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 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Academic and Athletic Experiences of African-american Males in a Division I (Fbs) Football Program

The Academic and Athletic Experiences of African-american Males in a Division I (Fbs) Football Program

Date: December 2013
Creator: Salinas, Silvia M.
Description: This study investigated the academic and athletic experiences of African-American males in a Division I football bowl subdivision football program. Critical race theory, identity development model, and social learning model were the theoretical frameworks used as the critical lenses in a qualitative design to examine the participants. The participants’ responses were analyzed and interpreted using thematic analysis. A qualitative research design, which included individual interviews with 10 second year African-American male football players, was used to address this research problem. The goal was to bring together both the psychological and sociological perspectives and to challenge participants to candidly describe their academic and athletic experiences and attitudes toward obtaining an undergraduate degree. Four themes were determined in the data analysis: differential treatment and determining oneself, time management, relationships, and career aspirations. In relation to the theoretical frameworks, the development of self-confidence and knowledge of balancing their academic and athletic schedules was critical for all participants. The sense of feeling different and challenged because of the differences in culture and experience was evident. From this study, university and collegiate athletics administrators may better understand the backgrounds, challenges, and learning needs of this population. As a result, higher education personnel may improve the ...
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Adolescent Behavior Problems and Interparental Conflict: the Moderating Role of Parent-child Attachment

Adolescent Behavior Problems and Interparental Conflict: the Moderating Role of Parent-child Attachment

Date: December 2013
Creator: Daubs, Carlyn
Description: The current study examined the role that parent-child attachment plays in the relationship between marital conflict and the development of behavior problems in adolescents. To evaluate the hypothesis that attachment moderates this relationship, 57 families were recruited via e-mail invitation sent to families that participated in local church youth groups, school organizations, and a treatment program designed for adolescents with behavior problems. One custodial parent and his/her adolescent child completed an online or paper version of a survey consisting of the Achenbach’s Behavior Checklists, the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, and the Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale. Hypotheses were evaluated using Baron and Kenny’s (1986) procedures to test moderating effects with multiple regression analyses. Mother attachment demonstrated a significant moderation effect between the intensity of interparental conflict and the parent’s report of externalizing behavior problems. Specifically, at low conflict intensity levels, relative to low attachment security, high attachment security was associated with fewer externalizing behavior problems, whereas at high intensities of interparental conflict high attachment security was associated with more externalizing behavior problems.
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American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study

American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Bales, Rodney A.
Description: It is commonly assumed that when confronted with an imminent hazard that people will react rationally, and prepare for, or at least attempt to avoid, danger from pending disasters. However, this conventional wisdom is not as evident as it appears. People prepare for, react to, or take social action to avoid hazards when they perceive the risk of danger to be threatening enough to warrant action, providing one has the will, insight and resources to do so. However, not all people perceive risks similarly. Risk is perceived differently by different people which affects risk perception and responses to hazards. This dissertation explores the relationships between American Indian worldviews, risk perceptions and disaster planning. To carry out this research 28 American Indians were interviewed. The sample consists of 14 American Indians residing in a rural are on the northern plains and 14 urban American Indians. The results only partially support that worldview is linked to risk perception and subsequent disaster planning. Other factors found to relate to risk perception and disaster planning for this non-representative sample of American Indians include various forms of social vulnerability.
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Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory

Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory

Date: December 2013
Creator: Ziyanak, Sebahattin
Description: This study examines the mediating effect of social bonding on delinquent behavior among Kurdish teens. Major influences to the study of self concept and delinquency based on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are reviewed. The data was collected from a sample of 100 Kurdish teens attending a Gülen affiliated school (Private Çaglayan Murat Anatolian Science High School in Şanlıurfa, Turkey) and 100 Kurdish teens attending a public (non- Gülen) school (The Public High School in Diyarbakır, Turkey). There are two dependent variables for this research project: Involvement in major delinquency and involvement in minor delinquency. The components of social bonding attachment, involvement, commitment, and belief were used as independent variables. Participants’ age ranged between 16 to 18 years. I hypothesize that the relation between the social bonding elements and delinquency should be stronger in the case of Kurdish adolescents who are more attached to conventional Turkish society. Results from binary logistic regression analyses indicate that in the absence of bonding, Kurdish teenagers tend to engage in major and minor delinquent activities. For further exploration and results, the Gülen Movement was examined as an independent variable. Findings suggest a strong relationship between the Gülen Movement and Kurdish adolescents’ probability of involvement in ...
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Assessing Local Governments’ Debt Financing Strategies

