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- Academic Achievement: Examining the Impact of Community Type at a Small Liberal Arts College in Texas
- Hierarchical regression was used to determine if high school community type is an effective predictor of academic success when controlling for demographics, prior academic achievement, socioeconomic status, and current commitment or work habits for students entering Austin College in 1992,1993, and 1994 . Findings revealed that there is a relationship between attending high school in community types of rural and independent town controlling for the effects of SAT scores, high school rank, sex, and late application deposit on first semester grade point average.
- Acceptance and use of corporal punishment among parents of biologic and non-biologic children.
- Objective: Differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance and use of ordinary corporal punishment and use of explaining/reasoning as a disciplinary tool are examined from a sociobiological theoretical perspective. Method: Cross tabulations are used on data from a national survey conducted by the Gallup Organization in 1995. Results: Contrary to predictions, differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance of ordinary corporal punishment and the use of explaining/reasoning are not statistically significant. In addition, biologic parents are found to use ordinary corporal punishment significantly more often than non-biologic parents. Conclusions: The sociobiological theoretical perspective likely underestimates the influence of culture and social structure on parent-child interactions.
- Adolescent Pregnancy: Voices Heard in the Everyday Lives of Pregnant Teenagers
- The purpose of this study is to examine the problems that pregnant teenagers encounter at school and at home while they are trying to complete their high school education. Data were collected by in-depth interviews. Twenty pregnant adolescents, who were between the ages of 15 through 18, and were participants in a special teen pregnancy program were interviewed. The major findings in this study included the respondents': 1) unstable family life histories, 2) denial that they were pregnant, 3) need for self-identity as an adult, 4) conflict with parents and 5) motivation to complete their high school education. This study points to the need for more research on the problems that pregnant adolescents encounter in their everyday lives.
- The Affects of Religiosity on Anomie
- This study explores the relationship between religion and anomie. The theoretical framework of Durkheim and Merton was used to suggest the hypothetical relationship between the two variables: as religiosity increases, anomie decreases. A secondary analysis was conducted using the 1991 General Social Survey (GSS). The GSS is one of the largest annual surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. There were 1517 adult respondents composing the 1991 cross-national sample. Questions measuring both the belief and action dimensions of religion were used to measure respondents' level of religiosity. Questions from the Srole Scale of Anomia were used to measure respondents' level of anomia. Durkheim's theory that religion functions to integrate individuals into the larger society and therefore diminish levels of anomie was not supported with this data. While the lack of significant findings did not support the theory, neither did it disprove it. The hypothetical inverse relationship between class and anomie was supported with this data. Another hypothetical relationship, that of the most religious, women experience less anomie than men, was also not supported due to the lack of a significant relationship among the primary variables. Continued use of comprehensive and large scale surveys such as the General Social Survey is crucial. This research suggests the need for further testing of these hypotheses using more elaborate measures.
- AIDS Preventative Behavior Among Taiwanese University Students
- This study used the Health Belief Model to examine the predictors of AIDS preventive behavior. The independent variables were the variables of individual perception, modifying factors (psychological variables), and likelihood variables. The respondents, the Taiwanese students of the University of North Texas, were influenced both by Chinese sexuality and Western values in their AIDS-risk behavior. The results revealed that 90% of the respondents were misinformed on the availability of AIDS vaccine. In addition, a majority of the students were either abstaining from sex or practicing monogamy. Using Pearson's correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis, this study found that the psychological variables rather than cognitive variables significantly influenced the respondents' AIDS preventive behavior. Finally, suggestions were made for future research on AIDS, and for AIDS preventive behavior campaigns.
- Alcohol Use among the Elderly in Edmonton, Alberta: a Multivariate Analysis
- A model of social stressor variables, social integration variables and demographic control variables was tested to assess their impact on alcohol use among the elderly. A secondary analysis of a survey on alcohol use among the elderly in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was conducted to test the major hypotheses of the study. Contingency table analysis, using gamma and partial gamma as correlation coefficients, was utilized in the data analysis. The first hypothesis, in regard to the positive relationship of social stressors with alcohol use, was confirmed. The best predictors of alcohol use among the social stressor variables were usual occupation, length of retirement, annual income, and subjective health status. The second hypothesis, that the social integration variables would be negatively related to alcohol use, received only moderate support. The results of the analysis indicated that six of the ten social integration variables were negatively related to alcohol use. Only three of these variables, retirement status, religious participation, and marital status, were statistically significant. Hypothesis three also was not confirmed. The introduction of the social integration variables did not substantially decrease the strength of the relationship between social stressors and alcohol use. Gender and age were also introduced as control variables for the relationship between social stressors and alcohol use. Age had only a limited impact on the zero-order relationships. Gender demonstrated a strong relationship with alcohol use. Statistical analyses indicated that gender was the strongest predictor of alcohol use of all the variables in the analysis. The nature of the zero-order relationships of four of the six stressor variables changed when gender was controlled, and the partial relationships decreased in strength. It was suggested that future research on alcohol use among the elderly should focus on gender differences.
- 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.
