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 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Effect of Naturalistic Behavior Strategies on the Quality of Social Interactions for Children with Autism

The Effect of Naturalistic Behavior Strategies on the Quality of Social Interactions for Children with Autism

Date: August 2012
Creator: Nichols, Susan Marie
Description: Autism is primarily a social disorder and deficits in social?orienting may be responsible for the failure of children with autism to initiate critical social behaviors. The purpose of this research was to improve the quality of social interactions of children with autism by implementing naturalistic behavior strategies intervention utilizing a multiple baseline design across four participants. Naturalistic behavior strategies comprised a comprehensive package of integrated components including: (a) intervention in the child’s natural environment; (b) child-initiated play activities ; (c) prompts to emit language; (d) shaping for all vocal approximations and (e) delivery of natural reinforcement with embedded social interactions to maintain learned behavior. In addition to intervention, generalization of child behaviors was assessed across untrained parents and/or caregivers in the same environment. Results indicated the effectiveness of naturalistic teaching strategies package in increasing (a) the frequency of vocal mands for all children, (b) the number of times that children initiated social engagement during manding, and (c) intervals of nonverbal dyadic orienting. These skills generalized across two untrained caregivers in the same clinical setting without any training from the interventionist. Two parents required training during the generalization phase in order for their child’s behaviors to maintain at levels demonstrated during ...
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Teacher Educators: What Motivates Them to Choose Academe?

Teacher Educators: What Motivates Them to Choose Academe?

Date: August 2012
Creator: Carrero, Kelly M.
Description: Currently, there is a shortage of professors preparing personnel to teach in high need areas (e.g., special education, English language learners) at institutions of higher education (IHE). The purpose of the present study was to examine the motivations or influencers that impelled individuals to pursue careers in IHEs as professors in personnel preparation. Data were collected using Motivations for Choosing Academia as a Profession (MCAP) and a 10-item Big Five Inventory (BFI-10). Two hundred eighty-nine professors of education representing the four U.S. census regions participated in the present study. The MCAP is a 25-item instrument designed to measure retrospective motivation of faculty decisions to enter the professoriate. The development of the MCAP is described and an exploratory factor analysis was employed to examine the psychometric validity of the instrument. Three factors emerged and implications are discussed. Data were analyzed using logistic regression with the dichotomous outcome variable being the area of education in which the professor works (i.e., general or special education).
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Strategic Path to Fiscal Sustainability: Revenue Diversification and the Use of Debt By Us Municipal Governments

Strategic Path to Fiscal Sustainability: Revenue Diversification and the Use of Debt By Us Municipal Governments

Date: August 2012
Creator: Maleckaite, Vaida
Description: This work explores the relationship between municipal government debt and revenue diversification using a prism of institutional and fiscal interactions, concentrating on revenue fungibility effects over time and on the role of state-imposed constraints. A diversified revenue structure tends to stabilize revenue levels by balancing income-elastic and inelastic revenue sources. The impact of such diversity has been the subject of much research on expenditure and service levels among state and local governments. Considerably less research has been conducted on its potential relationship with debt, although capital financing is a necessary and often-utilized mechanism for funding capital and operational spending for local governments. Since it is well known that debt payments are fixed in the short run, they require sufficient revenue adequacy through economic highs and lows. It is thus argued that local governments with more diversified revenue structures are better able to utilize debt financing since revenue diversity mitigates the risk of borrowing by providing for greater fiscal predictability in the long run. This hypothesis is tested on two samples - a large sample of cities in Massachusetts from 2000 through 2009, as well as a cross-state sample, encompassing the cities from the majority of U.S. states. The findings of ...
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Korean Traditional Elements and Contemporary Compositional Techniques in Hyowon Woo’s Choral Music As Reflected in Gloria

Korean Traditional Elements and Contemporary Compositional Techniques in Hyowon Woo’s Choral Music As Reflected in Gloria