Assessing Local Governments’ Debt Financing Strategies

Date: December 2013
Creator: Lung, Wei-Liang
Description: This dissertation assesses the importance of a specific debt instrument, the Certifi- cate of Obligation in the state of Texas. It conceptualizes the Certificate of Obligation as a type of contractual debt that enables local governments to finance their capital projects. This dissertation is guided by three research questions: (1) What are the various types of debt instruments employed by local governments and what are their relative advantages? (2) How prevalent is the use of a specific debt instrument such as Certificates of Obligation? And why would some local governments prefer to issue them while others do not? (3) To what extent does the local institutional environment, e.g., the executive authority of city managers in the council-manager form of government, affect debt financing behaviors of local governments? To examine the first research question, we created a typology to represent four ideal types of borrowing methods: (1) Contractual Debt, (2) Voter Approval/Special Tax Debt, (3) Guaranteed, and (4) Non-Guaranteed Debts. The typology examines whether or not the state mandates the referendum requirement for the use of each of these debt instruments, and at the same time determines whether each debt instrument is secured by multiple or single revenue sources. Using data ...
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Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets

Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Abouelenien, Mohamed
Description: In many real-world applications, it is common to have uneven number of examples among multiple classes. The data imbalance, however, usually complicates the learning process, especially for the minority classes, and results in deteriorated performance. Boosting methods were proposed to handle the imbalance problem. These methods need elongated training time and require diversity among the classifiers of the ensemble to achieve improved performance. Additionally, extending the boosting method to handle multi-class data sets is not straightforward. Examples of applications that suffer from imbalanced multi-class data can be found in face recognition, where tens of classes exist, and in capsule endoscopy, which suffers massive imbalance between the classes. This dissertation introduces RegBoost, a new boosting framework to address the imbalanced, multi-class problems. This method applies a weighted stratified sampling technique and incorporates a regularization term that accommodates multi-class data sets and automatically determines the error bound of each base classifier. The regularization parameter penalizes the classifier when it misclassifies instances that were correctly classified in the previous iteration. The parameter additionally reduces the bias towards majority classes. Experiments are conducted using 12 diverse data sets with moderate to high imbalance ratios. The results demonstrate superior performance of the proposed method compared ...
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Bridging the Theory-to-practice Gap: a Multivariate Correlational Study Exploring the Effects of a Graduate Online Learning Environment As a Community of Practice Framework

Bridging the Theory-to-practice Gap: a Multivariate Correlational Study Exploring the Effects of a Graduate Online Learning Environment As a Community of Practice Framework

Date: December 2013
Creator: Bone, Tonda Jenean
Description: In this multivariate correlational study, the researcher examined the course culture of an online graduate course whose environment exhibited characteristics of a Community of practice (CoP). An online survey captured data used to explore the relationships among variables shown to describe a CoP in field environments and among student perceptions of their experience in the course culture. A canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and commonality analysis (CA) were conducted using five predictor variables and three criterion variables to evaluate the degree and direction of the relationships. The CCA revealed that the full model was significant, explaining approximately 74% of the variance among the two synthetic variates. Impact, faculty leadership, and connection were the largest contributors to the predictor variate. The criterion variate was primarily explained by value and perceived CoP, with exposure to the profession providing a smaller contribution. The CA confirmed these findings. Results from this study indicate that a CoP could be fostered in an online graduate course. The overall significance of the model indicates teachers can nurture an environment wherein graduate students will take the initiative to work with others to create and acquire knowledge that creates a sense of professional connection with each other and with the ...
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Carbon Nanostructure Based Donor-acceptor Systems for Solar Energy Harvesting

