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American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study
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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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407742/
Caregiving in Later Life: A Contextual Approach to the Provision of Care
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Guided by the life course perspective, this study examined the frequency of caregiving provided by older adults to kin and non-kin. A telephone survey produced a random sample of adults 60 years of age and older, which was predominantly White, with higher income and education levels (n = 278). Bivariate and multivariate analyses tested the impact of demographic characteristics and other variables, conceptualized as physical, human, and social capital, on the frequency of caregiving. Gender, age, health, limitations, education, income, household composition, social contact, and reciprocity were analyzed in multinomial logistic regressions. Caregiving was defined as care provided to sick or disabled persons, with frequency of providing care classified as often, sometimes, and never. The majority of older adults provided at least some care to others over a one-year period, with almost one-third doing so often and only one-quarter never doing so. Most provided care to more than one person, with over one-quarter providing care to multiple friends only. Age failed to predict caregiving involvement when physical and social capital variables were considered. The odds of often providing care are higher for women, although gender did not predict those who never provided care. Having at least some college only significantly predicted women who often provided care. Living with a disabled person increased the frequency of caregiving, although that care was not always for the disabled person. Similarly, living with a spouse, as compared to living alone, increased caregiving involvement but often the spouse was not the care recipient. These findings highlight a need for policy changes that will support and recognize the contributions of older caregivers of both family and friends. The definition of caregiving is another policy issue that should be addressed. These findings also challenge policymakers and community leaders to promote informal caregiving by providing educational programs to enhance and better utilize the talents, abilities, and altruistic concerns of older caregivers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4246/
Conspicuous Consumption and American Political Behavior
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The following premise is based on the ideas of social theorists who have contributed to understanding the importance of image in society. This proposal argues that political participation is susceptible to exploitation in the form of conspicuous consumption as defined by Thorstein Veblen. The analyses that follow will test the degree to which Americans who demonstrate more traditional forms of conspicuous consumption also tend to show more activity in political venues. While the correlation of these two variables is not sufficient to demonstrate cause and effect, it may be significant enough to attract more researchers to this question: are Americans using political involvement to positively influence the way that their social status is perceived by others? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4817/
Dallas area health care use: Study of insured, uninsured, and medicaid enrolled children
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This research investigated physician and emergency room use among representative samples of children in the Dallas metropolitan area (N = 1606) and among patients who used Children's Medical Center of Dallas' First Care services (N = 612). Through telephone interviewing, caregivers to children under fifteen years of age were asked about an array of health service use behaviors, social-psychological issues related to acquiring health care for their children, and demographic characteristics as outlined by the Andersen & Newman model of health care service use. Children's use of physician services is best predicted by whether or not they have medical insurance, their level of income, and whether or not they have medical homes. Although having commercial managed care and fee-for-service Medicaid insurance consistently predicted increased physician use, neither independently reduced reliance on emergency rooms for non-emergent care. Managed care insurance and Medicaid did, however, significantly improve the odds that children would have medical homes, which significantly decreased emergency room use for non-emergent care. Further, increasing physician use and reducing reliance on hospital emergency rooms for non-emergent care will require ensuring that children have medical homeseither private physicians or community health centersat which they can readily and consistently receive sick and well care. Although some ethnic differences were observed, few of the broad array of factors in the Behavioral Model significantly predicted either physician or emergency room use. Moreover, educational levels and health beliefs rarely, and if significant negligibly, influenced physician and emergency room use. Health policy for children would best be served by focusing on programs that facilitate parent's ability to secure health insurance for their children and allocating children to medical homes where they can readily and consistently access sick and well care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2553/
Determinants of Mental Health Problems Among College Students