Date: August 2012
Creator: Chang, Yoonchung
Description: Among native Korean choral composers, Hyowon Woo has emerged as one of the most significant representatives of choral genre, both in Korea and internationally. She has created a new style of choral music that combines traditional Korean musical elements with contemporary Western compositional techniques, in a synthesis that generates new sonorities and effects. Her choral music falls into three basic categories: music employing direct quotation of Korean folk tunes or other elements, which produce typical Korean sonorities; music using Western practices, which produce modern and Western flavors; and music combining Korean traditional methods with modern Western concepts. Hyowon Woo’s unique contribution to contemporary Korean choral music is ideally represented by her Gloria, which will form the basis for this study. Because traditional Korean music culture has such a strong presence and influence on her choral compositions, detailed knowledge of these elements are essential for the study and performance of her work. The combination of traditional Korean music and Western contemporary techniques lies at the core of her compositional style, and is the principal focus of this study. A detailed understanding of these stylistic elements, both Korean and Western, and how they work together to achieve the composer’s purpose and vision, ...
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Superintendent Preparation for the 21St Century

Superintendent Preparation for the 21St Century

Date: August 2012
Creator: Gober, Courtney Carson
Description: This study focused on the perceptions of six superintendents regarding the state of the profession as of 2012, and it reports their thoughts and suggestions as to what preparation is needed by superintendents for the 21st century. The participating superintendents, who were all members of the Western States Benchmarking Consortium, were employed in six school districts in five states. Data were collected through surveys and telephone interviews. The findings of this study clearly indicate a lack of cohesion between what superintendents learned in their university professional preparation programs and what they practice in their day to day activities. The superintendents involved in this study tended to favor a hybrid approach – rigorous theoretical insight grounded in real world practice. Since superintendents typically spend a good deal of their time solving challenging problems including funding shortfalls, competition from other educational institutions, and the constant scrutiny of the media; their preparation needs to provide opportunities to develop their leadership skills and solve real world problems in an environment where they can take risks. Mentoring and participation in professional consortiums were recommended as key elements for the preparation of the twenty-first century superintendent. This study contributes to the discussion of how to best ...
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Caregiver Perceptions of Wandering Behavior in the Adrd (Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias) Patient

Caregiver Perceptions of Wandering Behavior in the Adrd (Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias) Patient

Date: August 2012
Creator: Dickson, Patricia
Description: The dissertation examined family caregivers’ perceptions of wandering behavior after their loved one has been diagnosed with ADRD (Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias). Semi-structured in-depth face-to-face interviews of a convenience sample of 22 caregivers in the Dallas metropolitan area were conducted. Responses were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The use of qualitative methods facilitated the study of how caregivers of a loved one with ADRD understood and explained in their own voice the wandering behavior associated with the disease and how their views of the behavior informed the caregiving process. In particular, this research examined why some caregivers tend to recognize wandering behavior as significant early on while the ADRD patient is still living in the home (and community) and modifications can be made to keep him or her there despite the behavior, and why some caregivers do not. Findings indicated that caregivers were concerned about the general safety of their loved one. Precautions were taken within the home for conditions related to frailty, but were much less likely to be taken to address wandering behavior and its negative consequences. Three groups of caregivers emerged: (a) those who primarily reacted to their loved one’s problem behaviors including wandering, and ...
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The Emotional Needs of Mothers of Multiple Birth Children

The Emotional Needs of Mothers of Multiple Birth Children

Date: August 2012
Creator: Walker, Emily N.
Description: The purpose of this study was to assess the emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children based on administration of a survey the researcher developed. The survey consisted of 25 demographic items, six 6-point Likert scale items, and three open-ended questions. Likert scale items were based on amount of perceived emotional support mothers received in their environments at the time of survey administration. Open-ended questions addressed negative and positive aspects of parenting multiples and emotional support needs. The sample consisted of 171 mothers of multiple birth children from 23 states in the United States. Participants ranged in age from 20-50 years old with 38% not reporting age. Participants were 95.3% Caucasian, 0% African-American, 1.8% Asian, 0% Native American and 1.2% other; of these, 5.8% were Hispanic. We used demographic statistics and constant comparison to determine basic demographic characteristics of this sample and to identify emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children. We used Pearson product moment correlation to determine potential relationships between variables. Results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between overall life satisfaction and partner satisfaction (r = .420, n = 170, p < 0.01). Therefore, mothers of multiples experience increased satisfaction with their lives ...
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Regulatory Orientation, Message Framing and Influences of Fit on Customer Behaviors