- An Analysis of Established Terrorist Identity in Political and Military Wings of Turkish Hizbullah
- The influence of the role identity expectations of Turkish Hizbullah's leadership on actual members' terrorist identities was documented in this dissertation. This study explored the leadership's identity expectations from members through content analyses of four books written by major figures of Hizbullah. Those books were selected following comments of the literature and expert suggestions. Eleven identity features stood out. These content analyses also revealed that leadership had different expectations from political wing members and military wing members. The following six identity features were listed as expected more from military wing members: belief in jihad and resistance, desire for martyrdom, embracing the hierarchical structure, depersonalization, hatred against enemies of God, and aloneness. Whilst cemaat (religious congregation), being religiously educated, patience (gradualism), dedication to a Muslim brotherhood, and being politically active were listed as expected identity attributes of political wing members. Qualitative analyses investigated these identity features using the available literature and 144 handwritten reports of actual Hizbullah members. To confirm the findings of content and qualitative analyses, quantitative analyses were conducted on the relatively representative sample (144 reports). The results of cross-tabulation and logistic regression demonstrated that two (out of 6) military wing and two (out of 5) political wing identity expectations were not manifested on actual members' Hizbullah identities.
- An Analysis of Marital, Sex and Occupational Status of Dramatic Characters on Commercial Television
- The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the characters portrayed on "prime-time" television drama in an attempt to determine how they compared, with the distribution represented in U. S. Census Bureau data for sex, marital status and occupational status. In pursuing this objective, it was also concerned with the development of a method of content analysis that would not require use of a videotape recorder.
- An Analysis of the Opinions of University Students about the Current Situation of the Headscarf Dispute in Turkey
- This study examined the opinions of university students about the current situation of the headscarf dispute on the wearing of headscarves in Turkey. The influence of gender, the level of secularism, socioeconomic status and encounter with women wearing headscarves on opinions about the wearing of headscarves were analyzed in this study. The sample of this study was composed of 400 university students among whom there were 240 female and 160 male students. Moreover, the sample comprised university students from 50 universities from Turkey. The results indicated that the level of secularism and encounter with women wearing headscarves were distinguished as two determining factors of the diverse opinions of the university students on the topic. No association was found between the perceptions of university students about the issue and the independent variables of gender and socioeconomic status.
- Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory
- 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 either major or minor delinquent activities. Finally, several directions for future research on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are recommended and some implications are drawn for deterring Kurdish adolescents from becoming involved in delinquent actions.
- An Application of Marxian and Weberian Theories of Capitalism: the Emergence of Big Businesses in the United States, 1861 to 1890
- This study was an examination of businesses that became big businesses in the United States during the time period between the years of 1861 and 1890, a period of time frequently referred to as the “big business era.” The purpose of the study was to identify actions taken by businesses that enabled them to become and remain big businesses. A secondary purpose of the study was to show that these actions were explained by theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber. The results of the study showed that businesses which took specific actions were able to become and remain big businesses and these actions were explained by the theories of Marx and Weber. The results of the study demonstrate the ability of classical sociological theory to explain macro-level social change.
- Are Alzheimer's Special Care Units Really Special? Effects of Residential Status on Family Members' Perspectives on High Quality Care for their Loved-Ones in Long-Term Care
- This analysis of secondary data collected from family members of nursing home residents in North Texas (n = 422) used a mixed methods approach to determine if there is a difference in perspectives on quality care among family members of Alzheimer’s/Dementia Special Care Unit (ADSCU) residents compared to those of non-ADSCU residents. Descriptive content analysis was used identify and condense responses to an open-ended question into four meaningful categories of qualities of care. An independent t-test was employed to determine if there was a difference between family members of ADSCU residents and family members of non-ADSCU residents regarding their rating of their loved-ones’ nursing home on the important qualities of care they identified from the open-ended question. Closed-ended questions were organized into indices of these qualities of care, and ordinary least square regression was employed to determine if there were significant differences between perceptions of family members of ADSCU residents and those of non-ADSCU residents regarding care their loved-ones are receiving on these qualities of care, controlling for frequency of visit.
- Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-risk Groups
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The primary objective of this research was to explore the impact of possible social factors on non-institutionalized adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States who exhibited severe mental illness (SMI). A holistic sociological model was developed to explain SMI by incorporating elements of social learning theory, social disorganization theory, and gender socialization theory with social demographic factors. Based on the holistic sociological model, the following factors were investigated: demographic aspects of age, education, income and gender; gender socialization; influence of neighborhood area; social network influence based on communication and interaction among peers and family members; and socially deviant behaviors such as frequently smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs specifically marijuana. The impact of these factors on SMI was examined. A sample of 206 respondents drawn from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 was assessed. These respondents had answered all the questions related to SMI; social deviant behaviors; neighborhood environment; and communications among peers, family members and friends; and the other studied factors. Ordinary linear regression with interaction terms was employed as a statistical tool to assess the impact of social determinants on SMI. Being female, living a disorganized neighborhood, and frequent and high levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol had a significant influence on SMI. This reevaluation and reexamination of the role of gender socialization path, socially deviant behaviors like smoking and drinking, and community construction on SMI provided additional insights. This research is one of the first to develop a more holistic sociological model on SMI and explored the previously untested interactive relationships. The limitations of this study suggest the need to test a potential recursive research model and explore additional bi-directional associations.
