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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Assessing Local Governments’ Debt Financing Strategies
This dissertation assesses the importance of a specific debt instrument, the Certifi- cate of Obligation in the state of Texas. It conceptualizes the Certificate of Obligation as a type of contractual debt that enables local governments to finance their capital projects. This dissertation is guided by three research questions: (1) What are the various types of debt instruments employed by local governments and what are their relative advantages? (2) How prevalent is the use of a specific debt instrument such as Certificates of Obligation? And why would some local governments prefer to issue them while others do not? (3) To what extent does the local institutional environment, e.g., the executive authority of city managers in the council-manager form of government, affect debt financing behaviors of local governments? To examine the first research question, we created a typology to represent four ideal types of borrowing methods: (1) Contractual Debt, (2) Voter Approval/Special Tax Debt, (3) Guaranteed, and (4) Non-Guaranteed Debts. The typology examines whether or not the state mandates the referendum requirement for the use of each of these debt instruments, and at the same time determines whether each debt instrument is secured by multiple or single revenue sources. Using data we collected among municipal governments in Texas, we conducted two empirical analyses. The first analysis tests the hypothesis that Certificates of Obligation have higher borrowing costs compared to GO bonds, since a GO bond is often issued under the pledge of the bond issuers’ full-faith credit and taxing authority. We employed a two-stage least square analysis to test the general proposition in the state of Texas. Based on 741 Certificates of Obligation and GO bonds issued between 2008 and 2011, our analyses show that Certificates of Obligation are likely to incur True Interest Costs (TIC) similar to those of GO bonds. The second analysis explores factors explaining the use of Certificates of Obligation in 225 Texas charter cities. Based on Heckman’s two-stage, we found that a local government’s decision to issue Certificates of Obligation to be partly explained by the characteristics of local population, i.e., median household income, population growth, and the percentage of senior citizens living in the jurisdiction. In the case of GO bonds, we found that population size, property tax rate, debt burden, and the percentage of population with at least a college education, to be an important determinant of GO bonds. The volume of GO issuance by local governments was also related to the level of regional competition, i.e., government density. Additionally, we found that local political institutions matter and that they affect debt financing behaviors of local governments.
Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups
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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 high levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol had a significant influence on SMI. This reevaluation and reexamination of the role of gender socialization path, socially deviant behaviors like smoking and drinking, and community construction on SMI provided additional insights. This research is one of the first to develop a more holistic sociological model on SMI and explored the previously untested interactive relationships. The limitations of this study suggest the need to test a potential recursive research model and explore additional bi-directional associations.
Assessing Terrorist Cyber Threats: Engineering a Functional Construct
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Terrorist organizations and individuals make use of the Internet for supportive activities such as communication, recruiting, financing, training, and planning operations. However, little is known about the level of computer-based (“cyber”) threat such terrorist organizations and individuals pose. One step in facilitating the examination and assessment of the level of cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals is development of an assessment tool or methodology. This tool would guide intelligence collection efforts and would support and facilitate comparative assessment of the cyber threat posed by terrorist organizations and individuals through the provision of a consistent method of assessment across time, amongst organizations and individuals, and between analysts. This study leveraged the professional experience of experts to engineer a new functional construct – a structured analytical technique designed to assess the cyber threat posed by terrorist entities and individuals. The resultant instrument was a novel structured analytical construct that uses defined indicators of a terrorist organization/individual’s intent to carry out cyber attacks, and their capability to actually do so as measures of an organization/individual’s overall level of cyber threat.
Assessing the Role of Smaller Format Retailers on the Food Desert Landscape in Dallas, Texas
Many policy and business decisions regarding food deserts in the U.S. are based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of a food desert. This definition only includes large/national chain grocery retailers, based on the assumption that these major retailers are the only affordable sources of food contributing to balanced diets. As alternative distribution channels, including smaller stores, start to include groceries in their product offering, the need to consider the role of other businesses in the food retailing environment should be addressed. This thesis assesses the role of smaller format grocery retailers (small local grocers, convenience stores, gas stations, dollar stores, and drug stores) in shaping the food desert landscape in Dallas, Texas. The analysis evaluates the products offered in these stores, and then identifies the difference these stores make when included in the USDA analysis. This was done by collecting in-store data to determine the variety of products offered, the affordability of those products, and the overall healthfulness of the store. In addition, the gaps in supply and demand were identified in the USDA-defined food deserts in order to identify the impact any smaller format retailer may have. The findings suggest that, overall, smaller format retailers do offer a variety of products needed for a balanced diet. However, the products in these stores are mostly not affordable, and most stores offer more unhealthy foods, than unhealthy. Overall, results suggest dollar stores may play a role in alleviating the impact of food deserts.
Assessing Workplace Design: Applying Anthropology to Assess an Architecture Firm’s Own Headquarters Design
Corporations, design firms, technology, and furniture companies are rethinking the concept of the ‘workplace’ environment and built ‘office’ in an effort to respond to changing characteristics of the workplace. The following report presents a case study, post-occupancy assessment of an architecture firm’s relocation of their corporate headquarters in Dallas, TX. This ethnographic research transpired from September 2013 to February 2014 and included participant observation, employee interviews, and an office-wide employee survey. Applying a user-centered approach, this study sought to identify and understand: 1) the most and least effective design elements, 2) unanticipated user-generated (“un-designed”) elements, 3) how the workplace operates as an environment and system of design elements, and 4) opportunities for continued improvement of their work environment. This study found that HKS ODC successfully increased access to collaborative spaces by increasing the size (i.e. number of square feet, number of rooms), variety of styles (i.e. enclosed rooms, open work surfaces), and distribution of spaces throughout the office environment. An increase in reported public transit commuting from 6.5% at their previous location to 24% at HKS ODC compares to almost five times the national public transit average (5%) and fifteen times the rate of Texas workers (1.6%) and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area (1.5%). This supports the real estate decision and design intent of the office that relocating near public transit would increase use (nearly six times that of reported use at 1919 McKinney, 6.5%). Additional findings and discussion relate to HKS ODC’s design enabling increased access to natural light and improved air quality, increased cross-sector collaboration, increased connection to downtown Dallas and engagement with the larger Dallas architectural community, as well as the open office environment encouraging education between all employee levels. Discrepancies between designed ‘flexibility’ and work away from the desk are explored along with the role of technology to facilitate work without replacing face-to-face interaction. This work also identifies key challenges with the design and employee experience and provides recommendations for addressing areas of concern for continued improvement of the workplace design. Continued user-centered research in the field of workplace design is necessary to assess the effect of current interventions in other office environments for comparison and inform future endeavors.
Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies of Self-injury Maintained by Separate Reinforcement Contingencies
Functional analysis procedures were used to assess and treat multiple topographies of self-injurious behavior exhibited by an individual. An experimental functional analysis indicated that one topography, hand biting, appeared to be maintained by social positive reinforcement in the form of delivery of tangible items. The analysis also provided evidence that a second form of self-injury, skin picking, was automatically reinforced. To treat positively reinforced hand biting, access to a preferred tangible was arranged contingent on the omission of biting for a prespecified time interval. Hand biting was nearly eliminated, and low rates were maintained as the schedule of reinforcement was thinned to 10 min. Competing stimulus assessments identified that magazines effectively suppressed all occurrences of skin picking; therefore, noncontingent access to magazines was implemented. Using a combination of multielement and multiple baseline designs, we were able to demonstrate that the two topographies of self-injury were maintained by independent reinforcement contingencies and that interventions corresponding to each topography and function effectively treated both behaviors.
An Assessment of a Hospice and Palliative Care Partnership Program
This project attempts to describe how a hospice and palliative care partnership program works. Through the assessment of one such program, the researcher sought to find out the essential components of the partnership including how the two partner organizations interact and work together. Data was collected using various methods: document review of organization documents such as newsletters, annual or quarterly reports, brochures and other available literature e.g. materials on organizations’ website and on social media; in-depth interviews with stakeholders of both organizations that included staff and board members; observation of staff working; and participant observation during organization events. The findings of the research shows that in order for organizations to have an effective partnership program in place, both partners need to have strong leadership in place, possess a willingness to learn from each other, maintain regular communication, and visit each other regularly. With this in place, several outcomes of the program are likely such as: increasing advocacy for hospice and palliative care, increasing visibility of the organizations both nationally and internationally, and provides an opportunity for organizations to network with other organizations in their locality in order to achieve partnership objectives. The study further reveals that global collaborations in the field of hospice and palliative care began with the advent of the international hospice movement. The assessment of this hospice partnership demonstrates how organizations can establish working relationships and the results likely to come out of such an initiative.
Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes
Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in MMA may not typically pose a significant risk for cumulative concussions and associated adverse neuropsychological consequences.
An Assessment of Consumers' Willingness to Patronize Foreign-Based Business Format Franchises: An Investigation in the Fast-Food Sector
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This study aimed to address consumers' stereotypical categorizations in the form of essentialist views about foreign cultures and their effect on individual consumers, including their negative or aroused emotions and subsequent retail patronage behaviors. The research mission was to empirically assess the salient dimensions of consumers' states of mind (positive and negative affect, psychological essentialism, epistemic curiosity), states of being (store atmospherics), and states of action (retail patronage behaviors) in a cultural context based on Mehrabian-Russell theory of environmental psychology. Specifically, the retail patronage setting was selected as foreign-based fast-food franchises because it represents both a relevant and timely situational context for consumer behavior. This dissertation makes several contributions to international retail patronage literature. First, it frames curiosity as an aroused emotional state and finds support for the relationship between consumer epistemic curiosity and retail patronage. Second, it provides support for the linkage between consumer affect and retail patronage in an international retail setting. Third, it reveals that affect has a greater impact on retail patronage than epistemic curiosity. The overarching finding of this study is an inability to tie the cultural elements in retail atmospherics, including signs, symbols, and artifacts, to consumer emotions. In addition, we were unable to frame psychological essentialism as a personality trait that would reduce the levels of affect and curiosity in retail store environments characterized by foreign-cultural elements.
Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients
Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed.
An Assessment of Fruit Offerings for 7Th and 8Th Grade Students in Texas
Childhood obesity in America is reaching epidemic proportions. This study explored whether daily online lunch menu information was sufficient to enable parents to advise their children about healthy and unhealthy menu choices in 350 Texas middle schools and whether online menu information strongly correlated with the descriptions of the offerings given by 52 school cafeteria managers in telephone interviews. Although schools are making efforts to describe their offerings, they are not vigorously taking advantage of the opportunity to aggressively inform or educate. They are not coding their descriptions in such a way as to explicitly brand food as healthy or unhealthy. They are also not labeling food as generally required by law for consumer services that provide food (except for the fresh produce that lines supermarket shelves). Instead, they only briefly describe what they are serving in the way of fruit in one or two word snippets. Finally, cafeteria managers’ online descriptions were inconsistent with what they described in interviews. Online and verbal descriptions were sometimes contradictory, raising questions about the accuracy of either type of description.
Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test
Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently show deficits in both primarily “cool” and “hot” cognitive executive functions (e.g., traditional & emotional Stroop tasks, respectively) that can be impacted by high affective salience. Given the dimensional nature of psychopathology, questions remain about individuals within the general population who have experienced trauma but do not meet full criteria for PTSD and yet may manifest problems in these areas, especially areas of hot and cool executive functioning (EF). Thus, the current project was designed to assess hot and cool EF in a relatively large sample of individuals from the general population who have experienced trauma and currently demonstrate sub-clinical levels of post-traumatic symptoms. The Stroop task, Emotional Stroop task, and a novel modified Implicit Association Test were utilized to assess EF across a spectrum of individuals with varying traumatic histories and level of post-traumatic symptoms. Results suggest that a greater frequency of trauma experiences was moderately associated with worse performance on both hot and cool executive functioning measures. Specifically, females within the sample evidenced a close relationship between traumatic experiences, post-trauma symptoms, and executive functioning. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Assessment of Post-earthquake Building Damage Using High-resolution Satellite Images and Lidar Data - a Case Study From Port-au-prince, Haiti
When an earthquake happens, one of the most important tasks of disaster managers is to conduct damage assessment; this is mostly done from remotely sensed data. This study presents a new method for building detection and damage assessment using high-resolution satellite images and LiDAR data from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A graph-cut method is used for building detection due to its advantages compared to traditional methods such as the Hough transform. Results of two methods are compared to understand how much our proposed technique is effective. Afterwards, sensitivity analysis is performed to show the effect of image resolution on the efficiency of our method. Results are in four groups. First: based on two criteria for sensitivity analysis, completeness and correctness, the more efficient method is graph-cut, and the final building mask layer is used for damage assessment. Next, building damage assessment is done using change detection technique from two images from period of before and after the earthquake. Third, to integrate LiDAR data and damage assessment, we showed there is a strong relationship between terrain roughness variables that are calculated using digital surface models. Finally, open street map and normalized digital surface model are used to detect possible road blockages. Results of detecting road blockages showed positive values of normalized digital surface model on the road centerline can represent blockages if we exclude other objects such as cars.
Assessment of Transportation Emissions for Ferrous Scrap Exports from the United States: Activity-Based Maritime Emissions Model and Theoretical Inland Transportation Model.
Industrial ecology is a field of study that encourages the use of closed-loop material cycles to achieve sustainability. Loop closing requires the movement of materials over space, and has long been practiced in the iron and steel industry. Iron and steel (ferrous) scrap generated in the U.S. is increasingly exported to countries in Asia, lengthening the transportation distance associated with closing the loop on the iron and steel life cycle. In order to understand the environmental cost of transporting this commodity, an activity-based maritime transportation model and a theoretical in-land transportation model are used to estimate emissions generated. Results indicate that 10.4 mmt of total emissions were generated, and emissions increased by 136 percent from 2004 to 2009. Increases in the amount of emissions generated are due to increases in the amount of scrap exported and distance it is transported.
