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2D and 3D Fabrication Devices: Can They Improve Spatial Reasoning Skills in Children?
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential benefit of two hours of activities involving 2D and 3D fabricators on the spatial reasoning skills of children in Grades 4 and 5, ages 9 to 10, from a private school in Southeast Texas. Can the introduction to hands-on activities with products created with these devices and learning about how these devices operate improve spatial reasoning skills? The research also evaluates the use of the Shapes Test as a valid measure of the spatial reasoning skills of children. The Cube Design and Spatial Memory subtests of the UNIT (Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Tests) were used for evaluating the spatial reasoning skills of the participants, based on their respected validity, along with a Shapes Test that is in development. Discussion regarding gender, language, and experiential theories of spatial reasoning skill development are included in the literature review. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862838/
Accuracy of Partner Perception and Relationship Satisfaction: Investigating Masturbatory Habits
An individual's perceptions of various aspects of one's romantic relationship (irrespective of whether or not the perceptions align with reality) often play a critical role in romantic relationship satisfaction. Research has demonstrated that the accuracy of an individual's perception of his or her partner is generally positively related to the individual's romantic relationship satisfaction. However, when perceiving negative or conflictual messages from a partner, an individual's accuracy of perception is negatively associated with his or her romantic relationship satisfaction. Researchers have suggested that poor accuracy in perceiving negative messages might diffuse the negative intention in a way that is less impactful to the relationship. The present study was designed to investigate accuracy in the perception of sexual topics, specifically masturbatory habits. A sample of 93 married couples (186 individuals) responded to questions about (a) their own masturbatory behaviors and (b) their perception of their partners' masturbatory behaviors to determine the accuracy of each partner's perception of his or her partner. The association between accuracy and romantic and sexual relationship satisfaction was explored, along with one potential moderating variable: attitudes toward masturbation. Perceived reason for masturbating, perceived target of arousal during masturbation, and partner's actual reason for masturbating all positively predicted an individual's relationship satisfaction. Partner's actual openness about masturbatory behaviors moderated the association between accuracy of partner perception of openness about masturbation and both relationship and sexual satisfaction. When partners were more open about masturbation, accuracy was a stronger positive predictor of relationship and sexual satisfaction than when partners were less open about masturbation. Results, limitations, areas for future research, and clinical implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862839/
Aging Texas Well: An Assessment of Denton's Aging-Friendliness
The purpose of this research was to conduct a needs assessment for the city of Denton, Texas to learn how residents view Denton's aging-friendliness. The research design was based on the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services' Aging Texas Well Toolkit and was funded by a two year grant from that agency. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to gather data on six community indicators: demographics, housing, transportation, health care (including mental health and substance abuse services), recreation, and community supports and services. Input from city residents was gathered through focus groups, followed by a survey of the broader community in the city to validate and prioritize the needs identified. The research found gaps in Denton's aging-friendliness. Denton residents feel that although there are some services for the aging in the area, other services are lacking. The top needs identified by residents were a single point of contact for, and better communication about, resources currently available, as well as a need for increased transportation options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862805/
An Analysis of the Economic and Institutional Factors Affecting Recovery by Local Governments from Huricanes
This dissertation examines the impact of major hurricanes on changes in GDP for counties in four states – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The analysis examines the effectiveness of intergovernmental financing for major hurricanes between 2000 and 2014. It also examines whether institutional proximity of the disaster management function to the Governor's Office and the career status of the director affect the speed of recovery from the disaster. The analysis also assesses the impact that a counties's prior experience at dealing with disasters has on the speed of recovery. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862865/
Analysis of Trace Amounts of Adulterants Found in Powders/Supplements Utilizing Direct Inject, Nanomanipulation, and Mass Spectrometry
The regulations of many food products in the United States have been made and followed very well but unfortunately some products are not put under such rigorous standards as others. This leads to products being sold, that are thought to be healthy, but in reality contain unknown ingredients that may be hazardous to the consumers. With the use of several instrumentations and techniques the detection, characterization and identification of these unknown contaminates can be determined. Both the AZ-100 and the TE2000 inverted microscope were used for visual characterizations, image collection and to help guide the extraction. Direct analyte-probed nanoextraction (DAPNe) technique and nanospray ionization mass spectrometry (NSI-MS) was the technique used for examination and identification of all adulterants. A Raman imaging technique was than introduced and has proven to be a rapid, non-destructive and distinctive way to localize a specific adulterant. By compiling these techniques then applying them to the FDA supplied test samples three major adulterants were detected and identified. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862761/
Applied Real-Time Integrated Distributed Control Systems: An Industrial Overview and an Implemented Laboratory Case Study
This thesis dissertation mainly compares and investigates laboratory study of different implementation methodologies of applied control systems and how they can be adopted in industrial, as well as commercial, automation applications. Namely the research paper aims to assess or evaluate eventual feedback control loops' performance and robustness over multiple conventional or state-of-the-art technologies in the field of applied industrial automation and instrumentation by implementing a laboratory case study setup: the ball on beam system. Hence, the paper tries to close the gap between industry and academia by: first, conducting a historical study and background information of main evolutional and technological eras in the field of industrial process control automation and instrumentation. Then, some related basic theoretical as well as practical concepts are reviewed in Chapter 2 of the report before displaying the detailed design. After that, the next Chapter, analyses the ball on beam control system problem as the case studied in the context of this research through reviewing previous literature, modeling and simulation. The following Chapter details the proposed design and implementation of the ball on beam case study as if it is under the introduced distributed industrial automation architecture. Finally, Chapter 5 concludes this work by listing several points leaned, remarks, and observations, and stating possible development and the future vision of this research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862854/
Art Education Policy: Interpretation and the Negotiation of Praxis
This collective case study explores the confluence of educational policy and professional praxis by examining the ways art teachers in one public school district make decisions about creating and implementing curricula. Through various interpretations of one district's formal and informal expectations of art teachers, some of the complexities of standards, instruction, and assessment policies in public schools are described. The research shares how art teachers are influenced by local policy expectations by examining how five K-12 art teacher participants negotiate their ideological beliefs and practical knowledge within the professional context of their local setting, and presents an art teacher decision-making framework to conceptualize the influences for praxis and to organize analysis. Case study data include in-depth interview sessions, teaching observations, and district policy artifacts. Themes emerge in the findings through coding processes and constructivist grounded theory analysis methods. The research describes how participants interpret and negotiate expectations, finding curricular freedom and participation in public exhibition as central policy factors. Contributing the perspectives of art teachers to the literature of policy implementation and fine arts education, the study finds that balancing autonomy and mandates are primary sites for negotiating praxis and that informal expectations for student exhibition contribute to a culture of competition and teacher performance evaluations. The study presents implications for policy makers, administrators, and art educators while sharing possibilities for future research about policy expectations. The research describes how participants interpret and negotiate expectations, finding curricular freedom and participation in public exhibition as central policy factors. Contributing the perspectives of art teachers to the literature of policy implementation and fine arts education, the study finds that balancing autonomy and mandates are primary sites for negotiating praxis and that informal expectations for student exhibition contribute to a culture of competition and teacher performance evaluations. The study presents implications for policy makers, administrators, and art educators while sharing possibilities for future research about policy expectations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862769/