- The Association between Reported Denominational Affiliation and Psychiatric Diagnosis: a Study of First Admissions to a Private Psychiatric Hospital, 1960-1963
- The present study examines the relationship of diagnosis and denominational affiliation in light of the work of Charles Glock and Rodney Stark. The major hypothesis of the study was that diagnoses of first admissions to Timberlawn sanitarium would vary by denominational affiliation.
- Behavioral Aspects of Latino Familialism: a Three Study Analysis
- The existing research on Latino familialism draws a distinction between the attitudes associated with familialism and familialism-based action. Because attitudes tend to be more stable when considering variables such as immigration generation status, etc., social science researchers tend to employ measures based on attitudinal aspects of familialism, rather than action or behavior. Because of this preference, there is a lack of studies that examine familialism-based action and behaviors. This dissertation consists of three unique studies that examine actions and behaviors associated with familialism, while taking into account the methodological concerns expressed by previous researchers. The first study uses nationally representative U.S. data to compare the differences in the frequency of contact with various family members, among black non-Hispanics, Hispanics, and white non-Hispanics. The central finding of this study is that Hispanics maintain more frequent contact with family than white non-Hispanics, but there is no difference between Hispanics and black non-Hispanics, with the exception of contact with fathers. The second study, which employs qualitative data collected from a metropolitan area in the Southwest U.S., examines the locus of educational aspirations and expectations among a sample of Hispanics and white non-Hispanics. Among other things, this study finds that Hispanic females were more likely than other participants to make statements that suggest the aspirations or expectations of significant others were a strong influence in the decision to attend college. This study further argues that this tendency is related to the acquiescent nature of traditional Hispanic gender norms associated with the familial concept of marianismo. Using nationally representative U.S. data, the final study finds that, other things being equal, Hispanic college students are more likely than non-Hispanic students to attend a college or university that is within fifty miles of their permanent residence. The study further finds that this tendency mediates the gap between Hispanic students and white non-Hispanic students, in terms of the selectivity level of institutions attended.
- Breast implants for graduation? Parent and adolescent narratives.
- The purpose of this research is to examine through sociological and psychological theories how women make sense of the desire and attainment of breast implants for graduation. The study used a qualitative approach and focused on women ages 18-35 in the state of Texas who have received breast implants for graduation. The sample size in this study included 10 high-school graduates receiving implants as a gift and their 10 mothers. Seven theoretical paradigms provided a better understanding for why the daughters asked for breast implants and why the parent(s) paid for them. Symbolic interaction theory explained why the daughters wished to replace their "fake" cotton padded self with their augmented self, to become the most authentic woman possible. Social construction of reality theory explained why both mothers and daughters wanted to conform to the social construction of gender, and to accomplish their gender well. Conspicuous consumption theory demonstrated how cosmetic surgery practices allow women to appear wealthy, gain status, and "flash" their assets. Feminist theory explained why some women were motivated to capture the attention of men and others altered the body out of empowerment. Reference group and social comparison theories explained how the women in this study were influenced to undergo cosmetic surgery by ranking themselves in attractiveness against real friends and media icons. Lastly, self-discrepancy theory showed how the daughters in this study felt they needed surgery to fix a discrepancy between their real and ideal self. The majority of respondents expressed complete comfort with their gifting and receiving of breast implants for graduation, claiming it was a great decision. They also agreed surgery was worth any risk to increase their daughter's confidence. Most of the mothers expressed that they were comfortable with their decision to gift surgery to their daughters, despite knowing that their gift of augmentation would ultimately result in more surgery in the future.
- Bundle of Joy: Pregnancy, Coping and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Girls
- Using the stress process model, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms among adolescent girls was investigated. This model posits that stress resulting from social location and related disruptive life events may indirectly affect health by eroding coping, mastery, or social support mechanisms. The effect of low income, minority status and pregnancy on coping processes in adolescent girls was hypothesized and tested. Communication with parents, involvement in activities, and success in school were examined as positive coping strategies. Smoking tobacco, heavy alcohol use, and drug use were examined as negative coping. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health were analyzed. After combining the available cases from the 2006, 2007, and 2008 datasets, selecting girls aged from 12 to 17 years, and removing missing cases; the sample consisted of a total of 22,854 adolescents. A series of binary logistic regression models were estimated. Findings included that coping strategies partially mediate the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms. In particular, success in school, smoking tobacco, and drug abuse played a mediating role. When coping was accounted for, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms was reduced and became only marginally significant. Implications of the study include a focus on policy that promotes early intervention assisting at-risk adolescents with the development of coping strategies that may help them adjust to unexpected life events, such as pregnancy.
- Bureaucracy and the Mexican American Elderly: Utilization of Formal and Informal Social Services
- Using the National Survey of Hispanic Elderly People, 1988, this study examines the support system of the Mexican American elderly and their utilization of formal social services. Two major research questions were addressed: 1) How does the Mexican American family provide assistance to their elderly family members? and 2) How does the bureaucratic structure affect the Mexican American elderly's access and utilization of formal social services?