An Assessment of Uncommon Titanium Binary Systems: Ti-Zn, Ti-Cu, and Ti-Sb
The current study focuses on phase stability and evolution in the titanium-zinc titanium-copper and titanium-antimony systems. The study utilized the Laser Engineering Net Shaping (LENS™) processing technique to deposit compositionally graded samples of three binary system in order to allow the assessment of phase stability and evolution as a function of composition and temperature the material is subjected to. Through LENS™ processing it was possible to create graded samples from Ti-xSb (up to 13wt%) and Ti-xCu (up to 16wt%). The LENS™ deposited gradient were solutionized, and step quenched to specific aging temperature, and the resulting microstructures and phase were characterized utilizing XRD, EDS, SEM, FIB and TEM. The Ti-Zn system proved incapable of being LENS™ deposited due to the low vaporization temperature of Zn; however, a novel processing approach was developed to drip liquid Zn onto Ti powder at temperatures above β transus temperature of Ti (882 ◦C) and below the vaporization temperature of Zn (907 ◦C). The product of this processing technique was characterized in a similar way as the graded LENS™ depositions. From measurements performed on Ti-Sb it seems that Sb could be a potential α stabilizer in Ti due to the presence of a mostly homogeneous α grains throughout the gradient; however, from XRD it can be understood that a titanium antimonide phase is present. From results obtained from the Ti-Zn samples, it can be surmised that the eutectoid reaction seems to be active, i.e. The eutectoid reaction is kinetically fast, as concluded by the presence of pearlitic structures. Finally, for the Ti-Cu system this work has been attempted to prove or disprove the existence of the Ti3Cu through the use of XRD and TEM SAD patterns. From XRD spectra collected there are peaks belonging to the Ti3Cu orthorhombic phase along with Ti2Cu and α-Ti phase. In addition to the Ti-Cu system displayed structures associated with divorced eutectoid decomposition mechanism, and at low undercooling seems to be prone to forming solid state dendrites.
An Assessment of Undergraduate Course Syllabi in the Departments of English at Universities in Taiwan
This exploratory, qualitative research explored the extent that course syllabi in the Departments of English in 13 public and 9 private universities in Taiwan reflect the inclusion of syllabus components to promote learning as recommended in the literature in the United States. Research questions included: what components can be inferred from the literature in the U.S. for the recommended components of a course syllabus, for the components for a learning-centered syllabus, and for a model to analyze Bloom's cognitive level of learning? And when these are applied to analyze course syllabi in English courses, are syllabi in these universities congruent with the models? The research identified and analyzed 235 course syllabi from the core courses listed online at these universities. The findings indicated that these syllabi are highly congruent with the syllabus components template; 68% of the syllabi included seven or more of the ten components. Additionally, these syllabi reflect medium congruency with the learning-centered syllabus template. Verbs used in objectives and learning outcomes in different English courses indicate different levels of cognitive learning goals as identified by Bloom's cognitive domain. Additional findings indicate that there was no difference in inclusion of components based on where faculty earned their doctoral degree. This research assumed similarities between higher education in Taiwan and the U.S., conclusions indicate that the course syllabi in Departments of English in Taiwan are congruent with the models recommended in the literature in the U.S.
Associations Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: A Meditational Analysis
Research has illustrated the interrelatedness of childhood physical fitness and psychological wellbeing, psychological wellbeing and academic achievement, as well as physical fitness and academic achievement. In this study, we proposed that psychological wellbeing (self-esteem and depression) serves as a mediator between physical fitness and academic achievement during adolescence. In a sample of middle school children (N = 1,530), significant correlations were found between all three variables (p.0001). A hierarchical regression analysis was performed to assess the associations between physical fitness, psychological wellbeing, and academic achievement. The regression analysis reported a significant partial mediation effect. The results of this study supported the proposed hypotheses, including a mechanism of psychological wellbeing partially mediating the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement. The findings of this study support the importance of encouraging activities to promote both physical fitness and psychological wellbeing in schools.
Athletic Trainers and Sport Psychology: Knowledge, Experience and Attitudes
Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) play a unique role in sport environments as the primary medical staff available to athletes. Thus, ATCs are well positioned to oversee athletes’ physical and psychological well-being. Although sport psychologists (SPs) have been identified as a potential resource for ATCs, previous studies have reported a lack of collaboration between SPs and ATCs. This study aimed to (a) examine ATCs’ views regarding professional roles for both ATCs and SPs, (b) explore ATCs’ referral behaviors, (c) evaluate ATCs belief in the credibility of sport psychology across demographic (i.e., gender, age) and experiential variables (i.e., access to SPs), and (d) examine ATCs’ involvement in sport psychology. Four hundred ninety-six ATCs (265 men, 231 women) completed and returned the questionnaire. ATCs viewed assisting in the psychological recovery of athletes as the most acceptable professional role for fellow ATCs; aiding in the psychological recovery of injured athletes and teach mental skills were identified by ATCs as the most appropriate roles for SPs. In considering an athlete experiencing interpersonal difficulties (e.g., relationship problems), a mixed design ANOVA revealed a ATC sex by referral option interaction; female and male ATCs indicated they would likely refer the athlete to a counselor/therapist, followed by a SP, however, female ATCs reported a greater likelihood of referring to a counselor/therapist than male ATCs whereas male ATCs indicated a greater likelihood of referring to a SP. Further, ATCs’ regular access to SPs and completion of formal sport psychology coursework were identified as variables associated with greater belief in the credibility of sport psychology. These results suggest that access and previous experience with SPs remain significant variables associated with ATCs views about, and belief in, the work of SPs. Implications for sport psychology professionals and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Atomistic Computer Simulations of Diffusion Mechanisms in Lithium Lanthanum Titanate Solid State Electrolytes for Lithium Ion Batteries
Solid state lithium ion electrolytes are important to the development of next generation safer and high power density lithium ion batteries. Perovskite-structured LLT is a promising solid electrolyte with high lithium ion conductivity. LLT also serves as a good model system to understand lithium ion diffusion behaviors in solids. In this thesis, molecular dynamics and related atomistic computer simulations were used to study the diffusion behavior and diffusion mechanism in bulk crystal and grain boundary in lithium lanthanum titanate (LLT) solid state electrolytes. The effects of defect concentration on the structure and lithium ion diffusion behaviors in LLT were systematically studied and the lithium ion self-diffusion and diffusion energy barrier were investigated by both dynamic simulations and static calculations using the nudged elastic band (NEB) method. The simulation results show that there exist an optimal vacancy concentration at around x=0.067 at which lithium ions have the highest diffusion coefficient and the lowest diffusion energy barrier. The lowest energy barrier from dynamics simulations was found to be around 0.22 eV, which compared favorably with 0.19 eV from static NEB calculations. It was also found that lithium ions diffuse through bottleneck structures made of oxygen ions, which expand in dimension by 8-10% when lithium ions pass through. By designing perovskite structures with large bottleneck sizes can lead to materials with higher lithium ion conductivities. The structure and diffusion behavior of lithium silicate glasses and their interfaces, due to their importance as a grain boundary phase, with LLT crystals were also investigated by using molecular dynamics simulations. The short and medium range structures of the lithium silicate glasses were characterized and the ceramic/glass interface models were obtained using MD simulations. Lithium ion diffusion behaviors in the glass and across the glass/ceramic interfaces were investigated. It was found that there existed a minor segregation of lithium ions at the glass/crystal interface. Lithium ion diffusion energy barrier at the interface was found to be dominated by the glass phase.