Associations Between Witnessing the Abuse of a Sibling in Childhood and Experiencing Trauma Related Symptoms in Adulthood
Currently sibling research is burgeoning, yet there is virtually no literature regarding outcomes associated with witnessing the abuse of a sibling. The present study aimed to address this gap in the literature. A sample of 284 university students were surveyed regarding traumatic experiences in childhood and adulthood, the quality of childhood sibling relationships, and the experience of trauma symptoms in adulthood. Regression and moderation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between witnessing the abuse of a sibling in childhood and trauma symptoms in adulthood and to assess whether sibling relationship quality moderates the association between sibling abuse and trauma symptomology. Results showed that witnessing the abuse of a sibling was associated with depression symptoms in the overall sample and for females reporting about a brother. Also, sibling conflict moderated the relationship between witnessed sibling abuse and externalization in sister-sister dyads. These associations should be considered in terms of the systemic abuse to which participants were exposed. Implications for clinical practice working with sibling-related victimization are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862793/
Attachment Insecurity, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Mindfulness Deficits in Personality Pathology
A growing body of research has documented associations between personality disorders (PDs) and attachment disturbance, and yet, attachment disturbance does not necessarily guarantee the development of PD pathology. Thus, understanding the mechanisms mediating the relationship between attachment disturbance and PD pathology remains an open area of research. One area with sound theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that attachment disturbances are associated with emotion regulation difficulties, as well as maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behavior. However, the research conducted thus far has predominately focused on borderline personality disorder, at the exclusion of other PD domains, and also has not broadened the scope of research to include other relevant psychological processes that may clarify how personality pathology and attachment disturbance are interrelated. Using a large independent sample of college (n = 946) and community-based individuals (n = 271), the current study aimed to (1) examine how the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) PD trait domains would be differentially associated with maladaptive attachment processes and emotion regulation problems, and (2) explore whether deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation mediated the relationship between disturbed attachment and PD trait domains. Findings suggested that the PID-5 PD trait domains have general and specific relations to attachment insecurity, impairments in emotion regulation, and decreased mindfulness. Overall, the current study suggests that improving emotion regulation skills and increasing dispositional mindfulness may limit the expression of pathological personality traits. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862767/
"Black Reparations Film Project: Descendants of Slavery and Institutional Racism"
Black Reparations Film Project: Descendants of Slavery and Institutional Racism is a character driven film that sheds light on the consequences of slavery in the U.S. Through a personal narrative, the viewer comes to understand how these consequences support the argument for slavery reparations. The purpose of the film is to bridge the generational gap in awareness of reparation history. The film can be used to enlighten young Americans of all ethnicities to encourage them to find their purpose in this country, help build better race relations, and work towards building a true democracy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862812/
Las Cantigas de Santa Maria: Thirteenth-Century Popular Culture and Acts of Subversion
Across medieval Europe, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain traced a lattice web of popular culture. From the lowest peasant to the greatest king and churchmen, the devout walked pathways that created an economy and contributed to a social and political climate of change. Central to this impulse of piety and wanderlust was the veneration of the Virgin Mary. She was, however, not the iconic Mother of the New Testament whose character, actions, and very name are nearly absent from that first-century compilation of texts. As characterized in the words of popular songs and tales, the mariales, she was a robust saint who performed acts of healing that exceeded those miracles of Jesus described in the Bible. Unafraid and authoritative, she confronted demons and provided judgement that reached beyond the understanding and mercy of medieval codes of law. Holding out the promise of protection from physical and spiritual harm, she attracted denizens of admirers who included poets, minstrels, and troubadours like Nigel of Canterbury, John of Garland, Gonzalo de Berceo, and Gautier de Coinci. They popularized her cult across Europe; pilgrims sang their songs and celebrated the new attributes of Mary. This dissertation uses the greatest collection of these songs, Las Cantigas de Santa Maria compiled in the thirteenth century under the direction of Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon, to construct the history of a lay piety movement deeply rooted in medieval popular culture. Making the transition from institutionalized, doctrinal saint to popular heroine, Mary becomes a subversive conduit through which culture moved from Latin poetry to vernacular verse and from the monasteries of scholasticism to the popular pathway of Wycliffite reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862766/
Child Parent Relationship Therapy: A Program Evaluation
For the past 40 years, one southwestern US university counseling program has sponsored two mental health training clinics in which master's and doctoral level students have learned to provide child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) services to community parents. In their training, students learn about the positive effects of CPRT, particularly on parental stress. To date, however, no program evaluation has been conducted at these clinics focusing specifically on parental stress outcomes after the completion of CPRT or to determine the demographics and characteristics of parents who pursue CPRT. The purpose of this study was to conduct such an evaluation of archival data spanning 7 years. Participants were 129 parents (70% female, 30% male; 80% Caucasian, 35% Hispanic/ Latino, 6% African American, and 4% Asian; 62% married, 9% separated, 16% divorced). Results from a t-test indicated a statistically significant decrease in self-reported parental stress, with a moderate effect size. Multiple regression revealed that women and those who attended with a co-parent reported greater stress reduction. This study confirmed the benefit of CPRT, provided by counselors-in-training, on reducing parental stress and indicated clientele for which and conditions in which those benefits might be optimized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862821/
Clenching the Fists of Dissent: Political Unrest, Repression, and the Evolution to Civil War
Previous scholarship has long concentrated on the behaviors of belligerents during regime-dissident interactions. While much of the progress in the literature concentrated on the micro-level processes of this relationship, little research has focused on providing a theoretical reasoning on why belligerents choose to act in a particular manner. This project attempts to open the black box of decision making for regimes and dissidents during regime-dissident interactions in order to provide a theoretical justification for the behaviors of the belligerents involved. Moreover, this project argues that there is a relationship between the lower level events of political violence and civil war as the events at earlier stages of the conflict influence the possible outcome of civil conflict. Regimes and dissidents alike are strategic actors who conduct themselves in a manner to ensure their survival while concurrently attempting to succeed at achieving their respective goals. Although all authoritarian regimes are similar in their differences to democracies, there are significant differences between the regimes, which influence the decision making of the regime leader to ensure the survival of the political institution. In addition to influencing the decision calculus of the regimes, the behavior of the regimes impacts the probability of civil war at later stages of the interaction. Conversely, dissidents also perform as strategic actors in an attempt to gain their preferred concessions and outcomes. Although their comprehension of the coercive capacity of a regime is limited, their knowledge of the repressive capacity of the regime provides them with the understanding of their future fate if they escalate to violence against the regime. This project is conducted using two theories on regime and dissident actions and responses, two large-N empirical analyses of regime and dissident behaviors during nonviolent and violent dissident campaigns from 1945-2006, and two historical case studies of Egypt and Syria during the Arab Spring as well as the period preceding the uprising. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862817/