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Many college students have reported struggling with mental health problems while dealing with challenging demands of college. The initial theoretical framework for this research was Pearlin's stress process model (SPM). Building on the SPM, the three additional mediating variables of perceived control, meaninglessness, and financial worries were added to create a composite model for the research. Mental health outcomes in the model were measured by a comprehensive range of factors, which included: psychological distress, suicide, substance abuse, and anger. Data were collected from a non-probability convenience sample of 463 undergraduate students attending a large state supported university in the southwestern region of the United States. Among the social status variables measured, being married, female, and white were significant predictors of poor mental health in the sampled college students. Poor self-image, feeling of meaninglessness, and worrying about current and future finances were significant mediating variables. Poor mental health could make individuals overwhelmed and discouraged. This is a formula for failure in college. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the correlates of mental health problems among college students. A greater understanding means that families and college administrations will have better ideas about how to intervene to reduce the stress of students and to focus the available and often limited resources to help young adults in their college experience. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33227/
Emotional Health, Well-Being, And Religion as Quest
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This study examined the relationship between the religious orientation quest and well-being using the 1998 General Social Survey. In addition to the religious orientation quest the extrinsic and intrinsic religious orientations were also investigated. Analysis of the data indicated that there was a slight negative association between quest and general well-being, while also demonstrating a strong positive association between quest and inner peace. These results underscore the supposition that quest is an orientation that is complex and ultimately deserves further attention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2587/
Factors affecting household disaster preparedness: A study of the Canadian context
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This study addresses the issue of household disaster preparedness. This work contributes two elements to disaster research. The first contribution improve the knowledge of the factors that affect household disaster preparedness. The review of literature yielded three categories of variables that can jointly explain household disaster preparedness: household structure, demographics, and risk-perception factors. In this study 19 variables compose these factors. A second contribution constitutes a theoretical exploration of the concept of disaster preparedness. In this work, four different constructs of disaster preparedness were tested. These constructs include material preparedness, preparedness activities, a combined index, and a weighted and combined index. The study presents the logic and methodology of the index construction and validation. The data used in this study came from households in the Montreal Urban Community (MUC) in Canada. A random sample of 1,003 English- and French-speaking heads of households adequately represents the 1.8 million persons within the MUC. An independent survey firm conducted the interviews in 1996. Results show that the weighted combined household disaster preparedness index constitutes the best construct to represent the concepts under study. Study results also reveal that risk-perception variables (attitudinal factors) offered the strongest explanatory power. Household structure and demographic variables collectively explained less than 8% of the dependent variable. The model used in this study yielded a coefficient of determination of .320, explaining 32% of the variance in the household disaster preparedness level. Concluding this study, the discussion offers implications for both disaster managers and researchers. Researchers should add to their analysis the household perspective as a complement to the organizational one. Also, it is clear that many other conceptual issues must be explored in understanding and measuring disaster preparedness. Disaster managers should base their efforts on sound research rather than on misconceptions about social behavior. Such implications can contribute to bridging the gap and also putting into practice the knowledge drawn from this growing and collective effort of studying disasters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2678/
The Function of Social Structure in Controlling Violent Crime in Turkey
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This dissertation examines the relationship between social structural factors and violent crime rates in Turkey. The relationship between social structural characteristics and violent crime is worth exploring in areas that have attracted little academic attention, such as violent crime in Turkey. In order to understand and prevent the occurrence of crime, researchers have long investigated possible factors related to crime. Examining how crime varies across different regions can help us to understand underlying reasons for violent crime, which is considered one of the enduring problems in society. The findings of this research, to some extent, support the assumptions of social disorganization theory regarding the distribution of violent crime. Both the findings of multivariate and bivariate analysis indicated that poverty, unemployment, and family disruptions may have a positive effect on the distribution of violent crime in the cities of Turkey. The analysis of the effects of the social structure variables through the mediating variables, such as religious institutions, libraries and voluntary associations on the number of violent crimes and violent criminals, to some extent, support the tenets of social disorganization theory. However, all mediating variables cannot mediate all the indirect effects of social structural covariates. In brief, none of their indirect impacts on the social structural variables on the outcome variable was significant via mediating variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33225/