Regulatory Orientation, Message Framing and Influences of Fit on Customer Behaviors

Date: August 2012
Creator: Tran, Trang Phuc
Description: Existing literature on consumer behavior has argued that an individual’s regulatory orientation interacts with message framing. If there is a match between regulatory orientation (promotion versus prevention) and message framing, this results in positive attitudes toward a given advertisement. Conversely, if there is a mismatch, the effect is opposite, i.e., attitudes toward that advertisement are less positive and less favorable. This research extends the term of compatibility by examining how regulatory focus moderates the impact of two aspects of message framing (attribute framing and risky choice framing) on customer perceptions. It also examines whether regulatory fit is created when there are interactions between individuals’ regulatory orientation and message framing and how the fit changes customer perceptions about a message. Specifically, this dissertation provides answers to the following questions: (1) does regulatory fit take place when regulatory focus is compatible with two aspects of message framing (attribute and risky choice)?; (2) does regulatory fit take place when one aspect of message framing (attribute) is compatible with the other (risky choice)?; and (3) how do customer perceptions change if customers experience regulatory fit? The results show that the effects of utilitarian attributes and national brands are dominating and that both promotion- and ...
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Licensed Professional Counselors’ Attitudes Toward People with Schizophrenia: Predictors of Interest in Providing Interventions

Licensed Professional Counselors’ Attitudes Toward People with Schizophrenia: Predictors of Interest in Providing Interventions

Date: August 2012
Creator: Hoy, Kathleen Elaine
Description: For individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers, psychosocial interventions have been shown to significantly improve recovery and reduce relapse rates. Although this population is underserved and stigmatized, counselors have been excluded from most research into attitudes toward and interventions for these families. Using a stratified random sample survey design, researchers explored the relationships between participating U.S. Licensed Professional Counselors’ attitudes towards, recovery beliefs regarding, familiarity with, desire for social distance from, and interest in providing services to individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Most of the 111 participants (11.1% response rate) identified themselves as female (83.8%) and Caucasian (86.5%). A few participants described themselves as Hispanic (6.3%) or Black or African-American (5.4%). Respondents ranged in age in years from 20’s to 60’s with the largest group in their 40’s. Descriptive statistics indicated that the majority of LPC participants reported low to moderate stigmatizing attitudes, strong beliefs in recovery, and moderate to high interest in providing interventions for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Furthermore, almost half of participating LPCs reported already working with individuals with schizophrenia. Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regressions indicated that high interest in providing interventions for this population was significantly correlated (p < .01) with high frequency ...
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Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders’ Perceptions of Professional Standards of Practice

Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders’ Perceptions of Professional Standards of Practice

Date: August 2012
Creator: Lusk, Mandy E.
Description: In recent decades, there has been renewed interest in examining the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. Unfortunately, researchers have found that there is limited empirical research on the effectiveness of quality special education teacher preparation programs, specifically those programs specializing in the education of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest special education organization, conducts research on the standards needed by teachers who serve children and youth with exceptionalities. These CEC standards are recommended to serve as a guide for teacher preparation programs in special education. Utilizing the CEC standards delineated for preparation programs in EBD, the present study sought to determine how graduates of one program perceived the importance of the standards and their perceived proficiency in using the standards in their work with students with EBD. Results indicated that graduates viewed the standards as Important to their work with students with EBD. Further, they viewed their proficiency in using the standards to be above average. In addition, the present study examined the relationship between graduates perceived importance and perceived proficiency in using the CEC standards. Results indicated that graduates who had higher score ratings on their perceived importance of the ...
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