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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Educational Psychology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Computer Assisted Instruction to Improve Theory of Mind in Children with Autism

Computer Assisted Instruction to Improve Theory of Mind in Children with Autism

Date: December 2014
Creator: Eason, Lindsey R.
Description: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show significant deficits in communication, emotion recognition, perspective taking, and social skills. One intervention gaining increased attention is the use of computer assisted instruction (CAI) to teach social, emotional and perspective-taking skills to individuals with ASD with the purpose of improving theory of mind skills. This study evaluated the effectiveness of CAI for improving theory of mind skills in four children with high functioning autism ages 5 to 12 years. A single-subject multiple baseline research design across participants was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of CAI. The software contained 22 instructional scenarios that asked participants to identify emotions of characters based on situational cues displayed in line drawn pictures and audio feedback for correct and incorrect responses. Mind-reading skills were assessed using ten randomly selected scenarios for various emotions and no audio feedback. Visual analysis of the data revealed that all four participants increased mind-reading skills during the CAI condition. Additionally, this study evaluated levels of task engagement during experimental conditions. Three of the four participants showed an increase in task engagement during CAI compared to paper-based social stories used during baseline. Generalization of skills was assessed through the use of social scenarios acted ...
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Construct Validation of the Social-Emotional Character Development Scale in Belize: Measurement Invariance Through Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling

Construct Validation of the Social-Emotional Character Development Scale in Belize: Measurement Invariance Through Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling

Date: August 2014
Creator: Hinerman, Krystal M.
Description: Social-emotional learning (SEL) measures assessing social-emotional learning and character development across a broad array of constructs have been developed but lack construct validity. Determining the efficacy of educational interventions requires structurally valid measures which are generalizable across settings, gender, and time. Utilizing recent factor analytic methods, the present study extends validity literature for SEL measures by investigating the structural validity and generalizability of the Social-Emotional and Character Development Scale (SECDS) with a large sample of children from schools in Belize (n = 1877, ages 8 to13). The SECDS exhibited structural and generalizability evidence of construct validity when examined under exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). While a higher order confirmatory factor structure with six secondary factors provided acceptable fit, the ESEM six-factor structure provided both substantive and methodological advantages. The ESEM structural model situates the SECDS into the larger body of SEL literature while also exhibiting generalizability evidence over both gender and time.
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The Effect of Co-teaching on the Academic Achievement Outcomes of Students with Disabilities: a Meta-analytic Synthesis

The Effect of Co-teaching on the Academic Achievement Outcomes of Students with Disabilities: a Meta-analytic Synthesis

Date: August 2014
Creator: Khoury, Christopher
Description: Co-teaching has been, and continues to be, a growing trend in American schools since the late 1990s. As the popularity of this service delivery model increases, there is an imperative need for empirical research focusing on how co-teaching affects academic outcomes of students who receive special education services. Evidence regarding the academic outcomes of co-teaching is limited, and reports mixed results. The purpose of this study is to provide a synthesis of research examining academic outcomes of co-teaching on students who receive special education services. Quantitative information from each research report was coded, an overall effect size was computed, and a moderator analysis was conducted. Results suggest a significant effect (g = .281, k = 32, p < .05) of co-teaching on the academic outcomes of students with disabilities when compared to students with disabilities who did not receive instruction in co-taught settings; though a larger effect was found among dissertation reports (g = .439, k = 25, p < .001). Additionally, a significant effect was found when examining the academic outcomes of students in co-teaching compared to the academic outcomes of students in a resource classroom setting (g = .435, k = 27, p < .001. Lastly, effects were ...
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The Impact of Hippy on Maternal Self-efficacy

The Impact of Hippy on Maternal Self-efficacy

Date: August 2014
Creator: Nathans, Laura L.
Description: Parenting self-efficacy refers to the ability of parents to have confidence in their abilities to effectively parent their children. Parenting self-efficacy can be divided into two types: (a) general parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s overall sense of ability to effectively parent; and (b) task-specific parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s confidence level to perform specific parenting tasks, such as teaching and nurturing (tested in this study). The study applied Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory to an analysis of (a) the effect of the HIPPY program in interaction with family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy and (b) the effect of the interaction of family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy. A group of 138 HIPPY mothers and a group of 76 comparison mothers who did not receive HIPPY services were surveyed. The sample was largely Hispanic. Results indicated HIPPY predicts task-specific parenting self-efficacy for teaching tasks, but not general parenting self-efficacy or task-specific efficacy for nurturance. Many family variables that reflected Hispanic family values were unique predictors of all three types of parenting self-efficacy, both in analyses involving interactions with HIPPY and with neighborhood variables. Neighborhood variables solely predicted general parenting self-efficacy. Moderation effects were found for ...
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Resilience Among Graduates From Alternative Education Programs

Resilience Among Graduates From Alternative Education Programs

Date: August 2014
Creator: Zolkoski, Staci M.
Description: Research has shown that students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) typically have poor life outcomes. Students with EBD who are placed in an alternative education setting are likely to continue a path toward failure without carefully designed effective services. Existing studies have independently examined resilience in children and youth and alternative education settings. However, there is a gap in research examining resilience in students who have graduated from alternative education settings. Using semi-structured interviews, the present interpretive and descriptive qualitative study sought to explore factors of resilience in individuals who graduated from alternative education settings. The study sought to identify elements, specific to alternative education settings, that have contributed to resilience in young adulthood and to further our understanding of how alternative education placements have contributed to the participants’ current life status. Findings revealed three themes specific to alternative education settings that contributed to participants’ resilience: teachers who show that they care about their students, a positive learning environment, and a small student-teacher ratio where participants were able to get more one-on-one instruction. Additionally, two other themes arose from the data: having a supportive family and an innate sense of self.
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Eastern Work Ethic: Structural Validity, Measurement Invariance, and Generational Differences