Coaching Efficacy Beliefs and Transformational Leadership Behaviors: Their Ability to Predict Motivational Climate
This study investigated the relationship between belief in coaching abilities (coaching efficacy beliefs, CEB), transformational leadership behaviors (TLB), and motivational climate development of current strength and conditioning coaches working with high school level athletes. The measures used were the coaching efficacy scale for high school teams (CES II-HST, Myers et al.,2000), the differentiated transformational leadership inventory (DTLI, Callow et al., 2009), and the patterns of adaptive learning scales (PALS, Midgley et al., 2000). It was hypothesized that CEB and TLB would influence motivational climate development, while coaches' background characteristics would correlate with CEB, TLB, and motivational climate development. The 60 coaches who participated reported an average of thirteen (SD=8) years of experience and 51 were Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Coaches reported high efficacy, frequent use of TLB, and development of a moderately high task- and somewhat ego-involving motivational climate. Correlations between demographic variables and CEB, TLB, and motivational climate development revealed three significant relationships: years of experience with CEB, and professional development activities and athlete to coach ratio with ego-involving climate development. CEB and TLB had a strong positive correlation. Two regression analyses were conducted to determine if the outcomes of the CEB and TLB measures predicted motivational climate development. The only significant predictor was TLB positively predicting development of a task-involving motivational climate. Strength coaches can utilize the findings of this study help shape their leadership behaviors and develop a task-involving motivational climate that emphasizes effort, improvement, and cooperative learning and is optimal for athlete development and performance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862726/
A Comparative Analysis of Haydn's Horn Concerto and Trumpet Concerto
Among the existing solo instrumental concertos of Joseph Haydn's oeuvre are two concertos for brass instruments. These are the Horn Concerto in D Major (Hob. VIId: 3) and Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major (Hob. VIIe: 1). In addition to their standing as the only two concertos for solo brass instruments written by Haydn in existence, the two concertos provide a unique opportunity for insight into the history of the concerto genre and Haydn's change in compositional style. This is because of their chronological position within Haydn's oeuvre; the Horn Concerto was composed in 1762 during the early years of Haydn's employment with the Esterházy family and the Trumpet Concerto in 1796 as the last known concerto written by Haydn. Significant changes had occurred during that thirty four year time-span, not only in Haydn's life, but also within the field of music. This dissertation examines some of these changes and provides a comparative analysis of these two pieces. More specifically, it employs Schenkerian analysis of the voice-leading and structure of both concertos to examine the transformation in Haydn's compositional style and show the evolution of concerto form. This evolution in style between the Horn Concerto and Trumpet Concerto is most prominently marked by a loosening of compositional constraints, including freer formal procedures, instrumentation, harmonic structures, and an increase in chromaticism (aided by the new chromatic abilities of the trumpet). This document provides an in-depth comparative analysis within an often overlooked genre of music and gives insight into changes in Haydn's compositional style and the concerto genre. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862771/
A Comparison of Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Memory Specificity Training (MeST) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
The effectiveness of memory specificity training (MeST) was compared with standard cognitive processing therapy (CPT) in treatment of individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder. Eighteen adults aged 18-36 were randomly assigned to the MeST intervention (n = 9) or to the active control group (n = 9) of CPT. Both treatments were administered in group format across 6 weeks. MeST consisted of 6 weekly sessions, while CPT consisted of 12 biweekly sessions. The trial was undertaken in the Psychology Clinic of the University of North Texas, with randomization to conditions accomplished via computer random number generator. The primary outcome measure was change in PTSD symptoms post-treatment from baseline. Sixteen individuals (13 women and 3 men; MeST n = 8 and CPT n = 8) completed treatment and their data was analyzed. MeST significantly decreased PTSD symptomology at post-treatment and these results were maintained at 3 months post-treatment. MeST was found to be as effective as the established CPT intervention at reducing PTSD symptomology. Both MeST and CPT significantly increased participants' ability to specify memories upon retrieval at post-treatment, with results maintained at follow-up. There were no significant effects of MeST or CPT in ability to increase overall controlled cognitive processing at post-treatment or follow-up. No individual in either group reported any adverse effects during treatment or at 3 months follow-up. MeST appears to hold promise as an efficacious treatment option for PTSD. MeST was as effective as CPT in reducing symptoms of PTSD, but required only half the number of treatment sessions to accomplish these gains. Replication of these findings in larger samples is encouraged. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862863/
Composing Symbolism's Musicality of Language in fin-de-siècle France
In this dissertation, I explore the musical prosody of the literary symbolists and the influence of this prosody on fin-de-siècle French music. Contrary to previous categorizations of music as symbolist based on a characteristic "sound," I argue that symbolist aesthetics demonstrably influenced musical construction and reception. My scholarship reveals that symbolist musical works across genres share an approach to composition rooted in the symbolist concept of musicality of language, a concept that shapes this music on sonic, structural, and conceptual levels. I investigate the musical responses of four different composers to a single symbolist text, Oscar Wilde's one-act play Salomé, written in French in 1891, as case studies in order to elucidate how a symbolist musicality of language informed their creation, performance, and critical reception. The musical works evaluated as case studies are Antoine Mariotte's Salomé, Richard Strauss's Salomé, Aleksandr Glazunov's Introduction et La Danse de Salomée, and Florent Schmitt's La Tragédie de Salomé. Recognition of symbolist influence on composition, and, in the case of works for the stage, on production and performance expands the repertory of music we can view critically through the lens of symbolism, developing not only our understanding of music's role in this difficult and often contradictory aesthetic philosophy but also our perception of fin-de-siècle musical culture in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862749/
Conceptual Framework for the Development of an Air Quality Monitoring Station in Denton, Texas
Denton, Texas consistently reaches ozone nonattainment levels. This has led to a large focus of air pollution monitoring efforts in the region, with long-range transport being explored as a key contributor. For this study, the University of North Texas Discovery Park campus was chosen as a prospective location for an extensive air quality monitoring station. Sixteen years of ozone and meteorological data for five state-run monitoring sites within a 25 mile radius, including the nearest Denton Airport site, was gathered from TCEQ online database for the month of April for the years 2000 to 2015. The data was analyzed to show a historical, regional perspective of ozone near the proposed site. The maximum ozone concentration measured at the Denton Airport location over the 16 year period was measured at 96 ppb in 2001. Experimental ozone and meteorological measurements were collected at the Discovery Park location from March 26 to April 3 and April 8 to April, 2016 and compared to the Denton Airport monitoring site. A time lag in ozone trends and an increase in peak ozone concentrations at the proposed location were observed at the proposed site in comparison to the Denton Airport site. Historical and experimental meteorological data agreed in indicating that southern winds that rarely exceed 20 miles per hour are the predominant wind pattern. Back trajectories, wind roses, pollution roses, and bivariate plots created for peak ozone days during experimental periods support long range transport as a considerable cause of high ozone levels in Denton. Furthermore, a study of the precursor characteristics at the Denton Airport site indicated the site was being affected by a local source of nitrogen dioxide that was not affecting the proposed location. The differences in the Denton Airport site and the proposed site indicate that further monitoring at Discovery Park would be insightful. An outline of an expansive mobile monitoring station and suggestions for effective utilization are provided to guide future studies in Denton and the surrounding North Texas region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862861/
A Conductor's Guide to Un-Yung La's Choral Music as Reflected in Easter Cantata