Atomistic Simulations of Deformation Mechanisms in Ultra-Light Weight Mg-Li Alloys
Mg alloys have spurred a renewed academic and industrial interest because of their ultra-light-weight and high specific strength properties. Hexagonal close packed Mg has low deformability and a high plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems at room temperature. Alloying with Li and other elements is believed to counter this deficiency by activating non-basal slip by reducing their nucleation stress. In this work I study how Li addition affects deformation mechanisms in Mg using atomistic simulations. In the first part, I create a reliable and transferable concentration dependent embedded atom method (CD-EAM) potential for my molecular dynamics study of deformation. This potential describes the Mg-Li phase diagram, which accurately describes the phase stability as a function of Li concentration and temperature. Also, it reproduces the heat of mixing, lattice parameters, and bulk moduli of the alloy as a function of Li concentration. Most importantly, our CD-EAM potential reproduces the variation of stacking fault energy for basal, prismatic, and pyramidal slip systems that influences the deformation mechanisms as a function of Li concentration. This success of CD-EAM Mg-Li potential in reproducing different properties, as compared to literature data, shows its reliability and transferability. Next, I use this newly created potential to study the effect of Li addition on deformation mechanisms in Mg-Li nanocrystalline (NC) alloys. Mg-Li NC alloys show basal slip, pyramidal type-I slip, tension twinning, and two-compression twinning deformation modes. Li addition reduces the plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems by modifying the energetics of Mg-Li alloys. This causes the solid solution softening. The inverse relationship between strength and ductility therefore suggests a concomitant increase in alloy ductility. A comparison of the NC results with single crystal deformation results helps to understand the qualitative and quantitative effect of Li addition in Mg on nucleation stress and fault energies of each deformation mode. The nucleation stress and fault energies of basal dislocations and compression twins in single crystal Mg-Li alloy increase while those for pyramidal dislocations and tension twinning decrease. This variation in respective values explains the reduction in plastic anisotropy and increase in ductility for Mg-Li alloys.
Atomistic Studies of Point Defect Migration Rates in the Iron-Chromium System
Generation and migration of helium and other point defects under irradiation causes ferritic steels based on the Fe-Cr system to age and fail. This is motivation to study point defect migration and the He equation of state using atomistic simulations due to the steels' use in future reactors. A new potential for the Fe-Cr-He system developed by collaborators at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was validated using published experimental data. The results for the He equation of state agree well with experimental data. The activation energies for the migration of He- and Fe-interstitials in varying compositions of Fe-Cr lattices agree well with prior work. This research did not find a strong correlation between lattice ordering and interstitial migration energy
Attachment Theory Within Clinical Supervision: Application of the Conceptual to the Empirical
Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic.
Attention and Metacognition in the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire
The elaborated intrusion (EI) theory of desire is a cognitive model that describes the processes involved in craving as intrusive thoughts that are elaborated upon leading to dissonance when desires are not met. While the theory is based on a wide body of research, certain theoretical predictions have not been fully examined. Specifically, EI theory argues that mental imagery has a central role in craving, and predicts that attempts to suppress substance-related intrusive thoughts and mental imagery is related to increased craving. Further, EI theory suggests that elaboration of craving imagery is related to attention and working memory processes, however, there are questions about whether differential performance in these domains is related to craving. The current study examined the relationship between attention/working memory performance and alcohol craving in a sample of 119 young adult males. Additionally, metacognition was examined to clarify the phenomenological aspects of craving within EI theory. Attention and working memory performance did not significantly predict intrusive thought and mental imagery elaboration. Individuals with high craving reported significantly higher levels of anxiety, thought suppression, and greater strength and frequency of craving-related mental imagery. They were also more likely to try to control their own thoughts and make negative judgments on their ability to do so. The strength of craving-related intrusive thoughts, not mental imagery, was the most significant predictor of craving. Implications for the understanding of craving and treatment recommendations based on the findings are discussed.
Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is associated with significant social and occupational impairments, as well as increased risk for substance abuse and suicide. More research is needed to identify potential mechanisms associated with vulnerability to the disorder. Previous research has identified altered processing of emotional information in bipolar and bipolar-prone individuals, including attentional biases which appear to differ based on the current affective state of the individual. The current study applied a sensitive measure of attention (i.e., eye-tracking) to assess whether vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as indexed by hypomanic personality traits, would be correlated with biases in attention to emotional facial stimuli, independent of mood state. Hypomanic personality traits were hypothesized to be associated with greater attention to happy and angry faces, as indexed by faster initial orientation, more frequent gazes, and longer gaze duration for these stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures assessing current mood symptoms, positive and negative affect, and hypomanic personality traits. They then completed two tasks assessing attention for emotional faces. The first was an eye-tracking task, which measured latency to first fixation, total gaze duration and total number of gazes for each emotional face category. The second was a spatial cueing task which assessed both attentional engagement with emotional faces, and ability to disengage attention from this material. Hypomanic personality traits were significantly negatively correlated with latency to orient attention to happy faces. A trend toward decreased latency to orient to angry faces with higher hypomanic personality traits was also demonstrated. Hypomanic traits were not correlated with attention to sad faces. Furthermore, hypomanic traits were associated only with differences in initial orientation of attention, not with continued engagement or disengagement. The results of this study suggest that individuals with higher levels of hypomanic personality traits, who are hypothesized to be at greater risk of developing bipolar disorder, are characterized by differences in their initial orientation of attention to positive emotional stimuli, independent of their current mood state. This finding is indicative of biased information processing in individuals with vulnerability to bipolar disorder. Such a bias may have important clinical implications for individuals with a vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as it may represent a mechanism by which vulnerability leads to increased, and at times problematic, engagement with rewarding stimuli.
Attenuation of the Squared Canonical Correlation Coefficient Under Varying Estimates of Score Reliability
Research pertaining to the distortion of the squared canonical correlation coefficient has traditionally been limited to the effects of sampling error and associated correction formulas. The purpose of this study was to compare the degree of attenuation of the squared canonical correlation coefficient under varying conditions of score reliability. Monte Carlo simulation methodology was used to fulfill the purpose of this study. Initially, data populations with various manipulated conditions were generated (N = 100,000). Subsequently, 500 random samples were drawn with replacement from each population, and data was subjected to canonical correlation analyses. The canonical correlation results were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and an ANOVA design to determine under which condition(s) the squared canonical correlation coefficient was most attenuated when compared to population Rc2 values. This information was analyzed and used to determine what effect, if any, the different conditions considered in this study had on Rc2. The results from this Monte Carlo investigation clearly illustrated the importance of score reliability when interpreting study results. As evidenced by the outcomes presented, the more measurement error (lower reliability) present in the variables included in an analysis, the more attenuation experienced by the effect size(s) produced in the analysis, in this case Rc2. These results also demonstrated the role between and within set correlation, variable set size, and sample size played in the attenuation levels of the squared canonical correlation coefficient.