Carbon Nanostructure Based Donor-acceptor Systems for Solar Energy Harvesting

Date: December 2013
Creator: Das, Sushanta Kumar
Description: Carbon nanostructure based functional hybrid molecules hold promise in solarenergy harvesting. Research presented in this dissertation systematically investigates building of various donor-acceptor nanohybrid systems utilizing enriched single walled carbon nanotube and graphene with redox and photoactive molecules such as fullerene, porphyrin, and phthalocyanine. Design, synthesis, and characterization of the donor-acceptor hybrid systems have been carefully performed via supramolecular binding strategies. Various spectroscopic studies have provided ample information in terms of establishment of the formation of donor-acceptor hybrids and their extent of interaction in solution and eventual rate of photoinduced electron and/or energy transfer. Electrochemical studies enabled construction of energy level diagram revealing energetic details of the possible different photochemical events supported by computational studies carried out to establish the HOMO-LUMO levels in the donor acceptor systems. Transient absorption studies confirmed formation of charge separated species in the donor-acceptor systems which have been supported by electron mediation experiments. Based on the photoelectrochemical studies, IPCE of 8% was reported for enriched SWCNT(7,6)-ZnP donor-acceptor systems. In summary, the present investigation on the various nanocarbon sensitized donor-acceptor hybrids substantiates tremendous prospect, that could very well become the next generation of materials in building efficient solar energy harvesting devices andphotocatalyst.
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A Case Study of 1:1 Technology Policies in Four Texas High Schools and Their Relationship to Practice

A Case Study of 1:1 Technology Policies in Four Texas High Schools and Their Relationship to Practice

Date: December 2013
Creator: Bauter, Cynthia
Description: With increasing emphasis on technology in schools, the importance of technology policies is great. This study investigated policies for four 1:1 secondary schools in Texas (schools with a ratio of one computing device per student), particularly with respect to the relationship of those policies to practice. The purpose of the study was to determine the current status of the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) essential conditions as reflected in policy and the relationship of those conditions to practice as measured through levels of technology usage and teaching innovation. Schools were selected through purposive, criterion sampling. Open-ended interviews were conducted with twelve participants (principals, technology directors, and superintendents). Policies were rated by campus principals and the researcher using a rubric based on the NETS essential conditions. Finally, surveys of proficiency and readiness measures were collected from 156 teachers using the School Technology and Readiness (STaR) instrument and the Levels of Teaching Innovation (LoTI) instrument. Interviews were transcribed and coded using structural and frequency coding. Policies were analyzed using magnitude coding and policy ratings. A qualitative analysis determined patterns between policy and practice. Quantitative data collected from surveys were measured against policy ratings and magnitude coding using bivariate correlation methods in SPSS. ...
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Catered Learning: an Anthropological Approach to Understanding How Learning Styles of Participants and Teaching Styles of Instructors Affect Participants’ Perception, Motivation, and Performance

Catered Learning: an Anthropological Approach to Understanding How Learning Styles of Participants and Teaching Styles of Instructors Affect Participants’ Perception, Motivation, and Performance

Date: December 2013
Creator: Woodson-Mayfield, La Tonya R.
Description: Organizations rely on their training departments to deliver adequate training for effective use of knowledge on the job to new and tenured employees. The transfer of learned knowledge and skills yields many positive outcomes for the employees, the trainers, and the organization as a whole. Such outcomes include improved productivity and efficiency, increased morale, work enjoyment, improved customer service, and improved shareholder satisfaction. In order to achieve these outcomes, training departments must employ skilled training personnel knowledgeable about curriculum design and creative with training delivery and learning environments. These requirements implementation will depends heavily on the experience level of training professionals. Training professionals need to understand their own learning styles and how to appropriately utilize strategies to target the various learning styles that exist in the classroom. Instructors must constantly monitor the learning environment and be able to make immediate changes to meet the needs of the participants when necessary. Participants themselves play an integral role in the effective transfer of learning from the classroom to the job. Learners’ backgrounds, life experiences, and motivation to learn are important considerations for designing a positive learning experience. When training programs cater to learners’ preferred learning styles with an appropriate learning environment in ...
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