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 Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Clenching the Fists of Dissent: Political Unrest, Repression, and the Evolution to Civil War
Previous scholarship has long concentrated on the behaviors of belligerents during regime-dissident interactions. While much of the progress in the literature concentrated on the micro-level processes of this relationship, little research has focused on providing a theoretical reasoning on why belligerents choose to act in a particular manner. This project attempts to open the black box of decision making for regimes and dissidents during regime-dissident interactions in order to provide a theoretical justification for the behaviors of the belligerents involved. Moreover, this project argues that there is a relationship between the lower level events of political violence and civil war as the events at earlier stages of the conflict influence the possible outcome of civil conflict. Regimes and dissidents alike are strategic actors who conduct themselves in a manner to ensure their survival while concurrently attempting to succeed at achieving their respective goals. Although all authoritarian regimes are similar in their differences to democracies, there are significant differences between the regimes, which influence the decision making of the regime leader to ensure the survival of the political institution. In addition to influencing the decision calculus of the regimes, the behavior of the regimes impacts the probability of civil war at later stages of the interaction. Conversely, dissidents also perform as strategic actors in an attempt to gain their preferred concessions and outcomes. Although their comprehension of the coercive capacity of a regime is limited, their knowledge of the repressive capacity of the regime provides them with the understanding of their future fate if they escalate to violence against the regime. This project is conducted using two theories on regime and dissident actions and responses, two large-N empirical analyses of regime and dissident behaviors during nonviolent and violent dissident campaigns from 1945-2006, and two historical case studies of Egypt and Syria during the Arab Spring as well as the period preceding the uprising. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862817/
Coaching Efficacy Beliefs and Transformational Leadership Behaviors: Their Ability to Predict Motivational Climate
This study investigated the relationship between belief in coaching abilities (coaching efficacy beliefs, CEB), transformational leadership behaviors (TLB), and motivational climate development of current strength and conditioning coaches working with high school level athletes. The measures used were the coaching efficacy scale for high school teams (CES II-HST, Myers et al.,2000), the differentiated transformational leadership inventory (DTLI, Callow et al., 2009), and the patterns of adaptive learning scales (PALS, Midgley et al., 2000). It was hypothesized that CEB and TLB would influence motivational climate development, while coaches' background characteristics would correlate with CEB, TLB, and motivational climate development. The 60 coaches who participated reported an average of thirteen (SD=8) years of experience and 51 were Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Coaches reported high efficacy, frequent use of TLB, and development of a moderately high task- and somewhat ego-involving motivational climate. Correlations between demographic variables and CEB, TLB, and motivational climate development revealed three significant relationships: years of experience with CEB, and professional development activities and athlete to coach ratio with ego-involving climate development. CEB and TLB had a strong positive correlation. Two regression analyses were conducted to determine if the outcomes of the CEB and TLB measures predicted motivational climate development. The only significant predictor was TLB positively predicting development of a task-involving motivational climate. Strength coaches can utilize the findings of this study help shape their leadership behaviors and develop a task-involving motivational climate that emphasizes effort, improvement, and cooperative learning and is optimal for athlete development and performance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862726/
Cooperative Strategy and Sources of Knowledge Integration Capability and Innovation: A Relational View
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Faced with the challenges to addressing the novelties of the changing business environments (e.g., new customer requirement, changes in customers taste and preferences, the introduction of new products or services by competitors), organizations seek to build collaboration among their employees who possess complementary knowledge. Integrating complementary knowledge enhances employees' ability to address environmental challenges and foster innovation. Despite the importance of knowledge integration for innovation, integration of such knowledge becomes difficult when employees lack a shared understanding of knowledge, and when the knowledge is newly generated. Because new knowledge is tacit in nature and highly personal to a particular individual, it is difficult to articulate, making knowledge integration (KI) an arduous task. Lack of shared understanding, the presence of new knowledge, and lack of common interests in employees creates three types of knowledge boundaries – syntactic (information processing) boundaries, semantic (interpretive) boundaries, and pragmatic (political) boundaries. The presence of knowledge boundaries makes it difficult for employees to share and access their knowledge with each other. To overcome the challenges related to the knowledge boundaries, employees use boundary-spanning