Hopelessness, Self-Efficacy, Self-Esteem and Powerlessness in Relation to American Indian Suicide
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The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the independent variables of age, gender, residence, tribal affiliation, and perceived government control over tribal rights and the dependent variables of hopelessness, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. These attitudes are then explored as to their relationship to possible feelings of powerlessness among American Indians. The survey instruments used are the Beck Hopelessness Scale consisting of 20 items (Beck, Weissman, Lester, and Trexler, 1974), (Reproduced by permission of publisher, Psychological Corporation), the Self-Efficacy Scale consisting of 30 items (Sherer, Maddox, Merchandante, Prentice-Dunn, Jacobs, and Rodgers, 1982) (Reproduced by permission of Dr. Ronald W. Rogers), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale consisting of 10 items (Rosenberg, 1972) (Reproduced by permission of Dr. Florence Rosenberg) and a demographic questionnaire consisting of 6 items. These instruments were administered to 60 American Indians that make up the sample population of 25 respondents from tribal lands (reservation setting) and 35 respondents from an urban setting. Statistical analysis consists of crosstabulations using Chi-Square and t-tests (used to verify Chi-Square) to determine the significance of the relationship of the independent variables to the dependent variables previously mentioned. Fifteen hypotheses (page 10) were tested to explore the relationships between the above independent variables and the dependent variables. Out of the 15 hypotheses that were investigated two were supported. The two hypotheses are hypothesis 10 and 11. Hypothesis 10 states; American Indians who live on a reservation have more hopelessness than those who live in an urban setting. This hypothesis was indicated to be marginal by Chi-Square analysis but when a t-test was conducted it was shown to be significant. Hypothesis 11 states; American Indians in urban residency will have more self-efficacy than reservation residents. While the data provided minimal support for the theory that hopelessness, self-efficacy, and self-esteem have a relationship to feelings of powerlessness and thus suicide in the American Indian population the outcome of the study provides pertinent data for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5509/
Inequality in Access to, and Utilization of, Health Care - The Case of African American and Non-Hispanic White Males
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Using data from the Household Component of the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the study compares (1) the accessibility, and (2) the predictors of health care services utilization among African American and non-Hispanic White males, 18 to 65 years old in the United States. Using ANOVA procedure in comparing the means for use of physicians, hospitals, doctors, and difficulty obtaining care, seven hypotheses were tested in the study. First, it was hypothesized that African American men of working age will have less access to health care services (physicians, hospitals, and dentists), and be more likely to report having experienced delay or difficulty obtaining care, compared to non-Hispanic white males of working age. Second, it was hypothesized that, controlling for health status, African American men of working age will have less access to health care services (physicians, hospitals, and dentists), and will also be more likely to experience delay or difficulty obtaining care, than non-Hispanic white males. This was followed by the third hypothesis which compared utilization of physicians, hospitals, dentists, and difficulty obtaining care among African American and non-Hispanic white males, controlling for health status and insurance coverage (any insurance, private insurance, any public insurance, and Medicaid). Hypotheses four through six compared the utilization of physicians, hospitals, and dentists, as well as difficulty obtaining care among African American and non-Hispanic white males, controlling for the following variables sequentially: health status and poverty status; health status and having a usual source of care; and health status and employment status, in that order. Finally, it was hypothesized that, controlling for health status, any insurance, poverty status, and employment status, African American men of working age will have less access to physicians, hospitals, and dentists, and experience more difficulty and delay obtaining care, compared to non-Hispanic white males of working age. Results from the study indicated that Hypothesis 1 was supported for use of physicians and dentists. Hypotheses 2, 3a and 3c were supported for use of physicians, hospitals, and dentists. Hypotheses 3b, 3d, and 4 received support for use of physicians, hospitals, dentists, and difficulty obtaining care. Additionally, both Hypotheses 5 and 6 were supported for use of physicians, hospitals, and dentists, with the last hypothesis being confirmed for use of physicians, hospitals, dentists, and difficulty obtaining care. The study calls for a closure of the gap in access to health care between African American and non-Hispanic white adult males in the US. A reform-oriented government-sponsored single-payer plan modeled after the Canadian health care system is recommended for the United States. A national health insurance plan is most likely to ensure equity of access, compared to others, in the sense that it is founded on the premise that everyone will be covered in a similar fashion. Considering the role of Community Health Centers in serving Medicaid and Medicare recipients, low-income uninsured and insured, the underinsured, as well as high-risk populations and the elderly, in the interim, they should be extended to every community in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2747/
Measures and Correlates of Daily Spiritual Experiences