- Can Akers’ Social Structure and Social Learning Theory Explain Delinquent Behaviors Among Turkish Adolescents?
- The aim of this study was to examine to what extent Social Structure and Social Learning Theory (SSSL) explains delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. While Social Structure and Social Learning (SSSL) Theory have been examined quite frequently in the criminology and sociology literature, the present study is unique as it tests the theory in Turkey, a context with a mixed Islamic and Secular cultural structure. The data originates from a survey conducted in Istanbul in 2008 by the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA) under the auspices of their Youth in Europe project. The sample includes 2,445 Turkish high school students. The dependent variable includes a 13-item delinquency scale, and the independent variables consist of differential association, costs and rewards of differential reinforcement, definitions, imitation, differential location in the social structure, and differential social location of groups. The statistical analyses were conducted using a negative binomial regression approach. Results demonstrated that differential association (peer delinquency) is positively associated with delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. In addition, there is a significant and positive relationship between norms/beliefs that favor delinquency and delinquent behaviors. Moreover, parental reaction, a measure of differential reinforcement, has a negative impact on delinquency. Imitation variables, which include witnessing an argument and witnessing violence in the family, also appear as significant predictors for delinquency. Gender is the only social structure variable significantly related to delinquent behaviors. Furthermore, results indicated that social learning variables mediated the relationship between social structure and delinquent behaviors. Policy implications and suggestions for further studies are also provided at the end of the dissertation.
- Can Social Disorganization and Social Capital Factors Help Explain the Incidences of Property Crimes in Turkey?
- Organized crime and terrorism taking place in the Turkish provinces get more attention in the public agenda than other type of crimes. Although property crimes receive less attention, they pose a serious threat to public order and the social welfare of Turkish society. Academic researchers have also paid little attention to the analysis of property crimes at the macro level in Turkey. For these reasons, this study focused on the analysis of property crimes for three years period, 2005, 2006 and 2007 in Turkey, using a conceptual model of social disorganization. Provincial level data from Turkish governmental agencies were used. The findings of multivariate analyses showed that social disorganization approach, as measured in this study, provided a partial explanation of property crime rates in Turkey. Family disruption and urbanization had significant effects on property crime rate, while remaining exogenous elements of social disorganization (i.e., SES, population heterogeneity and residential mobility) did not have any expected effects. In mediation analysis, using faith-based engagement and political participation rates as mediators between the structural factors of social disorganization and property crime rate provided marginal support for the theory. Political participation rate partially mediated the relationship between property crime rate and urbanization rate, while faith-based engagement rate did not mediate the effects of social disorganization variables on property crime rate. These findings were consistent with the findings of research that has been completed in other nations, and made a unique contribution to the Turkish research on crime.
- Caregiver Perceptions of Wandering Behavior in the Adrd (Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias) Patient
- 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 intervened minimally; (b) those who were proactive, making modifications in their routines and environment to protect their loved one after a trigger event; and (c) those who had a mixed response, who did the best that they could with what they had. This last group of caregivers took on additional roles, modified their homes for safety, but environmental stressors and inadequate supports limited their interventions. Implications of the findings for aging in place and community, further research, policy-making, and practitioners are discussed.
- 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.
- Cayes, Coral, Tourism and Ethnicity in Belize
- The development of tourism and more importantly eco-tourism has emerged as a primary objective for the government of Belize, Central America. This study examines two villages Seine Bight and Placencia located on a peninsula occupied by separate ethnic groups (Garifuna and Creole) that is located on a peninsula in Southern Belize. Seine Bight and Placencia are undergoing a change in economic activity to tourism. The study attempts to understand the role of ethnicity, socio-economic status, amount of contact with tourists, and the environment in regard to attitudes towards tourism utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods. The study also attempts to understand the organization and disorganization of productive activity on the peninsula and ethnicity over space and time. The point of diffusion and contact of different groups is reflected archeologically and historically in the marine landscape. The peninsula served not only as a natural harbor for those sailing up and down the coastline over time but also served as a point of diffusion of different groups reflected in changing place names, such as Placentia, Point Patient, and Pasciencia.
- The Change of Individual Opinions Through Gender-Related Group Influence: An Empirical Study of College Students
- The opinions of individuals may be influenced by groups of different gender configurations. This influence was studied by asking college students to respond to a series of statements in pretest and post-test settings. Post-test settings included the use of manipulatively constructed confederate groups to influence the subjects' responses. A pretest was administered in an anonymous nonthreatening environment. Within a week, the subjects were post-tested in a setting with four "confederates" who had previously been instructed to unanimously voice opposite answers to the subjects' initial responses to pretest questions. The objective of this experiment was to determine the number of opinions that were changed when confronted with opposing views. Change of opinions between pretest and post-test were considered to be operational definitions of "conformity."