objects, which are common lexicons, common meaning, and common interests, to share and access their knowledge across the boundaries. Although prior studies have emphasized the importance of knowledge integration of various knowledge sources for innovations, examinations of what enhances KI capability of employees for organizational innovation remain limited. In addition, apart from Carlile, (2004) and Franco (2013), which are both case studies, other studies that examine the role of boundary spanning objects for knowledge integration are missing. The knowledge management literature also fails to measures (the success of common lexicons, common meaning, and common interests for achieving KI capability) boundary spanning objects. Therefore, in this study, new measurement items of boundary spanning objects and novelty are developed to test the hypotheses. A survey-based design was used to collect data and measure the constructs examined in this study. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the direct relationship hypotheses. The moderation effects were tested using 1) multi-group analysis using hierarchical linear regression, and 2) relative weight of each boundary spanning object determining KI capability at the different levels of novelty. Evidence suggests that while common meaning and common interests positively influence KI capability, common lexicon does not have a statistically significant relationship with KI capability. The results also revealed that KI capability positively influences organizational innovation. Moreover, the results demonstrate that the strength of the relationship between boundary spanning objects and KI capability is different at the medium and the high level of novelty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862852/
Costs and Benefits of Mind Wandering in a Technological Setting: Findings and Implications
The central purpose of this dissertation is to develop and test a theoretical model of mind wandering in a technological setting by integrating the emerging work and theory on mind wandering—a shift of attention from the primary task to the processing of internal goals. This dissertation is intended to advance our understanding on the costs and benefits of mind wandering in information systems (IS) research and in turn, contribute to the literature of cognitive IS research. Understanding the consequences of mind wandering in a technological setting is imperative because mind wandering plays a vital role in influencing various outcomes associated with technology use and/or technology learning, such as technology anxiety, software self-efficacy, and task performance. This dissertation is composed of three essays which examine the determinants and consequences of mind wandering and focus of attention on a number of emotional and cognitive outcomes. A multi-method approach (i.e., online survey and laboratory experiment) across three essays is used to test the research models. Essay 1 focuses on developing the measurement items and estimating the impact of mind wandering on users' emotional outcomes (i.e., technology anxiety and users' satisfaction). Drawing upon the content regulation hypothesis of mind wandering, the content of thoughts are differentiated into two categories—technology-related thought (herein IT) and non-technology related thought (herein non-IT). The results show that whereas mind wandering (non-IT) is a major determinant of technology anxiety, focus of attention (IT) is the main predictor of users' satisfaction. Essay 2 focuses on the effect of mind wandering and focus of attention in the IS learning context. The study begins by exploring the hypotheses concerning the roles of executive functions (i.e., inhibition, switching, and working memory) and task complexity in influencing the occurrence of mind wandering and focus of attention, and in turn, cognitive outcomes (i.e., software self-efficacy and learning performance). Essay 2 integrates the use of psychological testing to measure executive functions and self-report to measure mind wandering and focus of attention. The interaction effects between mind wandering and focus of attention are also tested. The findings reveal that the costs and benefits of mind wandering in IS learning depend, in part, upon its content, whether it's technology-related or non-technology-related. Specifically, the results suggest that the congruence between the content of mind wandering experience and focus of attention determines the outcomes of such experience. Essay 3 examines the extent to which individuals' focus of attention and mind wandering influence IS decision making performance at different levels of task complexity. The research model is tested using a laboratory experiment in the context of B2C e-commerce. Drawing upon unconscious thought theory and executive control theory of mind wandering, the results show that under a low task complexity condition, focus of attention and mind wandering do not have any significant effects on performance accuracy. Under a medium task complexity condition, focus of attention leads to higher performance accuracy, but mind wandering does not have a significant effect on performance accuracy. However, under high task complexity, both focus of attention and mind wandering lead to higher performance accuracy. Mind wandering also negatively influences performance efficiency under all levels of IS task complexity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862836/
Can Imagination Travel the Distance? Investigating the Role of Psychological Distance and Construal Level in Consumers' Elaborative Approach