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Although a change of religious landscape in America in recent years has been suggested and widely accepted in the social sciences, most studies tend to focus on measures of religiosity and how it is changing. The subject of spirituality and its correlates seem to be mostly ignored. This study utilizes nationally representative data generated for the first time in General Social Survey (GSS) on the subject of spirituality to measure Americans' spirituality and daily spiritual experiences and their most significant correlates. In this study, most Americans (89%) showed to have some degree of spirituality and daily spiritual experiences. Moreover, variables of gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, religious origin, and residence in conservative region when growing up shown to be significant predictors of spirituality. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5406/
Perceptions of Postpartum Depression among Adolescent Mothers and the Social Construction of Related Stigma
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Six serial focus groups were used to explore the perceptions of postpartum depression among nine adolescent mothers. The discussions were tape recorded, transcribed and analyzed using symbolic interaction theory, specifically Goffman's concept of stigma. Participants identified major stigma themes in relation to postpartum depression, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, all of which were portrayed negatively in the media. Several key causes of adolescent postpartum depression were also found including self esteem relating to poor body image and social support. The findings indicate a much needed change in the way adolescent mothers are identified and treated for postpartum depression. Additionally, the importance of social support in preventing and treating adolescent postpartum depression is highlighted and programs addressing such concerns must be implemented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4916/
A study of continuing bonds and their impact on life attitudes in parents of murdered children.
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For most of the past century, the positive outcome of grief in the West was characterized as the relinquishment of the bond to the deceased. Phrases such as "let go", "move on", and "get over it" were, and continue to be, common to the language of this pursuit. This 'breaking bonds' perspective does not take into account other means of grief resolution, nor does it consider historical or cultural findings. Consequently, reports of bereaved parents who indicate resolution of grief yet maintain a continued relationship with their deceased child were not given much attention until the 1990s. This research employed a Durkheimian approach, taking the social bond as the starting point of inquiry and examined continuing bonds of parents to their murdered children. How these bonds were related to the parents' attitudes of re-investing in life and their level of grief was measured. The relationship between the parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was also assessed. The sample consisted of 46 parents living in North Texas whose child had been murdered three or more years ago. A triangulated methodology was utilized and the data were collected by means of participant observation, unstructured interviews, and a mailed questionnaire which obtained information on continuing bonds, level of grief, life attitudes and demographic variables. Multiple regression techniques were utilized to analyze the quantitative data. Parents on the Continuing Bonds Scale reported high levels of bonds with their deceased child. Contrary to expectation, the level of continuing bonds parents maintained with their children was found to be independent of other variables in the study. The relationship between parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was inverse in that higher levels of grief were associated with lower levels of re-investing in life. The finding of the independence of the Continuing Bonds Scale indicates the parent's level of grief and life attitudes are not related to continuing bonds; the bonds exist regardless. The relationship between level of grief and life attitudes points to a crisis of meaning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5225/
The Symbolic Representation of Latinos: A Content Analysis of Prime-Time Television
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The media are powerful agents of socialization in modern society influencing values, beliefs, and attitudes of the culture that produces them. Both the quantity and quality of Latino images in the media may reflect and reinforce the place of Latinos in United States society. This study examines how Latinos are portrayed in television entertainment programming by addressing two major research questions: 1) What is the extent of Latino recognition on prime-time television? and 2) What is the extent of respect accorded Latinos on prime-time television? A one-week sample of prime-time television programming airing on three networks yielded 47 programs and 807 characters for analysis. Using content analysis methodology, recognition is identified by examining the frequency and proportional representation of Latino television portrayals and respect is measured by examining the types and significance of these roles. The results indicate an overall lack of diversity on prime-time television with only 11 of the 47 programs analyzed reaching 50% or more of the maximum possible diversity in their racial and ethnic portrayals. Specifically, Latinos represent only 3% of primetime television characters, less than one-fourth of their proportion of the nation's population. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, Blacks, and Asians, Latinos are the group least likely to occupy major roles in prime-time entertainment shows and represent only 1.9% of the total opening cast credits. Latinos are still presented stereotypically but are more often presented in a generic fashion with no reference to ethnic cultural experiences. The extent of recognition and respect accorded Latinos in prime-time television is severely limited, thus there is a need for continued research and dialogue regarding symbolic media images of Latinos. The findings have implications for social scientists interested in media forms and content as cultural artifacts, members of the television media industry responsible for program development and distribution, and college media educators responsible for training young media professionals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2838/