- The Characteristics of Sociological Practitioners: A Social Psychological Examination
- Questionnaires were sent by mail and e-mail to 143 members of the Sociological Practice Association. The purpose of the questionnaire was to measure the role expectations as qualities (competencies), role expectations as actions, and role enactments of the respondents'. An additional goal was to examine how respondents perceived their work to be sociological in nature, and how they saw their work as different from the practices of social workers, counselors, and psychologists. The first question that was addressed was, “Do sociological practitioners have clear and unambiguous role expectations for their work as practitioners?” The data showed that most role expectations measured as competencies were clear and unambiguous, and only a few were ambiguous and unclear. The second question addressed was, “Do sociological practitioners perceive their role enactments to differ from other helping professionals such as social workers, counselors, and psychologists?” The data showed that sociological practitioners do perceive their role enactments to be different because of their use of sociological theory and their focus on social structures. The final question asked was, “How do sociological practitioners perceive their work as sociological in theory, methods, or both?” The data showed that sociological practitioners perceive their work as sociological based on their use of sociological theory. Most respondents reported that they used common scientific methods, and few reported the use of psychological theory.
- Children of Incarcerated Parents: An Application of the Stress Process Model.
- The purpose of this qualitative interview study is to examine the lives and experiences children of incarcerated parents from a theoretical perspective through an application of the social stress process. Previous research on children of incarcerated parents has neglected to add a theoretical component to their research, which is the intention of this research. The results will be organized around the theoretical domains of the stress process applied to findings from the analysis of eleven qualitative interviews of mothers and/or caregivers of youth(s) of an incarcerated parent. Guided by analytic induction, the themes that emerged from the transcripts were applied to the theoretical propositions of the social stress process: stressors, mediators, and manifestations. Stressors experienced by children of incarcerated parents include: the incarceration of a parent, financial difficulties, and residential instability. Stress mediators include: coping mechanisms and the importance of maintaining familial ties during parental incarceration. The manifestations or outcomes include: internalizing and externalizing behaviors.
- Churches, Social Service Access and Korean-american Elders: an Exploratory Study
- This study examined how Korean co-ethnic churches serve as connections between Korean seniors and the agencies that offer social and health care services. The study developed from a pilot outreach program funded by the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging (NCTAAA) to inform Korean seniors about Medicare-related programs between February and May of 2011. The results of the pilot program suggested that the Korean-American church can be an effective place for program outreach. The dissertation project, working in partnership with the NCTAAA and 2-1-1 services, further explored the use of Korean churches as a vehicle to connect Korean seniors to Extra Help (EH) and Medicare Saving Programs (MSP) and 2-1-1 services, a toll-free number for information about non-emergency health and social services. Fifty-three pastors were contacted to participate in a telephone survey and a face-to-face, in-depth semi-structured interview. Thirty telephone surveys and 11 face-to-face interviews were conducted. Five of the 30 pastors agreed to host program outreach presentations for the EH, MSP, and 2-1-1 services in their churches. Host churches tended to be more likely highly structured, regularly scheduled programs (e.g., Senior College) for seniors already in place. A total of 405 Korean seniors participated in the program outreach sessions. Five seniors received the EH application information, and 17 MSP application forms were distributed. Additionally, 28 seniors were assisted by phone, not only with the targeted programs, but also with other benefits information. Together, these outcomes indicate that the co-ethnic church can be a vehicle to connect Korean seniors to services offered by outside agencies.
- Coming in From the Cold: Integration into the European Union and Public Opinion on Democracy and the Market Economy in Central and Eastern Europe.
- The political economy transformations of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have received a great deal of attention over the past decade. The focus of much research has been to examine the internal national reorientations of the countries with regard to the changes in political and economic conditions. The importance of the international reorientation of these countries toward Western Europe in general and the European Union in particular has been generally overlooked. This dissertation examines public opinion on the political and economic transformations within the framework of the direction of the international reorientations of the countries. The countries were divided into three categories, those that can be expected to be invited to join the European Union in the next enlargement, those that can be expected to join the European Union in a subsequent enlargement, and the countries not seeking European Union membership. Public opinion on democracy and the market economy and attitudinal factors that influence these opinions are compared in 16 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The data are from the Central and East European Barometers 3-7 (1992 - 1996). The findings suggest that general opinions regarding satisfaction with democracy are not related to the status of the country seeking membership in the European Union while support from the market economy does differ. When examining attitudinal factors that are related to satisfaction with democracy and support for the market economy, differences emerged between the three categories of countries. These findings suggest that public opinion is in part shaped by the international orientations of the country and that changes in public opinion are important in understanding the political and economic transformation processes.
- Comparison of Reasons for University Attendance Between Traditional and Non-Traditional Female Students
- The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics of non-traditional female students and their perceived reasons for university studies.
- Conceptualization and Empirical Definition of Time Perspective
- The primary purpose of this thesis is to determine whether or not time perspective can be represented by a relatively simple unitary measure in the form of a questionnaire. More specifically, the aim is to determine whether or not time perspective can be represented as a scalable attitude in accordance with the Guttman scalogram model.
- 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?
