution of violent crime in the cities of Turkey. The analysis of the effects of the social structure variables through the mediating variables, such as religious institutions, libraries and voluntary associations on the number of violent crimes and violent criminals, to some extent, support the tenets of social disorganization theory. However, all mediating variables cannot mediate all the indirect effects of social structural covariates. In brief, none of their indirect ...
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Health-related Quality of Life and Social Engagement in Assisted Living Facilities

Health-related Quality of Life and Social Engagement in Assisted Living Facilities

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Date: August 2015
Creator: Amini, Reza
Description: This research project aims to clarify the factors that impact successful aging in Assisted Living facilities (ALFs) in Denton County, Texas. We hypothesize that social disengagement decreases physical and mental components of quality of life. This exploratory research project employed standardized questionnaires to assess residents in the following domains; HRQOL, social engagement status, level of cognition, depression, and the level of functioning. This study collected data from 75 participants living in five ALFs. The average of Physical Component Scale (PCS) and Mental Component Scale (MCS) was 35.33, and 53.62 respectively. None of the participants had five or more social contacts out of facilities, and two-third of them had two or less social contacts. On average, those participants who were more socially engaged had higher score of MCS compared with disengaged counterparts. The level of physical function significantly affects social engagement, when people with more disabilities are more likely to be socially disengaged. Social engagement and depression significantly impact MCS, when depression is a mediating factor between social engagement and mental component of quality of life. Considering the expansion in aging population in the United States within the next three decades, the demand for high quality long-term care will skyrocket consequently. ...
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Witchcraft: a Targeted Societal Discrimination Against Women in Northern Ghana

Witchcraft: a Targeted Societal Discrimination Against Women in Northern Ghana

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Date: December 2013
Creator: Atumah, Oscar Nwagbo
Description: A combination of aging and poverty is becoming dominant in African society today, at a time when African countries are expected to be recovering from poverty, and are projected to house the economic growth of the next century. The emergence of aging in African context and the aging of the world population will expose the weakness of the current mechanisms used for older people around the world. As economies grow around the world, the distribution gap between the affluent and the poor widens, and the constant struggles for wealth, power, and social status, amidst scarce resources, continue to be sustained. To remain in charge of economic resources, the powerful few devise means to disenfranchise the weak, and witchcraft accusation is one of such tools used in Northern Ghana today. A new wave of witchcraft accusation has caught the attention of many in Northern Ghana. These victims with certain socioeconomic characteristics appear helpless and without defense against such accusations. As a result, they suffer untold hardships and are often compelled to leave their homes and to reside in camps reserved for witches. This study was undertaken to identify those sociodemographic characteristics, which are commonly shared by witchcraft accusation victims. These sociodemographic ...
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