Un-Yung La was one of the first Korean composers of Western style choral music who used Korean folk elements in his composers. According to Un-Yung La's musical theory, which he demonstrated in Easter Cantata. Korean-style melody and rhythm were created based on Korean traditional scales and he also used Western-style harmonization. He attempted a new Korean style of expression through Sikimsae technique in Korean traditional vocal music genres: Pansori and Sijo. The purpose of this paepr is to discuss traditional Korean performance elements related to melody, harmony, and rhythm as employed in La's Easter Cantata. The study will increase the knowledge of western conductors who wish to understand Korean folk music in preparation for performance of choral works such as La's Easter Cantata. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862841/
Confronting the Enemy Within: An In-Depth Study on Psychological Self-Handicapping among Collegiate Musicians
Self-handicapping is a psychological behavior people engage in to protect their self-image, project a desired image to others, and to augment feelings of success and achievement. Self-handicapping occurs when individuals have a positive but uncertain self-image about their competence in an arena of life fundamental to their self-identity. Musicians have been underrepresented in self-handicapping studies; yet the very competitive nature of their education and craft, the strong identification musicians have as musicians, and the frequent challenges during all phases of development to their abilities would suggest they are extremely vulnerable to developing self-handicaps. This dissertation discusses the theoretical components of self-handicapping, the personality traits typically exhibited by high self-handicappers, causes, types, and possible motivations for self-handicapping, short and long term effects of the behavior, and the implications these concepts have to the musician community. In addition, it contains the results of an extensive survey of musicians which examines self-handicapping tendencies, depression, imposter phenomenon, and self-esteem ratings to determine 1) if musicians self-handicap, 2) how the four constructs are related to each other within the musician population, 3) if other factors concerning musicians and self-handicapping are related, 4) areas for future research. Several significant relationships involving the four constructs tested, as well as a significant difference between the self-handicapping behaviors of professional and amateur players were found. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862784/
Constructional Fear Treatment for Dogs in Shelters
Of the approximately 3.9 million dogs that enter US animal shelters each year, many exhibit behaviors related to fear, which can affect their likelihood of adoption. Current dog training procedures to treat fear include counterconditioning and desensitization, which can often take months or years to show any behavior change and do not teach specific behaviors aimed to increase the dog's chance of being adopted. The current study used a negative reinforcement shaping procedure to teach fearful dogs to approach and and interact with people. The results showed that constructional fear treatment increased the amount of time the dog spent at the front of the kennel, and increased sniffing, tail wagging, and accepting petting for all 3 participants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862823/
Context Matters: How Feminist Movements Magnify Feminist Opinion of Progressive Policies in South America
What explains the inconsistency of female empowerment in South America, despite high levels of institutional inclusion? Generally, the social sciences tend to lean on the tenets of liberal feminism in order to measure the development of gender-inclusive policy changes; however, their findings indicate that higher levels of institutional inclusion does not necessarily translate into the empowerment of women as a group. Further, within political science, there is little research addressing the relationship between feminist movements and the feminist opinion of individuals within a state. I argue that strong feminist social movements provide a context in which feminist opinion is magnified, and where individuals will be more likely to support progressive policy changes. Using questions from the World Values Survey, I operationalize progressive policies as the Justifiability of Abortion. My primary independent variables are the presence feminist movements and the presence of feminist opinion, which is measured by support for female sexual freedom. After using a multilevel mixed-effects linear regression, I find support for my hypotheses, indicating that feminist opinion is magnified by the presence of feminist movements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862742/
Contextualizing History Curriculum: A Qualitative Case Study in Balochistan Pakistan
The purpose of the study was to evaluate Pakistan's national history curriculum in the post 18th constitutional amendment scenario. The amendment bequeathed the responsibility of education, including curriculum development, to the provinces. This study sought input from educators on ways the national curriculum currently addresses local needs and requirements as well as considerations for any potential changes or improvements. Traditionally, history curriculum has been used mainly for social identity formation and ideological indoctrination; current scholarship on history education has now also included national identity formation. Additionally, scholarship has begun to analyze possible purposes behind social identity formation, whether used negatively or positively. This study, which took place in Balochistan, Pakistan, used a qualitative case study approach. A provincial level conference was convened as a context and data source that involved 28 educators including teachers, teacher educators, curriculum experts, and policy actors as participants in the study. The texts of five representative educators engaged in the conference dialogue was selected for analysis. Discourse analysis was the methodology used to arrive at findings of the study. The study yielded several interesting findings that give insight about the national history curriculum of Pakistan and future curriculum practices of the Balochistan province. According to the selected educators, the national history curriculum of Pakistan has been unidimensional, based on Islamic ideology that embraces a religious national identity. The selected educators argued that the curriculum is unwelcoming to diversity, does not promote peace and equity, conceals truth, and hinders critical thinking. They found the national history curriculum non-representative of the local context of Balochistan province. In light of these findings, the selected educators proposed a history curriculum for Balochistan province that promotes peace, tolerance, equity, and respect for diversity, truth, and critical thinking. The participating educators saw a provincial/local focus as addressing many limitations of the national curriculum that are also addressed by curriculum literature, although not necessarily from this perspective. The study contributes to curriculum theory in general and curriculum evaluation in particular. The study finds its place in the larger debates on how history education influences individual and group identities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862770/
Costs and Benefits of Mind Wandering in a Technological Setting: Findings and Implications
The central purpose of this dissertation is to develop and test a theoretical model of mind wandering in a technological setting by integrating the emerging work and theory on mind wandering—a shift of attention from the primary task to the processing of internal goals. This dissertation is intended to advance our understanding on the costs and benefits of mind wandering in information systems (IS) research and in turn, contribute to the literature of cognitive IS research. Understanding the consequences of mind wandering in a technological setting is imperative because mind wandering plays a vital role in influencing various outcomes associated with technology use and/or technology learning, such as technology anxiety, software self-efficacy, and task performance. This dissertation is composed of three essays which examine the determinants and consequences of mind wandering and focus of attention on a number of emotional and cognitive outcomes. A multi-method approach (i.e., online survey and laboratory experiment) across three essays is used to test the research models. Essay 1 focuses on developing the measurement items and estimating the impact of mind wandering on users' emotional outcomes (i.e., technology anxiety and users' satisfaction). Drawing upon the content regulation hypothesis of mind wandering, the content of thoughts are differentiated into two categories—technology-related thought (herein IT) and non-technology related thought (herein non-IT). The results show that whereas mind wandering (non-IT) is a major determinant of technology anxiety, focus of attention (IT) is the main predictor of users' satisfaction. Essay 2 focuses on the effect of mind wandering and focus of attention in the IS learning context. The study begins by exploring the hypotheses concerning the roles of executive functions (i.e., inhibition, switching, and working memory) and task complexity in influencing the occurrence of mind wandering and focus of attention, and in turn, cognitive outcomes (i.e., software self-efficacy and learning performance). Essay 2 integrates the use of psychological testing to measure executive functions and self-report to measure mind wandering and focus of attention. The interaction effects between mind wandering and focus of attention are also tested. The findings reveal that the costs and benefits of mind wandering in IS learning depend, in part, upon its content, whether it's technology-related or non-technology-related. Specifically, the results suggest that the congruence between the content of mind wandering experience and focus of attention determines the outcomes of such experience. Essay 3 examines the extent to which individuals' focus of attention and mind wandering influence IS decision making performance at different levels of task complexity. The research model is tested using a laboratory experiment in the context of B2C e-commerce. Drawing upon unconscious thought theory and executive control theory of mind wandering, the results show that under a low task complexity condition, focus of attention and mind wandering do not have any significant effects on performance accuracy. Under a medium task complexity condition, focus of attention leads to higher performance accuracy, but mind wandering does not have a significant effect on performance accuracy. However, under high task complexity, both focus of attention and mind wandering lead to higher performance accuracy. Mind wandering also negatively influences performance efficiency under all levels of IS task complexity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862836/
Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design
This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862829/
Cytochrome P450 Gene Expression Modulates Anoxia Sensitivity in Caenorhabditis Elegans
With an increasing population suffering from obesity or Diabetes Mellitus (DM), it is more pertinent than ever to understand how physiological changes impact cellular processes. Patients with DM often suffer from obesity, hyperglycemia, altered fatty acids that contribute to vascular dysfunction, and increased risk to ischemia. Caenorhabditis elegans is a model system used to study the conserved insulin signaling pathway, cellular responses in whole organisms and the impact a glucose diet has on oxygen deprivation (anoxia) responses. RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) was used to analyze the expression of genes in the anoxia sensitive populations of N2 (wild-type) fed glucose and hyl-2(tm2031), a mutant with altered ceramide metabolism. Comparison of the altered transcripts in the anoxia sensitive populations revealed 199 common transcripts- 192 upregulated and 7 downregulated. One of the gene families that have altered expression in the anoxia sensitive populations encode for Cytochrome P450 (CYP). CYPs are located both in the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but the CYPs of interest are all predicted to be mainly subcellularly localized to the ER. Here, I determined that knock-down of specific cyp genes, using RNA interference (RNAi), increased anoxia survival in N2 animals fed a standard diet. Anoxia sensitivity of the hyl-2(tm2031) animals was supressed by RNAi of cyp-25A1 or cyp-33C8 genes. These studies provide evidence that the CYP detoxification system impacts oxygen deprivation responses. using hsp-4::GFP animals, a transcriptional reporter for ER unfolded protein response (UPR), I further investigated the impact of cyp knock-down, glucose, and anoxia on ER UPR due to the prediction of CYP-33C8 localization to the ER. Glucose significantly increased ER UPR and cyp knock-down non-significantly increased ER UPR. Measurements of ER UPR due to anoxia were made difficult, but representative images show an increase in ER stress post 9-hour anoxia exposure. This study provides evidence that glucose affects ER stress and that ER stress is involved in oxygen deprivation responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862757/
The Design and Implementation of an Effective Vision-Based Leader-Follower Tracking Algorithm Using PI Camera
The thesis implements a vision-based leader-follower tracking algorithm on a ground robot system. One camera is the only sensor installed the leader-follower system and is mounted on the follower. One sphere is the only feature installed on the leader. The camera identifies the sphere in the openCV Library and calculates the relative position between the follower and leader using the area and position of the sphere in the camera frame. A P controller for the follower and a P controller for the camera heading are built. The vision-based leader-follower tracking algorithm is verified according to the simulation and implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862851/
Design of Informal Online Learning Communities in Education
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Ed Tech Future Ready program has encouraged the use of open informal learning communities as professional learning opportunities for educators. This study categorizes 46 state Twitter chats by their moderation techniques and design. A purposive sample of Twitter chat designers participated in this phenomenological exploration that demonstrates how the designs of these informal learning spaces are aligned with the designers' pedagogical philosophies. Recommendations for supporting, growing, and sustaining similar learning communities are included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862820/
Development of a Self-Report Measure of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) According to the Eleventh Edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11): The Complex Trauma Inventory
The work group editing trauma disorders for the upcoming edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) made several changes. Specifically, they significantly simplified the guidelines for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and added a new trauma disorder called complex PTSD (CPTSD). The new domains for PTSD and the addition of CPTSD require new instruments to assess these novel constructs. We developed a measure of PTSD and CPTSD (Complex Trauma Inventory; CTI) according to the proposed ICD-11 domains, creating several items to assess each domain. We examined the factor structure of the CTI (using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses) in two separate samples of diverse college students (n1 = 501; n2 = 500), reducing the original 53 trauma items in the item pool to 21 items. Confirmatory factor analyses supported two highly-correlated second-order factors (PTSD and complex factors), with PTSD (i.e., re-experiencing, avoidance, hyper-arousal) and complex factors (i.e., affect dysregulation, alterations in self-perception and alterations in relationships with others) each loading on three of the six ICD-11-consistent first-order factors (RMSEA = .08, CFI = .92, GFI = .87, SRMR = .06). Internal consistency for PTSD (α = .92) and complex factors (α = .93) are excellent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862735/
Direct Atomic Level Controlled Growth and Characterization of h-BN and Graphene Heterostructures on Magnetic Substrates for Spintronic Applications
Epitaxial multilayer h-BN(0001) heterostructures and graphene/h-BN heterostructures have many potential applications in spintronics. The use of h-BN and graphene require atomically precise control and azimuthal alignment of the individual layers in the structure. These in turn require fabrication of devices by direct scalable methods rather than physical transfer of BN and graphene flakes, and such scalable methods are also critical for industrially compatible development of 2D devices. The growth of h-BN(0001) multilayers on Co and Ni, and graphene/h-BN(0001) heterostructures on Co have been studied which meet these criteria. Atomic Layer Epitaxy (ALE) of BN was carried out resulting in the formation of macroscopically continuous h-BN(0001) multilayers using BCl3 and NH3 as precursors. X-ray photoemission spectra (XPS) show that the films are stoichiometric with an average film thickness linearly proportional to the number of BCl3/NH3 cycles. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of C yielded few layer graphene in azimuthal registry with BN/Co(0001) substrate. Low energy electron diffraction (LEED) measurements indicate azimuthally oriented growth of both BN and graphene layers in registry with the substrate lattice. Photoemission data indicate B:N atomic ratios of 1:1. Direct growth temperatures of 600 K for BN and 800 to 900 K for graphene MBE indicate multiple integration schemes for applications in spintronics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862803/
District Support: Strategies for Building Capacity in Elementary Principals in a Rapid Growth District
The purpose of this descriptive case study was to examine the role of the central office staff and the strategies used to support capacity building in elementary principals in a rapid growth district. By synthesizing research and models from education reform scholars, the conceptual framework of professional capital, intrinsic motivation, the educational change process, and professional learning communities was generated to advance the understanding of utilizing PLCs as a foundation for central office to initiate and sustain continuous improvement in a rapid growth district. The Professional Learning Community Assessment - District Support developed by Olivier, Huffman, and Cowan was administered to 126 participants within the curriculum and instruction department and three elementary schools to collect data to analyze the five dimensions of PLCs within the school district. Eleven interviews were conducted with members of the curriculum and instruction department and elementary principals. According to the eleven interviewees, and PLCA-DS, six themes emerged to support the role of capacity building in elementary principals using the PLC model as a framework. The PLC infrastructure, supportive central office, collaborative culture, continuous improvement, differentiated opportunities to learn, and data use were the six themes generated by the participants to support continuous improvement in elementary principals. Each of the five PLC dimensions were visible throughout the themes as the findings illustrated six key practices currently in motion within the rapid growth school district used to build capacity in elementary principals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862745/
Does Downhill Running Alter Monocyte Susceptibility to Apoptosis?