Utilization of the family medical leave act: A case study
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American businesses have confronted a changing world economy marked by increasing competition , technological innovation, and instability. Many more women have entered the labor force. Many families' caregiving needs are now being met by family members who also are holding down jobs. This, in turn, has fueled the rising need among employees for workplace policies that enable them to meet the often competing demands of job and home. In 1993, Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA of the Act) to provide a national policy that supports families in their efforts to strike a workable balance between the competing demands of the workplace and the home. The objective of this study is to examine the amount of FMLA lost time at one particular company in order to determine a demographic and job characteristic profile of employees who take time away from their jobs for reasons that are protected by the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2462/
Work-family responsiveness in organizations: The influence of resource dependence and institutionalization on program adaptation
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Changes in workforce demographics, employee sentiments, and working conditions have increased attention on employees' needs to balance the demands of work life and family life. Despite apparent growing interest among companies to be responsive to these needs, the number of companies demonstrating high levels of work-family responsiveness is relatively small. The frameworks of resource dependence theory and institutional theory were used to develop a model to explain differences in work-family responsiveness among for-profit companies. The theoretical models were tested on survey data collected through a stratified random sample of 692 for-profit companies. The data were further enhanced with secondary data sources. While the institutional model explained more variance in work-family responsiveness than the resource dependence model, a model combining both theories best explains work-family responsiveness among for-profit companies. High industry-region diffusion of family-friendly benefits was one of several strong predictors of work-family responsiveness. Also, the greater the proportion of professionals in a company's industry, the greater was the level of work-family responsiveness. Companies that measured effectiveness outcomes were more likely to offer family-friendly benefits. The same was true for companies with more positive assessments regarding the impact of their family-friendly benefits. Organizations that were large, publicly traded, or had human resource departments also demonstrated greater levels of work-family responsiveness. Future research should include variables introduced in this study and should expand the range of variables as to include other theoretical perspectives. Policy makers for companies, advocacy groups and government leaders will find the results of this study beneficial. Companies operating in environments characterized by strong diffusion of family-friendly benefits among similar companies will be well served by developing policies and programs that conform to these norms. Advocates and government leaders should understand that recent interest in work-family responsiveness is unlikely equally benefit all sectors of employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2450/
Work in the calling in Max Weber's Protestant ethic thesis
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Objectives. Scholars have debated Max Weber's theory of the relationship between religion and capitalism for almost 100 years. Still, the debate is clouded by confusion over Weber's claims about religious doctrine and over the supporting evidence. The purpose of this study is to clarify Max Weber's claims regarding the concept of the calling and the related "anti-mammon" injunction and concept of "good works" and substantiate with historical evidence the religious doctrine Weber describes. Methods. Comparative analysis of early Protestant Lutheran and Calvinist documents from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was used to flesh out a history of ideas to determine whether evidence exists to support Weber's claims related to religious doctrine. Results. Historical analyses revealed that the concept of the calling pre-dated Luther in the Bible. Luther's innovation was not in his use of the word beruf but in his application of the concept of the calling to the common people and his teaching of that idea. The idea of sanctified work was key in both Lutheran and Calvinist documents. There was an increased emphasis on work and encouragement to accumulate wealth in Calvinist documents. Conclusion. Weber's etymological evidence surrounding Martin Luther's use of the word beruf in his German translation of the bible is idiosyncratic and not important to the transmission of the concept of the calling. Luther's application of the concept of the calling to the laity and idea of sanctified work, however, is the foundation on which the Protestant ethic rests, as Weber claims. Weber's other claims regarding the concept of work in early Protestantism are also supported here. Weber did not overstate the implications for societal transformation in early Protestant theology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2668/