Eastern Work Ethic: Structural Validity, Measurement Invariance, and Generational Differences

Date: May 2014
Creator: Chen, Danxia
Description: This present study examined the structural validity of a Chinese version of Multidimensional Work Ethic Profile (MWEP-C), using a large sample of Chinese parents and their young adult children (N = 1047). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to evaluate the model fit of sample data on three competing models using two randomly split stratified subsamples. Measurement invariance for these two generational respondents was checked using differential item functioning (DIF) analysis. The results indicated that MWEP-C provided a reasonable fit for the sample data and the majority of survey items produced similar item-level responses for individuals that do not differ on the attributes of work ethic across these two generations. DIF items were detected based on advanced and successive iterations. Monte Carlo simulations were also conducted for creating threshold values and for chi-square probabilities based on 1,000 replications. After identifying the DIF items, model fit improved and generational differences and similarities in work ethic between parents and their young adult children were also identified. The results suggested that the younger Chinese generations have higher work ethic mean scores on the dimensions of work centrality and morality/ethics while they have similarities on time concept, self-reliance, delay of gratification, and hard work ...
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The Impact of Teacher Perception of Cultural Competence on the Instructional Decision Making of English As Second Language (Esl) Students

The Impact of Teacher Perception of Cultural Competence on the Instructional Decision Making of English As Second Language (Esl) Students

Date: May 2014
Creator: Lim, Okyoung
Description: Recent research suggests that culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices have the potential to increase student educational outcomes, as well as to reduce unnecessary or inappropriate placement referrals. Examination of the core components in CRT, teacher efficacy and cultural competence, is proposed to be a critical step to reduce unwarranted referrals of culturally and linguistically diverse students. However, there is limited empirical support for the relationship between CRT and instructional referrals, and even among existing studies there is inconsistency regarding the relation of these constructs. The purpose of this study is to examine teacher factors (i.e., teacher role, degree earned, years of teaching, ESL certification held, language proficiency and ethnicity) as a predictor of teacher competence, and the role these factors play in teachers’ referral decision making. To investigate these relationships, a national sample of elementary teachers (N = 258) completed a survey addressing their background, profession endorsements, sense of teaching efficiency, and the instructional decisions they would make in the scenarios presented. The results of this study revealed that teacher role (i.e., general, ESL or special educator) and ESL certification were important predictors of teacher competency. A statistically significant mean difference in teacher competency was found between teachers with and ...
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Perceptions of Family Vacation and Family Cohesion and the Moderating Effects of Parenting Style

Perceptions of Family Vacation and Family Cohesion and the Moderating Effects of Parenting Style

Date: May 2014
Creator: Kruenegel-Farr, Debbie S.
Description: Family cohesion, or emotional bonding, is important to family functioning. Shared activities such as family vacations offer opportunities for strengthening the family unit which can improve cohesion. Additionally, parenting style has direct influence on the family unit and family cohesion. This study’s purpose was to assess to what extent the perception of the family vacation experience predicted the perception of family cohesion and whether that relationship was moderated by parenting style. An online survey was conducted, resulting in 97 adult participants responding to items regarding their last family vacation, family cohesion, and parenting style. Using hierarchical multiple regression, a medium effect size was found for the predictive ability of a participant’s perception of their last family vacation on family cohesion. Findings also indicated a negative correlation between an authoritarian parenting style and perception of family cohesion, but a positive relationship between the interaction of family vacation experience and authoritarian parenting to family cohesion. Stronger predictive abilities were found for those with children in the 3-11 age group. Results may encourage parent and family educators to use family vacation as a tool in assisting families with the processes of building strong and cohesive families.
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Spatial Ability in Registered Nurses

Spatial Ability in Registered Nurses

Date: May 2014
Creator: Gardner, Janet E.
Description: Spatial ability is the skill associated with mental relations among objects, the process of maintaining the physical aspects of an object after mentally rotating it in space. Many studies report a strong association of spatial ability with success in various areas of health care, especially surgery, radiology and dentistry. To date, similar investigations in professional nursing could not be located. Registered nurses, employed in an acute care multi-hospital setting, were surveyed using the Shipley-2Block Pattern Test, the Group Embedded Figures Test, and a newly created test of general nursing knowledge. The sample size of 123 nurses was composed of 31 male nurses and 92 female nurses. Data was collected between May and August of 2013 and analyzed using R, version 2.15.2. The present study did not demonstrate a statistically significant effect for gender differences on two measures of spatial ability. However, Cohen’s d effect sizes for mean gender differences in the present study are consistent with prior studies. This may suggest the nursing profession is comparable with other professions where males perform higher than females on spatial ability. The present study should be considered an initial step toward evaluating the relevance of spatial ability in the performance of nursing care.
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A Study of Novice Special Education Teachers’ Preparation to Teach Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

A Study of Novice Special Education Teachers’ Preparation to Teach Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Date: May 2014
Creator: Callaway, Stacey E.
Description: The purpose of this study is to identify novice teachers’ perception of their preparedness to teach a class designed for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after graduation from a traditional university-based special education program or from a special education alternative certification program. Teacher preparedness and the need for highly qualified teachers of students with ASD are relevant topics, as the prevalence rate of ASD continues to increase. This phenomenological qualitative study explores novice teachers’ perceptions of preparedness to teach students with ASD and their knowledge about teaching students with ASD. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six novice special education teachers of students with ASD. Results indicated that novice teachers of students with ASD have knowledge of autism and evidence-based practices (EBP), which they ascertained primarily through experiences such as; working directly with students with ASD, however, preservice education programs provided the participants with cursory information related to knowledge of ASD and EBP.
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