- Contraceptive Choice among American Teenage Women: a Test of Two Models Based on the Dryfoos Strategy
- Teenage pregnancy rates in the U.S. are among the highest in the world for industrialized countries. The generally accepted reason is not that American teenagers are more sexually active but that they contracept less than do teenagers in other industrialized countries. This dissertation reports on a study that was undertaken for two purposes. One purpose was to develop and test two models of contraceptive choice among American teenagers: a "likelihood-of-use" model to predict the likelihood of sexually active teenagers' using contraception, and a "medical-or-nonmedical" model to predict whether teenagers who use contraception are likely to use medical or nonmedical methods. The second purpose was to explore the level of support for the two models among black and white teenagers separately. The theoretical underpinning of the models is value-expectancy theory. The models' exogenous variables are based on the prevailing strategy for preventing teenage pregnancy among American teenagers, a strategy initially advocated by Joy G. Dryfoos. The strategy involves the use of access-to-contraception programs, educational programs, and life options programs. The data used in the study were on 449 subjects drawn from the 1979 National Survey of Young Women, a probability-sample survey of women in the U.S. aged 15-19. The subjects were those survey respondents who were black or white, sexually active, never married, and never pregnant. The statistical technique used in the study was logistic regression. Test results supported three of four hypotheses constituting the medical-or-nonmedical model and two of seven hypotheses constituting the likelihood-of-use model. The results for each model offered support for using two of the three programs constituting the prevailing pregnancy-prevention strategy: access-to-contraception programs and educational programs. Exploration of the level of support for each of the two models among black and white teenagers indicated that support for each model differed between the two groups of teenagers.
- Contributions of Early Amerian Sociologists to Social Gerontology
- The purpose of this thesis is to explore the writings of early American sociologists for attitudes and theoretical ideas concerning aging which individually and collectively have formed the basis for current social theory in gerontology.
- Correlates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified among Palestinian Child Ex-Detainees
- The objective of this study is to investigate the variations in the type of trauma (post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified (DESNOS) resulting first from group membership, and second from variations in socioeconomic status, and last, from exposure to physical and psychological methods of interrogation due to imprisonment. I use a diverse sample of 202 child ex-detainees who served sentences in Israeli prisons and were 17 years of age or less at the time of arrest. Various regression techniques were utilized to determine the most parsimonious way to distinguish between the three groups in their trauma responses. The key finding in this study is that child refugee ex-detainees living in refugee camps, in general, did not report PTSD or DESNOS reactions compared to their counterparts. Continuing PTSD and DESNOS symptoms were more prevalent among the group of refugees living outside the camps. However, there is at least one finding that supported what I hypothesized: refugees living in camps were more likely to experience elevated levels of alterations in attention or consciousness (DESNOS2). For refugees in camps, the DESNOS absence tells us that the volatile childhood these children experienced was not associated with severe pathological reactions or heightened sensitization to trauma. In contrast, refugees living outside camps suffer from alterations in self-perception DESNOS4 symptomology, in addition, to elevated levels of complex trauma DESNOS and they qualified for the DESNOS diagnosis more than the other two groups of children. Refugees living outside camps were the only group subjected to interpersonal stressors.
- Cross-cultural Perceptions of Physiognomy : Single-factor Variation
- The problem of this study is to compare character judgments of a sample Korean population with character judgments of a sample American population, based upon viewing a sample of Caucasian photographs. Both Korean and American sample populations and photographs comprising the instrument are determined by random sampling techniques.
- 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.
- Delinquent Behavior in White and Negro Student Populations
- The purpose of this study is to add to the knowledge of juvenile delinquency in our society as it may be discerned through reports by those who have committed delinquent, but in most cases unadjudicated, acts. This study further seeks to add a dimension to the body of knowledge already gained through self-report techniques by discovering whether there are any important differences to be observed in comparing surveys of limited Negro and white populations.
- 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.
- Determinants of Refugee Production: an Exploratory Analysis
- The issue of refugees and the factors which result in forced migration are of growing importance. Currently, one in every 120 people is living outside of his or her nation of origin by force. There appears to be no end in sight to this situation. This paper seeks to examine conditions within a nation which contribute to the production of refugees. Using a model based on Clark's (1989) early warning system, this paper examines both proximate and root causes of refugee migration. The findings suggest that human rights violations have a proximate causal relationship to refugee production. High levels of state autocracy, low per capita energy consumption, larger rural populations, and a recent negative net migration have an associative relationship to refugee production. Further studies are needed to examine the interrelationship between the proximate and root conditions and their effect on refugee flow.
- Determinants of the Applications to the Institutional Care in Turkey: Darulaceze Example
- Although institutional care has started to be outmoded in the developed countries with development of different models of care, it still has a considerable place in the developing countries such as Turkey. This is because, changes in the demographic structure, extended family, and urban development of Turkey has brought about several aging problems leading older adults to end up in institutions. Loneliness was one of the significant reasons given in the Social Inquiry Survey of Applicants of Darulaceze Old-Age Institution and the basis for a micro level analysis in this study. Therefore, the main objective of the study was to determine the predictors of loneliness, including age, the state of living alone, functional independence, education, and gender. Analysis of the results indicated that these predictors have significant effects on the loneliness predominantly defined by social factors rather than medical factors. In addition, the meso and macro level analyses were employed to control the micro level analysis and see a general picture of institutional care. Thus, an academic example of diagnosing the main reasons behind the institutional care was presented to understand the context of aging in Turkey.