Attracted to the Medium: An Analysis of Social Behaviors, Advertising, and Youth Culture in the Emerging Mobile Era
This thesis is a reception study that examines potential reasons why the adolescent to college aged demographic of youth culture is embracing communicative and informational mobility. The project attests that the move to mobility is motivated by two major factors, the attraction of being an early adopter of technology and the way social behaviors are made attractive in mobile marketing. Chapter 1 explores the importance of these social behaviors, as they are very much intertwined and contribute to how youth acclimate into society. Chapter 2 demonstrates that creating social distinction and cultural capital is linked to being an early adopter of technology. The remaining portion of the document examines recent mobile advertisements and why youth would be attracted to the aesthetic and thematic elements contained in the advertisements. Chapter 3 examines how Blackberry utilizes the behavior of creating and expressing identity in their advertisements. Chapter 4 focuses on how Apple has worked to create a community centered around their brand. Finally, Chapter 5 looks at how Google/Android has highlighted the acquisition, sharing, and utilization of content through the phenomenon of applications. With this project, I hope to illustrate the rationale why youth would be attracted to communicative and informational mobility.
Auditors’ Information Search and Documentation: Does Knowledge of the Client Preference Or PCAOB Accountability Pressure Matter?
Auditors regularly make judgments regarding whether a client’s chosen accounting policy is appropriate and in accordance with generally accepted accounting Principles (GAAP). However, to form this judgment, auditors must either possess adequate topic-specific knowledge or must gain such knowledge through information search. This search is subject to numerous biases, including a bias toward confirmation of a client’s preference. It is important to further our understanding of bias in auditors’ information search to identify its causes and effects. Furthering our understanding is necessary to provide a basis for recommending and evaluating a potential debiaser, such as accountability. the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) annually inspects the audit files of selected engagements, which introduces a new form of accountability within the auditing profession. This new form of accountability has come at great cost, however, there is little empirical evidence regarding its effects on auditors’ processes. As such, it is important to understand whether the presence of accountability from the PCAOB is effective in modifying auditors’ search behaviors to diminish confirmation bias. Using an online experiment, I manipulate client preference (unknown vs. known) and PCAOB accountability pressure (low vs. high) and measure search type (information –focus or decision-focus), search depth (shallow or deep) and documentation quality. I investigate whether auditors’ information search behaviors differ based on knowledge of client’s preference and in the presence of accountability from an expected PCAOB inspection. I also investigate whether differences in auditors’ information search behaviors influence documentation quality, which is the outcome of greatest concern to the PCAOB. I hypothesize and find a client preference effect on information search type such that auditors with knowledge of the client preference consider guidance associated with the client’s preference longer than those without knowledge of the client’s preference. Contrary to expectations, PCAOB accountability pressure does not influence information search depth. with respect to documentation quality, I find that auditors engaged in a more information-focused search have higher documentation quality. Further, as expected, auditors who initially engage in a decision-focus and deep search have higher documentation quality than those auditors who initially engaged in a decision-focused but shallow search.
Automated Classification of Emotions Using Song Lyrics
This thesis explores the classification of emotions in song lyrics, using automatic approaches applied to a novel corpus of 100 popular songs. I use crowd sourcing via Amazon Mechanical Turk to collect line-level emotions annotations for this collection of song lyrics.  I then build classifiers that rely on textual features to automatically identify the presence of one or more of the following six Ekman emotions: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. I compare different classification systems and evaluate the performance of the automatic systems against the manual annotations. I also introduce a system that uses data collected from the social network Twitter. I use the Twitter API to collect a large corpus of tweets manually labeled by their authors for one of the six emotions of interest. I then compare the classification of emotions obtained when training on data automatically collected from Twitter versus data obtained through crowd sourced annotations.
Automated Real-time Objects Detection in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements
The effectiveness of colonoscopy depends on the quality of the inspection of the colon. There was no automated measurement method to evaluate the quality of the inspection. This thesis addresses this issue by investigating an automated post-procedure quality measurement technique and proposing a novel approach automatically deciding a percentage of stool areas in images of digitized colonoscopy video files. It involves the classification of image pixels based on their color features using a new method of planes on RGB (red, green and blue) color space. The limitation of post-procedure quality measurement is that quality measurements are available long after the procedure was done and the patient was released. A better approach is to inform any sub-optimal inspection immediately so that the endoscopist can improve the quality in real-time during the procedure. This thesis also proposes an extension to post-procedure method to detect stool, bite-block, and blood regions in real-time using color features in HSV color space. These three objects play a major role in quality measurements in colonoscopy. The proposed method partitions very large positive examples of each of these objects into a number of groups. These groups are formed by taking intersection of positive examples with a hyper plane. This hyper plane is named as 'positive plane'. 'Convex hulls' are used to model positive planes. Comparisons with traditional classifiers such as K-nearest neighbor (K-NN) and support vector machines (SVM) proves the soundness of the proposed method in terms of accuracy and speed that are critical in the targeted real-time quality measurement system.
Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data
Accurate estimates of tree and forest biomass are essential for a wide range of applications. Automated treetop detection and tree crown discrimination using LiDAR data can greatly facilitate forest biomass estimation. Previous work has focused on homogenous or single-species forests, while few studies have focused on mixed forests. In this study, a new method for treetop detection is proposed in which the treetop is the cluster center of selected points rather than the highest point. Based on treetop detection, tree crowns are discriminated through comparison of three-dimensional shape signatures. The methods are first tested using simulated LiDAR point clouds for trees, and then applied to real LiDAR data from the Soquel Demonstration State Forest, California, USA. Results from both simulated and real LiDAR data show that the proposed method has great potential for effective detection of treetops and discrimination of tree crowns.
Automatic Extraction of Highlights from a Baseball Video Using HMM and MPEG-7 Descriptors
In today’s fast paced world, as the number of stations of television programming offered is increasing rapidly, time accessible to watch them remains same or decreasing. Sports videos are typically lengthy and they appeal to a massive crowd. Though sports video is lengthy, most of the viewer’s desire to watch specific segments of the video which are fascinating, like a home-run in a baseball or goal in soccer i.e., users prefer to watch highlights to save time. When associated to the entire span of the video, these segments form only a minor share. Hence these videos need to be summarized for effective presentation and data management. This thesis explores the ability to extract highlights automatically using MPEG-7 features and hidden Markov model (HMM), so that viewing time can be reduced. Video is first segmented into scene shots, in which the detection of the shot is the fundamental task. After the video is segmented into shots, extraction of key frames allows a suitable representation of the whole shot. Feature extraction is crucial processing step in the classification, video indexing and retrieval system. Frame features such as color, motion, texture, edges are extracted from the key frames. A baseball highlight contains certain types of scene shots and these shots follow a particular transition pattern. The shots are classified as close-up, out-field, base and audience. I first try to identify the type of the shot using low level features extracted from the key frames of each shot. For the identification of the highlight I use the hidden Markov model using the transition pattern of the shots in time domain. Experimental results suggest that with reasonable accuracy highlights can be extracted from the video.