Introduction/purpose: Recovery from muscle damage involves a type of programmed cell death known as apoptosis. Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs) are released after muscle damage and may cause premature apoptosis in monocytes infiltrating the damaged site. This may alter the time course of events towards recovery. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate if downhill running causes a change in the susceptibility of monocytes to apoptosis. Methods: Participants (5 male, 6 female) completed a downhill running protocol consisting of 6-5 minute bouts at a speed of 6-9mph on a -15% grade treadmill. Venous blood samples were collected immediately pre-exercise (PRE), in addition to 4 -h, 24 -h and 48 -h post-exercise. Creatine kinase (CK) was measured to give an indication of muscle damage. Monocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry for expression of multicaspase and annexin v reagent was used to detect changes in the plasma membrane. A MILLIPLEX MAP human early apoptosis magnetic bead 7-plex kit (EMD Millipore, Billerica, MA) was used to assess the relative concentration of phosphorylated protein kinase B (Akt), Bcl-2 associated death promoter (BAD), B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), active caspase-8, active caspase-9, c jun N terminal kinase (JNK) and tumor protein p53 by Luminex multiplex assay. Results: CK peaked at 24- h. Monocytes showed greater expression of multicaspase at 24 –h and 48 -h than at PRE. Bcl-2, p53 and caspase-8 were all significantly greater at 24 –h than at PRE. Conclusion: Downhill running did alter the apoptotic response of monocytes and therefore may be important in the recovery process from muscle damage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862759/
Effective Public Service Collaboration: The Role of Leadership and Nonprofit Organizations in Homeless Services
This dissertation investigates factors that facilitate effective collaboration of networks functioning within the context of a federal homeless policy—the HEARTH Act of 2009. While the federal legislation encourages networked collaboration to address the incidence of homelessness, not all networks are effective in achieving their intended purpose. Using a nationwide sample of homeless networks, this research explores the role that nonprofit organizations play in the collaborative process and models the effect of individual leadership, nonprofit-led network, and community nonprofit capacity on two levels of network effectiveness—network and community—using multivariate regression modeling. Results indicate that nonprofits play a significant role as participants of the collaboration process and as leading agents of homeless networks. In addition, the variation in network effectiveness is explained by multidimensional factors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862722/
The Effects of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for Adoptive Families
Adoptive parents often struggle to understand and meet the social-emotional behavioral needs of their adopted child, particularly when the child's pre-adoption experience lacked a secure relationship with an attuned and responsive caregiver. This randomized controlled study, a replication of Carnes-Holt and Bratton's 2014 research, investigated the effects of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) for adoptive families who reported attached-related concerns such as difficulties establishing a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship as well as concerns about the adopted child's behavior and parental stress. Participants were 49 adoptive parents (61% female; 7% couples; 86% European American, 6% Latino, 6% Asian, and 2% Black American) with adoptees between the ages of 2.5 to 9 (50% female; 35% European American, 22% Asian, 12% Latino, 10% Black American, and 21% Biracial or other). Eighty-four percent of children were adopted internationally or from the foster care system. Parents were randomly assigned to CPRT or treatment as usual (TAU). Results from 2 (group) by 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs indicated that compared to the TAU control group, parents who participated in CPRT reported statistically significant improvement in child behavior problems, parent-child relationship stress, and parental empathy, with a large treatment effects on all measures. Findings confirmed results from Carnes-Holt and Bratton's study and provided strong support for CPRT as a responsive intervention for adoptive parents and their children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862867/
The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills
This study examined the effects of fluency-based instruction on the identification of six component-composite relations for early reading skills. Five participants (ages 5-8) who struggled with reading participated. A multiple probe design was used to assess the effects of frequency building on prerequisite skills on the emergence of composite reading skills. The results show that the prerequisite skills taught did not have an effect on the composite skill probes but did have an effect on the assessment scores. The data expand the research pertaining to Precision Teaching, fluency-based instruction, and component-composite relations. These data suggest that additional skills may be needed to be taught in order to effects on the composite skills. In addition, these authors identify the need for the identification of the component skills necessary to teach rapid autonomic naming. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862832/
The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism
Several evidence-based procedures based upon operant learning principles have been developed to teach language, and for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), naturalistic interventions are commonly implemented as they are both effective and developmentally appropriate. The current investigation compared contingent responsive intervention and combined intervention on the effects of language use in four children diagnosed with ASD. Results suggest that a combined intervention procedure increases target language and requests in children with simplified language (e.g., one-word phrase) as well as complex language (e.g., simple sentences). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862728/
The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame
Disordered eating is a general term that describes a wide range of behaviors from diagnosable eating disorders to subclinical patterns of behavior that do not meet criteria for diagnosis (e.g., problematic weight loss behaviors, excessive dieting, bingeing, purging). Disordered eating is prevalent and has a wide range of physical and psychological consequences. Negative self-conscious emotions such as shame and guilt have been implicated in the development and maintenance of disordered eating. Positive attitudes toward the self (i.e., self-forgiveness, self-compassion, self-acceptance) may be helpful in reducing shame, guilt, and disordered eating symptoms. In this dissertation, I explored the associations between positive attitudes toward the self, negative self-conscious emotions, and disordered eating in a sample of college students and adults (N = 477). Positive attitudes toward the self were associated with lower levels of disordered eating symptoms, and this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of negative self-conscious emotions. I concluded by discussing areas for future research and implications for clinical practice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862828/
Elementary Students' Critical Examination of Characters in Children's Literature Depicting Social Justice
Despite the ruling of Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, segregation in schools is still quite visible with suburban schools educating a student body of more than 70% White and urban schools comprised of mostly Black, Hispanic, and Asian students. Ideally, a school should dispel social and structural inequities through curriculum and quality resources, but fallibly, schools continue to be the vehicles to maintaining the status quo. Students who develop critical awareness and cultivate a critical literacy stance can become agents of change toward a more democratic society. In the current study, urban upper-elementary-age students were asked to engage in a critical literacy event by critically examining the power positions of characters in books that depict historical social injustice. The six female participants met in several sessions to read books and a newspaper article, use a critical reader response tool, and then engage in critical conversations about the books' characters. Their dialogue was recorded and analyzed using a critical discourse qualitative methodology. The findings show that older elementary students are capable of seeing multiple perspectives of an issue and can explain characters' power from born from privilege and fueled by fear and how a shift in power may occur through solidarity. The findings suggest school curriculum enhanced by media narrows the students' view of discrimination as being targeted mostly towards African-Americans, but those experiences through literature have the potential to expand the students' views to include other cultural groups. Subsequently, there is a need for broader teacher preparation using books that enhance students' views of social injustice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862856/
Environmental Ethics from the Periphery: José Lutzenberger and the Philosophical Analysis of an Unecological Economics