- Deviant Behavior Among Young Adults: Turkish Case with an Emphasis on Family Rituals, Self-esteem and Religiosity.
- The conduct of young adults has long been a concern in societies. The primary objective of this study was to gain greater understanding of what influences the deviant behavior of young adults in Turkey. Factors assessed in their background included family rituals, self-esteem, religiosity and deviant behavior. It was expected that levels of family rituals, religiosity, self-esteem and other risk factors would be significantly different between incarcerated youth and youth not incarcerated. Overall, these higher levels of family rituals, religiosity, and self-esteem plus lower levels of other risk factors were expected to negatively affect young people's engagement in deviant behavior in Turkey. Walter Reckless' containment theory provided a framework for this study. The non-probability sample of Turkish youths consisted of 205 incarcerated respondents and 200 college students. Each responded to four survey instruments, the Family Rituals Questionnaire, the Culture Free Self-Esteem Inventory, the Religious Background and Behavior Questionnaire, and a Family Information Inventory. Data were gathered cross-sectionally from January through March of 2007. The incarcerated respondents significantly practices less family rituals and had lower levels of religiosity than the college students but they did not differ significantly on self-esteem. Furthermore, overall participation in family rituals was associated with decreased likelihood of committing deviant behavior. Religiosity, which was measured by expression of a God consciousness and performance of formal religious practices, had mixed results. While having a God consciousness decreased the likelihood of committing deviant behavior, performing formal religious practices increased the likelihood of committing deviant behavior. Moreover, higher levels of self-esteem played no significant role in reducing deviant behavior. No significant support was found for Reckless' emphasis on the role of inner containment as an element of social control. However, support was found for the outer containment variable of family rituals playing a significant role in reducing deviant behavior for the respondents. Future research should further explore the role of family rituals, self-esteem and religiosity as well as other relevant risk factors in explaining deviant behavior through longitudinal research designs.
- Diaspora Philanthropy: Identity and Obligation Among Indian Engineers in the United States
- Diaspora philanthropy to India has grown rapidly over the past several decades. However, little is known about the motivations of Indians living in the U.S. to donate philanthropically to India. Extant studies have either focused on quantitative analysis of diaspora philanthropy or qualitative research on the receiving of diaspora philanthropy in India. The motivations and strategies of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. have not been explored, particularly, the informal mechanisms and strategies of making philanthropic donations to India and the obligations that underlie the practice of diaspora philanthropy remain neglected in the existing studies on diaspora philanthropy. My research addressed this gap in the existing literature on diaspora philanthropy by conducting qualitative face-to-face in-depth interviews with a snowball sample of 25 Indian engineers in San Diego, California. In my study, it was found that Indians preferred to channel funds for philanthropy in India through friends and family because of lack of trust in formal organizations and greater confidence in the activities of friends and family in India due to familiarity and better accountability. It was also found that Indians felt indebted to Indian society and the Indian nation-state for the free and subsidized education they had received in India, and therefore felt obligated to make philanthropic contributions to India in order to redeem the debt that they owe to India.
- Disaster Experience and Self-efficacy As Factors Influencing Emergency Planning in Community-dwelling Older Adults
- This study design was to identify and examine how disaster experience, self-efficacy, and demographic factors influence disaster preparedness in community-dwelling older adults. Current data indicates the United States is rapidly aging. Parallel to this significant increase among the elderly population, natural disasters are more prevalent. Consequently, older adults are affected adversely by these disasters and exposure to social vulnerabilities during the disaster cycle. For the purpose of this study, non-identifiable secondary data were analyzed. Sources of the data were the 2007 and 2008 National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveys. The sample focus of this study was adults 50 and older. Regression analyses identified important predictors of disaster preparedness in the survey respondents. Sample adults with previous disaster experience are two times more likely to be in a higher category for having an emergency plan than those respondents with no observable effects of self-efficacy and no previous disaster experience. The frequency of natural disasters in the United States has generated a renewed interest in disaster management, in particular, disaster preparedness. Nevertheless, the focal point of disaster preparedness is no longer the rudimentary stockpile of water, a first aid kit, and a battery operated radio. To advance the field of disaster management it is vital for gerontologist to approach disaster preparedness by differentiating between stockpiling supplies and social cognitive interventions that fundamentally alters preparedness behavior.
- Dispute Resolution Studies in the Institutions of Higher Learning: an Initial Investigative Study of Professors' Attitudes
- Conflict is present in all human relationships and societies. Throughout history, fighting has been more notable than peacemaking. Only recently have conflict resolution studies entered the mainstream of academia. Since peace is no longer an option, but a necessity, educators must become actively engaged in promoting the importance of peacemaking skills among their students. In 1986, the National Institute for Dispute Resolution funded a study of conflict resolution in higher education. Results disclosed a proliferation of courses but little about their quality. The present study evaluates the status of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the curricula of three major universities in North Texas and compares it with results from four other universities which were reported to have the heaviest concentration of ADR courses. A questionnaire was constructed to collect data in the following areas: place, significance of ADR in contemporary curricula, important factors determining attitudes toward ADR, and expectations/aspirations of faculty concerning teaching of ADR. Using a Likert scale, attitudes toward ADR were measured through regression analysis. Four of seven independent variables (age, sex, political orientation, and ADR training) were significant at jd = .05. Forty ADR-related courses were identified in seven universities. The concentration of ADR courses was management (35%), law (28%), sociology (23%), business (8%), and political science (8%). No courses were identified by anthropology departments. Results also reveal that the older, liberal, female, and ADR-ski lied individuals exhibit more favorable attitudes towards ADR. The study concludes that (a) concentrated efforts should be increased to teach and train educators in ADR, (b) mediation centers should be created on university campuses, and (c) an ADR communications network and data bank should be established among universities in order to allow faculty, students, practitioners, and administrators to share information. A partial list of organizations involved in peace issues and resources for establishment of campus and community-based peace mediation centers are also provided.