Automatic Language Identification for Metadata Records: Measuring the Effectiveness of Various Approaches
Automatic language identification has been applied to short texts such as queries in information retrieval, but it has not yet been applied to metadata records. Applying this technology to metadata records, particularly their title elements, would enable creators of metadata records to obtain a value for the language element, which is often left blank due to a lack of linguistic expertise. It would also enable the addition of the language value to existing metadata records that currently lack a language value. Titles lend themselves to the problem of language identification mainly due to their shortness, a factor which increases the difficulty of accurately identifying a language. This study implemented four proven approaches to language identification as well as one open-source approach on a collection of multilingual titles of books and movies. Of the five approaches considered, a reduced N-gram frequency profile and distance measure approach outperformed all others, accurately identifying over 83% of all titles in the collection. Future plans are to offer this technology to curators of digital collections for use.
Automatic Removal of Complex Shadows From Indoor Videos
Shadows in indoor scenarios are usually characterized with multiple light sources that produce complex shadow patterns of a single object. Without removing shadow, the foreground object tends to be erroneously segmented. The inconsistent hue and intensity of shadows make automatic removal a challenging task. In this thesis, a dynamic thresholding and transfer learning-based method for removing shadows is proposed. The method suppresses light shadows with a dynamically computed threshold and removes dark shadows using an online learning strategy that is built upon a base classifier trained with manually annotated examples and refined with the automatically identified examples in the new videos. Experimental results demonstrate that despite variation of lighting conditions in videos our proposed method is able to adapt to the videos and remove shadows effectively. The sensitivity of shadow detection changes slightly with different confidence levels used in example selection for classifier retraining and high confidence level usually yields better performance with less retraining iterations.
Automatic Tagging of Communication Data
Globally distributed software teams are widespread throughout industry. But finding reliable methods that can properly assess a team's activities is a real challenge. Methods such as surveys and manual coding of activities are too time consuming and are often unreliable. Recent advances in information retrieval and linguistics, however, suggest that automated and/or semi-automated text classification algorithms could be an effective way of finding differences in the communication patterns among individuals and groups. Communication among group members is frequent and generates a significant amount of data. Thus having a web-based tool that can automatically analyze the communication patterns among global software teams could lead to a better understanding of group performance. The goal of this thesis, therefore, is to compare automatic and semi-automatic measures of communication and evaluate their effectiveness in classifying different types of group activities that occur within a global software development project. In order to achieve this goal, we developed a web-based component that can be used to help clean and classify communication activities. The component was then used to compare different automated text classification techniques on various group activities to determine their effectiveness in correctly classifying data from a global software development team project.
Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems
The increasingly popular cloud-computing paradigm provides on-demand access to computing and storage with the appearance of unlimited resources. Users are given access to a variety of data and software utilities to manage their work. Users rent virtual resources and pay for only what they use. In spite of the many benefits that cloud computing promises, the lack of dependability in shared virtualized infrastructures is a major obstacle for its wider adoption, especially for mission-critical applications. Virtualization and multi-tenancy increase system complexity and dynamicity. They introduce new sources of failure degrading the dependability of cloud computing systems. To assure cloud dependability, in my dissertation research, I develop autonomic failure identification and diagnosis techniques that are crucial for understanding emergent, cloud-wide phenomena and self-managing resource burdens for cloud availability and productivity enhancement. We study the runtime cloud performance data collected from a cloud test-bed and by using traces from production cloud systems. We define cloud signatures including those metrics that are most relevant to failure instances. We exploit profiled cloud performance data in both time and frequency domain to identify anomalous cloud behaviors and leverage cloud metric subspace analysis to automate the diagnosis of observed failures. We implement a prototype of the anomaly identification system and conduct the experiments in an on-campus cloud computing test-bed and by using the Google datacenter traces. Our experimental results show that our proposed anomaly detection mechanism can achieve 93% detection sensitivity while keeping the false positive rate as low as 6.1% and outperform other tested anomaly detection schemes. In addition, the anomaly detector adapts itself by recursively learning from these newly verified detection results to refine future detection.
The “Avant-pop” Style of Jacob Ter Veldhuis: Annotated Bibliography of Boombox Pieces with an Analysis of “Pimpin’” for Baritone Saxophone and Boombox
JacobTV has spent over thirty years utilizing his interest in American pop culture as the muse upon which he creates his works. Sources of popular culture including commercials, television evangelists, political speeches, interviews, and urban pop songs have earned him the title of the “Andy Warhol of new music.” His contributions to classical music are significant and include works for solo instruments and voice, chamber ensembles, and large ensembles. This study serves as an annotated bibliography of selected pieces written for saxophone and boombox written by JacobTV. Chapter 2 provides a brief historical background of electronic music and chapter 3 describes JacobTV’s compositional style and vocabulary. The pieces included in the bibliography of chapter 4 are Believer (2006) for baritone saxophone and soundtrack; Billie (2003) for alto saxophone and soundtrack; Buku (2006) for alto saxophone and soundtrack; Garden of Love (2002) for soprano saxophone and soundtrack; Grab It! (1999) for tenor saxophone and soundtrack; May This Bliss Never End (1996) for tenor saxophone, piano, and soundtrack; TaTaTa (1998) for tenor and baritone saxophone and soundtrack; Heartbreakers (1997-98) for saxophone quartet, soundtrack, and video; Jesus Is Coming (2003) for saxophone quartet and soundtrack; Pitch Black (1998) for saxophone quartet and soundtrack; and Take A Wild Guess (2007) for saxophone quartet and soundtrack. In addition, chapter 5 provides a detailed analysis of JacobTV’s composition Pimpin’ and offers further insight into his “avant-pop” compositional style.
The Avatar by Steve Rouse: A Performance Practice Guide
The Avatar for trumpet and piano by Dr. Steve Rouse is one of the most challenging compositions in the trumpet repertoire. Due to The Avatar's challenges and increasing popularity, a study is necessary to aid its performance. Each movement is performed on a different instrument: Bb piccolo (with an optional A piccolo part) for Nativity, Bb Flugelhorn for Enigma-Release and Bb trumpet for Rebirth. In addition, the performer must convey one of the work's possible programmatic meanings: (1) The Hindu belief of an Avatar and its life cycle, (2) the life of Christ or (3) the human lifecycle. Chapter 1 gives historical information about the work. Chapters 2-4 discuss each movement of The Avatar programmatically and pedagogically. Facets of each movement are analyzed including differences in programmatic choices, rehearsal techniques and sound concepts. Chapter 5 provides recording suggestions, including choosing a recording engineer, preparing and planning for a recording section, choosing a venue and the benefits of hiring a tonmeister.
