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 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Constructional Fear Treatment for Dogs in Shelters

Constructional Fear Treatment for Dogs in Shelters

Date: August 2016
Creator: Katz, Morgan
Description: 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.
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Context Matters: How Feminist Movements Magnify Feminist Opinion of Progressive Policies in South America

Context Matters: How Feminist Movements Magnify Feminist Opinion of Progressive Policies in South America

Date: August 2016
Creator: Ferris, Rachel E
Description: 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.
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Contextualizing History Curriculum: A Qualitative Case Study in Balochistan Pakistan

Contextualizing History Curriculum: A Qualitative Case Study in Balochistan Pakistan

Date: August 2016
Creator: Khan, Gulab
Description: 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 ...
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Costs and Benefits of Mind Wandering in a Technological Setting: Findings and Implications

Costs and Benefits of Mind Wandering in a Technological Setting: Findings and Implications

Date: August 2016
Creator: Sullivan, Yulia
Description: 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 ...
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Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Date: August 2016
Creator: Robin, Bradley G.
Description: 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.
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Cytochrome P450 Gene Expression Modulates Anoxia Sensitivity in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Cytochrome P450 Gene Expression Modulates Anoxia Sensitivity in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Date: August 2016
Creator: Quan, Daniel L
Description: 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 ...
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The Design and Implementation of an Effective Vision-Based Leader-Follower Tracking Algorithm Using PI Camera

The Design and Implementation of an Effective Vision-Based Leader-Follower Tracking Algorithm Using PI Camera

Date: August 2016
Creator: Li, Songwei
Description: 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.
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Design of Informal Online Learning Communities in Education

Design of Informal Online Learning Communities in Education

Date: August 2016
Creator: Kilgore, Whitney Kay
Description: 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.
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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

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

Date: August 2016
Creator: Litvin, Justin M
Description: 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.
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Direct Atomic Level Controlled Growth and Characterization of h-BN and Graphene Heterostructures on Magnetic Substrates for Spintronic Applications

Direct Atomic Level Controlled Growth and Characterization of h-BN and Graphene Heterostructures on Magnetic Substrates for Spintronic Applications

Date: August 2016
Creator: Beatty, John D.
Description: 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 ...
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District Support: Strategies for Building Capacity in Elementary Principals in a Rapid Growth District

District Support: Strategies for Building Capacity in Elementary Principals in a Rapid Growth District

Date: August 2016
Creator: Jamar, Jacye
Description: 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 ...
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Does Downhill Running Alter Monocyte Susceptibility to Apoptosis?

Does Downhill Running Alter Monocyte Susceptibility to Apoptosis?

Date: August 2016
Creator: Pennel, Kathryn Ann Foster
Description: 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 ...
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Effective Public Service Collaboration:  The Role of Leadership and Nonprofit Organizations in Homeless Services

Effective Public Service Collaboration: The Role of Leadership and Nonprofit Organizations in Homeless Services

Date: August 2016
Creator: Valero, Jesus N
Description: 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.
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The Effects of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for Adoptive Families

The Effects of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for Adoptive Families

Date: August 2016
Creator: Opiola, Kristie K
Description: 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 ...
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The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills

The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills

Date: August 2016
Creator: Bandy, Darren
Description: 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.
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The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism

The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism

Date: August 2016
Creator: Degner, Brittany
Description: 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).
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The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on  Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame

The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame

Date: August 2016
Creator: Womack, Stephanie Dianne
Description: 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.
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Elementary Students' Critical Examination of Characters in Children's Literature Depicting Social Justice

Elementary Students' Critical Examination of Characters in Children's Literature Depicting Social Justice

Date: August 2016
Creator: Paiva, Deanne
Description: 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 ...
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Environmental Ethics from the Periphery: José Lutzenberger and the Philosophical Analysis of an Unecological Economics

Environmental Ethics from the Periphery: José Lutzenberger and the Philosophical Analysis of an Unecological Economics

Date: August 2016
Creator: Valenti Possamai, Fabio
Description: 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.
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Evaluation of an Observation and Training System to Increase Play Skills in Young Children with Autism

Evaluation of an Observation and Training System to Increase Play Skills in Young Children with Autism

Date: August 2016
Creator: Van Meter, Sarah M
Description: 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.
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Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction

Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction

Date: August 2016
Creator: Hamid, Fahmida
Description: 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 ...
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An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity

An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity

Date: August 2016
Creator: Southard-Dobbs, Shana
Description: 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 ...
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An Exploration of College Attitudes among Sioux Falls High School Students

An Exploration of College Attitudes among Sioux Falls High School Students

Date: August 2016
Creator: Duesterhoeft, Kristin
Description: 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.
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Exploring Volunteer Management in the Public Sector: What are the Challenges in Managing Volunteers in Local Government?

Exploring Volunteer Management in the Public Sector: What are the Challenges in Managing Volunteers in Local Government?

Date: August 2016
Creator: Sillah, Aminata A
Description: 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 ...
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