This dissertation provides a philosophical analysis about the influence colonialism had over capitalism's current configuration and how their intricate interplay impacts both the social and the ecological spheres, in both central and peripheral countries. Such analysis draws from the work of José Lutzenberger, a Brazilian environmentalist. The current capitalist economic system tends to disregard the environment, since it would be greatly affected by negative externalities. A negative externality is an economic activity that imposes a negative effect on an unrelated third party. Many negative externalities are related to the environmental consequences of production and consumption. In addition, this dissertation explores the fact that an ecological crisis is also a social crisis. A genealogical and existential thread going from Brazil's early days as one of Portugal's colonies to the present is drawn, showing how colonialism helped to create the foundations and the conditions for the current exploitative capitalist system, in Brazil and elsewhere. To change this situation, the environment should not be entrusted to private interests but to an institution responsible for the good of society as a whole. Genuinely green economies are more prone to appear on the periphery, but only if global economic justice is achieved first. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862837/
Evaluation of an Observation and Training System to Increase Play Skills in Young Children with Autism
Play is considered to be important for the development of young children in that it provides a means to expand their interests, promote engagement and learning, and increase social interactions. Children with autism, however, display deficits in play skills, such as lack of pretend play and rigid or stereotyped manners of play. Research suggests supported play techniques, such as reciprocal imitation training, play expansions, and scaffolding increase play skills in children diagnosed with autism. The current study evaluated the effects of a training package to teach staff members supported play techniques to six young children diagnosed with autism. The study employed a concurrent multiple baseline design across two preschool classrooms. The results suggest that the training package successfully increased staff member use of the supported play techniques and child and staff engagement. The training, however, did not have consistent effects on child social engagement (proximity, attending, and initiating) or on the types of child play (simple manipulation, advanced manipulation, and pretend play). Staff member responses to the post-intervention satisfaction and feedback survey were positive and the results are discussed in the context of the observation procedures and directions for future studies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862752/
Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction
Automatic text summarization and keyphrase extraction are two interesting areas of research which extend along natural language processing and information retrieval. They have recently become very popular because of their wide applicability. Devising generic techniques for these tasks is challenging due to several issues. Yet we have a good number of intelligent systems performing the tasks. As different systems are designed with different perspectives, evaluating their performances with a generic strategy is crucial. It has also become immensely important to evaluate the performances with minimal human effort. In our work, we focus on designing a relativized scale for evaluating different algorithms. This is our major contribution which challenges the traditional approach of working with an absolute scale. We consider the impact of some of the environment variables (length of the document, references, and system-generated outputs) on the performance. Instead of defining some rigid lengths, we show how to adjust to their variations. We prove a mathematically sound baseline that should work for all kinds of documents. We emphasize automatically determining the syntactic well-formedness of the structures (sentences). We also propose defining an equivalence class for each unit (e.g. word) instead of the exact string matching strategy. We show an evaluation approach that considers the weighted relatedness of multiple references to adjust to the degree of disagreements between the gold standards. We publish the proposed approach as a free tool so that other systems can use it. We have also accumulated a dataset (scientific articles) with a reference summary and keyphrases for each document. Our approach is applicable not only for evaluating single-document based tasks but also for evaluating multiple-document based tasks. We have tested our evaluation method for three intrinsic tasks (taken from DUC 2004 conference), and in all three cases, it correlates positively with ROUGE. Based on our experiments for DUC 2004 Question-Answering task, it correlates with the human decision (extrinsic task) with 36.008% of accuracy. In general, we can state that the proposed relativized scale performs as well as the popular technique (ROUGE) with flexibility for the length of the output. As part of the evaluation we have also devised a new graph-based algorithm focusing on sentiment analysis. The proposed model can extract units (e.g. words or sentences) from the original text belonging either to the positive sentiment-pole or to the negative sentiment-pole. It embeds both (positive and negative) types of sentiment-flow into a single text-graph. The text-graph is composed with words or phrases as nodes, and their relations as edges. By recursively calling two mutually exclusive relations the model builds the final rank of the nodes. Based on the final rank, it splits two segments from the article: one with highly positive sentiment and the other with highly negative sentiments. The output of this model was tested with the non-polar TextRank generated output to quantify how much of the polar summaries actually covers the fact along with sentiment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862796/
An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity
Recent estimates suggest that a large percentage of the population experiences some type of traumatic event over the course of the lifetime, but a relatively small proportion of individuals develop severe, long-lasting problems (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD). One major goal for trauma researchers is to understand what factors contribute to these differential outcomes, and much of this research has examined correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. An important next step in this line of research is the development of conceptual frameworks to foster a deeper understanding of the relationships among these diverse predictors of PTSD and their predictive power in relation to each other. A framework proposed by Rubin, Boals, and Hoyle centers on the influence of narrative centrality (construal of a traumatic experience as central to one's identity and to the life story) and negative affectivity (the tendency to experience negative emotion and to interpret situations and experiences in a negative light), suggesting many variables may correlate with PTSD symptoms via shared variance with these two factors. With a sample of 477 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, this dissertation project extended the work of Rubin and colleagues by a) utilizing structural equation modeling techniques to simultaneously examine relationships among variables, b) investigating the utility of the model with a carefully-selected list of PTSD correlates, c) extending the model by including PTSD symptom severity, and d) exploring both direct and indirect effects to assess the roles of narrative centrality and negative affectivity as they relate to known PTSD correlates and PTSD symptom severity. PTSD correlates included social support quality and quantity, peritraumatic dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions, perceived injustice, and negative religious coping. Hypotheses were partially supported, and there was some evidence that the model may be effective in distinguishing between variables more and less germane to the individual's construal of a traumatic experience. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862807/
An Exploration of College Attitudes among Sioux Falls High School Students
Since the recession of 2008, there has been an increased scrutiny of higher education, with little research done on how this affects high school students' college search process. This study seeks to understand how college perceptions are formed and how they affect the college decision process of high school students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In order to gain a holistic perspective of this process, this study utilized a mixed method approach of analyzing public data, conducting interviews with community members and students, conducting a focus group with high school guidance counselors, and administering a survey to high school students. This study found that students in this area form their perceptions of college in three distinct phases and that these phases affect a student's college priorities. Special attention was given to how academics, cost and location contributed to a student's overall college decision. These findings can be used to assist faculty and staff at higher education institutions in creating effective messaging and programming that relate to this group of students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862875/
Exploring Volunteer Management in the Public Sector: What are the Challenges in Managing Volunteers in Local Government?