Babel: a Composition for Rock Band, Soprano Quartet, and Chamber Ensemble—music and Critical Essay
Babel is a work for rock ‘n’ roll band (two electric guitars, electric bass, drum set), four soprano singers, and a twenty-one instrument mixed chamber ensemble. The 50-minute composition is based on the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1-9, and the four-movement structure is derived from the form of this narrative. The first movement, “building rebellion,” establishes man’s intent to build a grand city and tower in a rebellion against God, while the second movement, “seeing/coming down,” describes the all-seeing God’s knowledge of man’s rebellion and God’s descent to the city. Movements three and four, “confusion” and “scatter,” depict the actions of God, confusing humankind’s language and scattering him over the earth. This project fuses rock ‘n’ roll influences with contemporary classical improvisation, creating a work that is sonically and dynamically excessive. One compositional goal was to use small amounts of material as the impetus for directed improvisation, which would be developed to create intricate and evolving textures. Each movement’s score is confined to a single page of music per part, necessitating highly graphic and aleatoric notation. The musical history and musicianship of each player greatly shapes the sonic outcome of Babel. Rigorous structure was mixed with extra-musical associations to create intricate layers of musical and metaphorical meanings. Every decision regarding form, pitch, rhythm, and improvisatory state is linked to a meaningful mathematical, philosophical, or theological idea. Out of the intention to illustrate a multi-layered, Biblical text interpreted in vastly different ways, came a complex work of art that challenges, yet welcomes, performers and listeners of all kinds.
Back in My Hands: The Role of Self-Forgiveness and Stigma in HIV-Positive Adults
While advancements in treatment have made HIV a more manageable disease, only recently have psychosocial variables associated with the health of persons living with HIV (PLH) began to receive increased scrutiny. HIV-related stigma, considered by some researchers to be a “second epidemic,” is one such psychosocial variable and is associated with negative physiological and psychological health outcomes. In an effort to alleviate the effects of stress, increased research attention has focused on forgiveness as a teachable coping strategy. Current forgiveness interventions demonstrate encouraging results in decreasing anger and neutralizing stress but have not been applied to HIV-positive populations. In this study, Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping (1984) and Prochaska and Velicer’s transtheoretical model of health behavior (1997) were utilized as theoretical frameworks to inform a randomized clinical trial that examines coping skills, particularly forgiveness, in PLH and perceived HIV-related stigma. An ethnically diverse sample of HIV-positive adults (n = 57) was randomized into a treatment or control group. The treatment group participated in six weeks of cognitive-behavioral group therapy that focused on the teaching of forgiveness as an effective coping tool while the control group was psychoeducational in nature and did not involve mention of forgiveness. Data was obtained on a variety of medical and psychosocial variables, including types of forgiveness (dispositional forgiveness, forgiveness of self, forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of situations) and perceived HIV-related stigma. Data were collected at three time points: at baseline (Time 1) prior to randomization of participants to the treatment or control group, immediately post intervention (Time 2), and at six-month follow-up (Time 3). Importantly, forgiveness was shown to be a teachable skill that PLH can use to potentially improve mental health. Men in the treatment group reported significantly higher levels of dispositional forgiveness and self-forgiveness than men in the control group at six-month follow up. Additionally, self-forgiveness at Time 1 and self-forgiveness at Time 3 significantly accounted for 34% and 28% of the variance, respectively, in HIV-related stigma at Time 3. Though self-forgiveness was shown to be better than forgiveness of others in predicting HIV-related stigma, the forgiveness intervention was not effective in reducing overall HIV-related stigma in PLH. HIV-related stigma is likely more complex than originally conceptualized. Implications and future directions in improving interventions to mitigate HIV-related stigma are discussed.
Back on the Home Front: Demand/withdraw Communication and Relationship Adjustment Among Student Veterans
Today’s military encompasses a wide variety of families who are affected by deployments in multiple and complex ways. Following deployments, families must reconnect in their relationships and reestablish their way of life. Appropriate and effective communication during this time is critical, yet many military couples struggle with this process. Moreover, student service members/veterans and their families are in a unique position. In addition to coping with changes in their marital relationship, student veterans may feel isolated or unsupported on college campuses, often experiencing anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, or suicidality. The current study seeks to bridge the gap between the military family literature and the student service member/veteran literature by examining how deployment experiences, mental health issues, and communication patterns influence post-deployment relationship adjustment among student veterans. Analyses tested whether communication style and/or current mental health concerns mediate associations between combat experiences and couples’ relationship adjustment, as well as between experiences in the aftermath of battle and relationship adjustment. Results suggest that although posttraumatic stress is significantly related to deployment experiences among student veterans, participants report no significant negative effects of deployment on relationship adjustment. Communication style, however, was significantly associated with relationship adjustment, and a lack of positive communication was found to correlate with PTSD diagnosis. Research and clinical implications are discussed.
Backflow: A Collection
This collection consists of a critical preface and nine essays. The preface analyzes, first, how the imagination influences the personal journey of a writer, and second, the techniques authors use, mainly form, time, and space, to enact the imagination and propel the reader into an imagined narrative. The essays explore themes of loss, mental illness, the rift between the “real” and the “imagined” life, and the intangibility of memory itself. Collection includes the essays “Into the Snow,” “No Longer a Part,” “Borderland,” “Still Wounds,” “What Stays in Las Vegas,” “Remnants,” “The Root,” “Your Father,” and “The Land Lord.”
Background, Compositional Style, and Performance Considerations in the Clarinet Works of David Baker: Clarinet Sonata and Heritage: A Tribute to Great Clarinetists
David Baker (b. 1931) is an educator, composer, and jazz legend. He has composed at least fifteen works that include the clarinet. Baker’s Clarinet Sonata (1989) has become a standard of clarinet repertoire and a popular recital inclusion. His chamber work Heritage: A Tribute to Great Clarinetists (1996) interweaves solo transcriptions of five jazz clarinetists. The compositional style of Baker’s clarinet works frequently links jazz and classical idioms. The two works discussed in this document are excellent examples for classically trained musicians who would like to increase their ability and experience in interpreting jazz styles. The purpose of this document is: (1) to provide background, style, and performance considerations for Baker’s Clarinet Sonata and Heritage: A Tribute for Great Clarinetists, for Clarinet, Violin, Piano and Double Bass; (2) based on these style elements, to provide suggestions for interpreting jazz-style works for classically trained clarinetists; and (3) to archive Baker’s published and unpublished clarinet compositions. Appendices include transcripts of interviews with David Baker and other experts in this field (James Campbell, Rosana Eckert, Mike Steinel and Steven Harlos).
Bad Blood: Impurity and Danger in the Early Modern Spanish Mentality
The current work is an intellectual history of how blood permeated early modern Spaniards' conceptions of morality and purity. This paper examines Spanish intellectuals' references to blood in their medical, theological, demonological, and historical works. Through these excerpts, this thesis demonstrates how this language of blood played a role in buttressing the church's conception of good morals. This, in turn, will show that blood was used as a way to persecute Jews and Muslims, and ultimately define the early modern Spanish identity.