- The Distribution of Environmental Contaminants: a Socio-Historical Study of Selected Neighborhoods in Dallas County, Texas
- This research expands on recent sociological studies which maintain that environmental contaminants in America are disproportionately placed in neighborhoods inhabited by minorities and the poor. Prior studies have focused on the predictor variables which identify areas of contamination near residential neighborhoods, yet fail to explore the socio-political and historical factors which contribute to these phenomena. The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory 1990 database, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's Annual Report of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Program for 1992, and the U.S. Census Bureau's 1990 Census Data for Dallas County were utilized in pinpointing industries violating toxic release standards. Socio-historical data was obtained from government and historical records and reports, books, and newspaper clippings on Dallas County. Maps and data were obtained from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the cities of Dallas and Garland. Chapter I discusses the synergetic forces of capitalism, urban growth, uneven development, and settlement patterns resulting in the distribution of environmental contaminants. Chapter II reviews the literature and presents evidence that race and class are strong predictors of where environmental contaminants are located. Chapter III outlines the data and methods employed. Chapter IV traces the historical development of Dallas County. Chapter V details those political, economic, and social factors contributing to the convergence of people and contaminants within three selected neighborhoods. The forces which historically relegate minorities, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, and the poor to less desirable jobs, cheaper housing, and land costs are also explored. Cheap land and labor attract industry which, in turn, attracts more laborers. Chapter VI, the summary and conclusions, utilizes the socio-spatial approach in examining urban infrastructure development (i.e. roads and railways) which also reduces adjacent land costs making housing more affordable for minorities and the poor. This study concludes that because of historical development and capitalism's exploitation of labor, these populations become entrenched in neighborhoods located adjacent to those industries where contaminants are emitted.
- Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships
- The purpose of this study is to examine domestic violence as it occurs in same-sex male relationships. Data were collected by in-depth interviews with twenty-five gay males, who were between the ages of 23 and 43, and who had previous experience being in a homosexual relationship where domestic violence was present. The major findings of this study include the respondents': 1) definitions of domestic violence and abuse; 2) the type of domestic violence or abuse personally experienced; and 3) reasons they believe domestic violence or abuse occurs in these types of relationships. This study illustrates the need for further research in this area of domestic violence and for programs or services targeted for this specific population.
- Domestic Violence Shelters in Texas: Responding to Programming Needs of Older Victims of Intimate Partner Violence
- This study examined if domestic violence shelters in Texas are responding to the needs of older female victims of intimate partner violence. Data for this study was collected through online questionnaire surveys of 45% of Texas domestic violence shelters. Findings of this study indicated that less than 10% of Texas shelters are providing specialized programming for older victims of IPV. In Texas, the demographic growth of older adults has remained comparable to increased national trends. The state of Texas will face several policy implications and social issues related to an older population that is rapidly growing. This includes, the importance of addressing certain members of an aging population who continue to fall victim to domestic violence. Furthermore, an unchanged resource of safety for victims of IPV is domestic violence shelters. Therefore, this study challenges current domestic violence shelter policies to address this issue of a rapidly growing segment of the Texas population. This study found less than 10% of shelters in Texas, who participated in this study, were providing specialized programming and outreach for older victims. Important practical implications for domestic violence shelter programming in Texas is provided.
- Drug Knowledge Levels and Drug Abuse Attitudes Among Fifth and Sixth Grade Students of Denton and Keene, Texas
- The problem with which this investigation is concerned is that of determining the drug knowledge levels and attitudes toward drug abuse of fifth and sixth grade schoolchildren.
- Effect of Age on Likelihood to Test for Hiv
- HIV/AIDS can affect individuals of any age. Efforts to educate those considered to be most at-risk, based on the age at which the most individuals are infected, are ongoing and public. Less work and mainstream education outreach, however, is being directed at an older population, who can be more likely to contract HIV, is more susceptible to the effects of HIV, and more likely to develop AIDS, than younger persons. Guided by the Health Belief Model theory, research was conducted to determine what, if any, relationship existed between age of an individual and the possibility that an HIV test will be sought. Factors of gender, education, ethnicity and marital status were included in analyses. the research indicated that as age increased, likelihood for getting an HIV test decreased. Overall, most individuals had not been tested for HIV. the implications of an aged and aging population with HIV include a need for coordinated service delivery, increased education and outreach.