To effectively provide services to citizens, local governments have had to be creative. One approach has been the creation of volunteer programs to meet demands and expanding needs. Volunteer programs hold promise for creating meaningful engagement opportunities for citizens. However, limited organizational capacity, inadequate volunteer management practices, and difficulties in maintaining volunteer retention are concerns plaguing local government volunteer programs. Volunteer programs are often structured around a set of best practices thought to be necessary for ensuring the retention of volunteers. To apply best practices across the board would suggest that local government volunteer programs are similar in organizational structure, budget size, amount of citizen engagement, accountability concerns, and that they adopt similar bureaucratic procedures. Using human relations and bureaucratic theories as theoretical frameworks, four research questions are asked and answered: 1) What are the managerial and political challenges in volunteer management and retention for local government volunteer coordinators?, 2) What challenges are local governments' volunteer coordinators facing in using volunteer management practices?, 3) What strategies are helpful in retaining volunteers in local government volunteerism?, and 4) What challenges do local government volunteer coordinators face in engaging citizens? Data collection for this qualitative study was conducted using online surveys and telephone semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest that creating meaningful work for volunteers and coordinating this work with local government managers was an important "best practices" challenge. Although local government volunteer programs also have a mission of engaging citizens, the practices actually used may directly conflict with their mission. Many volunteer management practices are supporting organizational goals rather than supporting the needs of volunteers. The study findings suggest that the best practices used by local governments are not given equal weight and "one size does not fit all." Instead, local governments must prioritize their practices carefully. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862758/
Feasibility Study of Consolidation by Direct Compaction and Friction Stir Processing of Commercially Pure Titanium Powder
Commercially pure titanium can take up to six months to successfully manufacture a six-inch in diameter ingot in which can be shipped to be melted and shaped into other useful components. The applications to the corrosion-resistant, light weight, strong metal are endless, yet so is the manufacturing processing time. At a cost of around $80 per pound of certain grades of titanium powder, the everyday consumer cannot afford to use titanium in the many ways it is beneficial simply because the number of processing steps it takes to manufacture consumes too much time, energy, and labor. In this research, the steps it takes from the raw powder form to the final part are proposed to be reduced from 4-8 steps to only 2 steps utilizing a new technology that may even improve upon the titanium properties at the same time as it is reducing the number of steps of manufacture. The two-step procedure involves selecting a cylindrical or rectangular die and punch to compress a small amount of commercially pure titanium to a strong-enough compact for transportation to the friction stir welder to be consolidated. Friction stir welding invented in 1991 in the United Kingdom uses a tool, similar to a drill bit, to approach a sample and gradually plunge into the material at a certain rotation rate of between 100 to 2,100 RPM. In the second step, the friction stir welder is used to process the titanium powder held in a tight holder to consolidate into a harder titanium form. The resulting samples are cut to expose the cross section and then grinded, polished, and cleaned to be observed and tested using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and a Vickers microhardness tester. The results were that the thicker the sample, the harder the resulting consolidated sample peaking at 2 to 3 times harder than that of the original commercially pure titanium in solid form at a peak value of 435.9 hardness and overall average of 251.13 hardness. The combined results of the SEM and EDS have shown that the mixing of the sample holder material, titanium, and tool material were not of a large amount and therefore proves the feasibility of this study. This study should be continued to lessen the labor, energy, and cost of the production of titanium to therefore allow titanium to be improved upon and be more efficient for many applications across many industries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862720/
Feigning ADHD: Effectiveness of Selected Assessment Tools in Distinguishing Genuine from Simulated ADHD
Research indicates that some college students may be strongly motivated to feign AHDD symptoms for desired external incentives, such as stimulant medication or academic accommodations. To date, literature examining feigned ADHD has been primarily focused on ADHD specific self-report measures (e.g., CAARS) and continuous performance tests (e.g., CPTs); however, little attention has been devoted to the use of multi-scale inventories in detecting feigned ADHD. For CPT measures, virtually no literature exists on the effectiveness of the TOVA to identify feigned ADHD, despite its frequent clinical use for establishing this diagnosis. The current study utilized a between-subjects simulation design to validate feigning cut scores on ADHD-specific measures using 66 feigners and 51 confirmed ADHD cases. As prior literature suggested, the results convincingly demonstrated that face-valid ADHD assessment measures were easily faked. Across both TOVA modalities (e.g., Auditory and Visual), the ADHD simulators performed significantly poorer than those diagnosed with ADHD. As an innovative approach, a Dissimulation-ADHD (Ds-ADHD) scale was developed and initially validated. The Ds-ADHD is composed of ten MMPI-2-RF items mistakenly believed to be clinical characteristics associated with ADHD. Requiring cross-validation, Ds-ADHD optimized cut scores and classification of ADHD feigners appears promising. They were clearly distinguishable from ADHD client, as well as those feigning general psychopathology. Recommendations for the utilization of the Ds-ADHD scale, and future directions for research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862790/
From the Outside In: A Multivariate Correlational Analysis of Effectiveness in Communities of Practice
Online communities of practice (CoPs) provide social spaces for people to connect, learn, and engage with one another around shared interests and passions. CoPs are innovatively employed within industry and education for their inherent knowledge management characteristics and as a means of improving professional practice. Measuring the success of a CoP is a challenge researchers are examining through various strategies. Recent literature supports measuring community effectiveness through the perceptions of its members; however, evaluating a community by means of member perception introduces complicating factors from outside the community. In order to gain insight into the importance of external factors, this quantitative study examined the influence of factors in the professional lives of educators on their perceptions of their CoP experience. Through an empirical examination of CoPs employed to connect educators and advance their professional learning, canonical correlation analysis was used to examine correlations between factors believed to be influential on the experiences of community members. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862754/
Functional Orchestral Collaboration Skills for Wind Band Pianists: A Study Guide
As opportunities to perform as a soloist diminish, more pianists consider chamber and orchestral playing as an alternative solution. By so doing, ample performance opportunities are introduced. Although most university music programs offer ensemble courses for pianists and have begun to offer degrees with an emphasis in accompaniment, their curriculum lacks instructions specifically designed to train and prepare pianists for playing in large ensembles, especially wind bands. This dissertation addresses the difficulties, which one might encounter in large ensemble collaboration, and recommends useful suggestions for acquiring functional skills to solve these difficulties. Pianists can attain professional status by acquiring the functional skills presented in each chapter. The goal of this study is to provide pedagogical support and direction for novice pianists in the larger ensemble collaboration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862795/
Glucose and Altered Ceramide Biosynthesis Impact the Transcriptome and the Lipidome of Caenorhabditis elegans
The worldwide rise of diabetes and obesity has spurred research investigating the molecular mechanisms that mediate the deleterious effects associated with these diseases. Individuals with diabetes and/or obesity are at increased risk from a variety of health consequences, including heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease; all of these complications have oxygen deprivation as the central component of their pathology. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been established as a model system for understanding the genetic and molecular regulation of oxygen deprivation response, and in recent years methods have been developed to study the effects of excess glucose and altered lipid homeostasis. Using C. elegans, I investigated transcriptomic profiles of wild-type and hyl-2(tm2031) ( a ceramide biosynthesis mutant) animals fed a standard or a glucose supplemented diet. I then completed a pilot RNAi screen of differentially regulated genes and found that genes involved in the endobiotic detoxification pathway (ugt-63 and cyp-25A1) modulate anoxia response. I then used a lipidomic approach to determine whether glucose feeding or mutations in the ceramide biosynthesis pathway or the insulin-like signaling pathway impact lipid profiles. I found that gluocose alters the lipid profile of daf-2(e1370) (an insulin-like receptor mutant) animals. These studies indicate that a transcriptomic approach can be used to discover novel pathways involved in oxygen deprivation response and further validate C. elegans as a model for understanding diabetes and obesity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862756/
Green To-Go: Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Intervention Package on Restaurateurs' use of Styrofoam Take-Out Containers
Restauranteurs' use of Styrofoam take-out containers was evaluated using an intervention package containing informational components, a written commitment, and an incentive system. A decrease in the use of Styrofoam take-out materials was observed with 4 of 6 restaurants. Across all participants, we observed a 15.7% increase in alternative containers and a 15.7% decrease in Styrofoam containers. Overall, a decreased use of Styrofoam take-out containers was observed with restaurateurs who were able to identify suitable alternative products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862799/
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