Bank Capital, Efficient Market Hypothesis, and Bank Borrowing During the Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008
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During the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008, liquidity and credit dried up, threatening the stability of financial institutions, particularly the banking firms. Traditional source of funds from the last resort, the Discount Window of the Federal Reserve System, failed to remedy the liquidity problem. To assuage the liquidity and credit problem, the Federal Reserve System established several emergency lending facilities and provided unprecedented amount of loans to the banking industry. Using a dataset published by Bloomberg LLP in the aftermaths of the financial crisis, which contains daily loan balances from the Fed, I conduct an event study to test whether financial markets are efficient in reflecting all public, anticipated and classified information in security prices. The most important contribution of this dissertation to the finance discipline and literature is the investigation and analysis of the Fed’s unprecedented loans to the banking industry during the Great Recession and the market reaction to it. The second major contribution of this study is the empirical test of strong form efficient market hypothesis, which has not been feasible due to legal data challenges. This dissertation has other contributions to the finance discipline and banking research. First, I develop an algorithm for measuring the amount of borrowing by banks. Second, I introduce a new “loan balance” ratio to traditional list of bank financial ratios. Third, I use event study methodologies to allow for cross-correlation, heteroscedasticity and event induced-variance change in studying US banks’ performance during the Great Recession.
Baptist Pastoral Leadership: An Analysis for Curriculum Development
Through a qualitative study utilizing in-depth interviews, practitioner opinion was gathered regarding how Christian institutions of higher education, primarily Baptist seminaries, may better utilize formal and continuing education to prepare clergy for pastoral leadership. The sample of ten subjects for this study, drawn from the 550 active senior pastors in the Dallas Baptist Association and the Kauf-Van Baptist Association, was selected based on a maximum variation sampling method. The intention was to provide a better understanding of the leadership skills required by senior pastors, to help develop pastoral ministries curriculum and to assess the potential effectiveness of continuing education for pastoral leadership. The subjects indicated that the formal degree program of their seminary did equip them with the basic knowledge needed for pastoral leadership but it did not provide them in sufficiency with the necessary, practical skills for pastoral leadership. The pattern that emerged from the data indicates that, overall, seminaries are providing a quality education in preparing pastors for the ministry in their formal degree plans. However, seminaries may have opportunities to be of further service and to gain a competitive advantage vis a vis other seminaries by enhancing and expanding their continuing education programs.
Baroque Elements In The Piano Sonata, Opus 9 By Paul Creston
Paul Creston (1906-1985) was one of the most significant American composers from the middle of the twentieth century. Though Creston maintained elements of the nineteenth-century Romantic tradition and was categorized as a “Neo-Romantic” or “20th-century traditionalist,” many of Creston’s compositions contain elements of Baroque music. His Piano Sonata, Opus 9 provides significant examples of Baroque elements, while already foreshadowing his mature style. The purpose of this study is to explore Baroque elements in the compositional language of Paul Creston’s Piano Sonata, Opus 9. All four movements of the Piano Sonata will be examined in regards to its stylistic features associated with Baroque practices. These features mainly consist of rhythm, texture, imitative writing, and repeated phrase structure. Each category of the study will include comparisons of Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas with Creston’s sonata. Through an examination of the Piano Sonata and its Baroque elements, this study hopes to inspire renewed interest in the work among musicians and to help the performer give a more stylistically coherent, and accurate, performance.
Baseball in the Digital Age: The Role of Online and Mobile Content in Major League Baseball's Media Product Portfolio
This case study evaluated Major League Baseball's (MLB) media product portfolio to identify how broadcast revenues have evolved over the past decade. This research looked back across baseball's long, dysfunctional history with broadcasters in order to recognize the significance of its ambitious use of online content. While MLB had failed to fully utilize the potential of broadcasting, the league's aggressive online strategy through its Advanced Media (MLBAM) division made it the industry leader in broadcasting live streaming sports video. MLBAM expanded its online streaming video to mobile phones and iPad, further expanding the distribution of its content. This research compared MLBAM revenue to traditional broadcast revenue while analyzing the online division's role in promoting the MLB brand. This case study concluded that while MLBAM had made a number of groundbreaking developments, the league could still improve its use of embedded, shared video clips, archived footage and international marketing in order to further extend the brand equity of the MLB, its thirty individual brands and its media product portfolio.
Baseband Noise Suppression in Ofdm Using Kalman Filter
As the technology is advances the reduced size of hardware gives rise to an additive 1/f baseband noise. This additive 1/f noise is a system noise generated due to miniaturization of hardware and affects the lower frequencies. Though 1/f noise does not show much effect in wide band channels because of its nature to affect only certain frequencies, 1/f noise becomes a prominent in OFDM communication systems where narrow band channels are used. in this thesis, I study the effects of 1/f noise on the OFDM systems and implement algorithms for estimation and suppression of the noise using Kalman filter. Suppression of the noise is achieved by subtracting the estimated noise from the received noise. I show that the performance of the system is considerably improved by applying the 1/f noise suppression.
The Bass Clarinetist’s Pedagogical Guide to Excerpts From the Wind Band Literature
Student clarinet performers often encounter bass clarinet for the first time in a high school or university wind ensemble, so it is logical for clarinet pedagogues to encourage and assist their students in learning this wind band literature. In addition to becoming familiar with this oft performed repertoire, students will develop a set of specialized bass clarinet skills that one cannot learn on soprano clarinet. These skills include increased air capacity and support, timbre consistency in differing registers, intonation tendencies of the lower instrument, voicing flexibility, right hand thumb dexterity for keys that do not exist on soprano clarinet, technical facility for eleven pinky keys (as opposed to the seven pinky keys on a typical soprano clarinet, and effective altissimo fingerings. The purpose, then, of this document is to provide a performance guide for select bass clarinet solo excerpts from the wind band literature and to provide supplemental exercises intended to help students acquire the specialized bass clarinet skill set they will need in order to perform the selected excerpts successfully. The solos discussed in this document are excerpted from H. Owen Reed’s La Fiesta Mexicana, Florent Schmitt’s Dionysiaques, Percy Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy, Frank Ticheli’s Blue Shades, William Bolcom’s First Symphony for Band, and Andrew Rindfleisch’s The Light Fantastic.
Bass Reeves: a History • a Novel • a Crusade, Volume 1: the Rise
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This literary/historical novel details the life of African-American Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves between the years 1838-1862 and 1883-1884. One plotline depicts Reeves’s youth as a slave, including his service as a body servant to a Confederate cavalry officer during the Civil War. Another plotline depicts him years later, after Emancipation, at the height of his deputy career, when he has become the most feared, most successful lawman in Indian Territory, the largest federal jurisdiction in American history and the most dangerous part of the Old West. A preface explores the uniqueness of this project’s historical relevance and literary positioning as a neo-slave narrative, and addresses a few liberties that I take with the historical record.