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Much of consumer behavior research focuses on how consumers process and evaluate information to make current decision. In contrast, many consumer choices ares are underpinned by the need to make choices that incorporate the past or future, other places, other people and other situations that are seemingly hypothetical. The imagination provides the chief means by which consumers are able to traverse this psychological distance. Construal Level Theory (CLT) explains how individuals are able to plan for the future, consider the perspective of another individual and even consider situations that are counter to reality. Construal mindsets are enacted when people form mental representations of distant objects, people, or places. In abstract construal mindsets, individuals think generally, in terms of global features of an object, person, or situation. On the other hand, concrete construal mindsets center around the detailed aspects of an object, person, or situation. These two different construal mindsets serve to help people cope with the uncertainty of the future. This is because abstract cosntruals are more likely than concrete construals to remain unchanged as distance from a future object, person, or place reduces. A number of consumer behavior settings require the use of the imagination. Sticking to a weight loss and or fitness plan, planning a vacation trip, saving for retirement and imagining what birthday gift a friend will enjoy all require imagining a psychologically distant state. Marketers generally seek to stimulate consumption by requiring consumers to imagine a consumption setting. This dissertation uses CLT to guide the hypotheses, as CLT explains how individuals deal with psychological distance by adopting a construal mindset. CLT explains differences in information processing associated with adopting a specific construal mindset and suggests how construal mindsets impact consumer information elaboration processes. This study will contribute to CLT by addressing an understudied be related area: the consumer imagination. Furthermore, this dissertation helps uncover the mechanism that demonstrates the role of psychological distance on construal mindsets. The study will employ three experiments that identify the effect of psychologically distant consumption scenarios on elaborative thought processes in consumption settings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862738/
Las Cantigas de Santa Maria: Thirteenth-Century Popular Culture and Acts of Subversion
Across medieval Europe, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain traced a lattice web of popular culture. From the lowest peasant to the greatest king and churchmen, the devout walked pathways that created an economy and contributed to a social and political climate of change. Central to this impulse of piety and wanderlust was the veneration of the Virgin Mary. She was, however, not the iconic Mother of the New Testament whose character, actions, and very name are nearly absent from that first-century compilation of texts. As characterized in the words of popular songs and tales, the mariales, she was a robust saint who performed acts of healing that exceeded those miracles of Jesus described in the Bible. Unafraid and authoritative, she confronted demons and provided judgement that reached beyond the understanding and mercy of medieval codes of law. Holding out the promise of protection from physical and spiritual harm, she attracted denizens of admirers who included poets, minstrels, and troubadours like Nigel of Canterbury, John of Garland, Gonzalo de Berceo, and Gautier de Coinci. They popularized her cult across Europe; pilgrims sang their songs and celebrated the new attributes of Mary. This dissertation uses the greatest collection of these songs, Las Cantigas de Santa Maria compiled in the thirteenth century under the direction of Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon, to construct the history of a lay piety movement deeply rooted in medieval popular culture. Making the transition from institutionalized, doctrinal saint to popular heroine, Mary becomes a subversive conduit through which culture moved from Latin poetry to vernacular verse and from the monasteries of scholasticism to the popular pathway of Wycliffite reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862766/
Child Parent Relationship Therapy: A Program Evaluation
For the past 40 years, one southwestern US university counseling program has sponsored two mental health training clinics in which master's and doctoral level students have learned to provide child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) services to community parents. In their training, students learn about the positive effects of CPRT, particularly on parental stress. To date, however, no program evaluation has been conducted at these clinics focusing specifically on parental stress outcomes after the completion of CPRT or to determine the demographics and characteristics of parents who pursue CPRT. The purpose of this study was to conduct such an evaluation of archival data spanning 7 years. Participants were 129 parents (70% female, 30% male; 80% Caucasian, 35% Hispanic/ Latino, 6% African American, and 4% Asian; 62% married, 9% separated, 16% divorced). Results from a t-test indicated a statistically significant decrease in self-reported parental stress, with a moderate effect size. Multiple regression revealed that women and those who attended with a co-parent reported greater stress reduction. This study confirmed the benefit of CPRT, provided by counselors-in-training, on reducing parental stress and indicated clientele for which and conditions in which those benefits might be optimized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862821/
Logic, Emotion and Closure: Motivations for Choices of Faith
Spirituality and religiosity can play key roles in individual lives through influencing health, social relationships, political views, as well as many other facets (Newberg, D'Aquili & Rause, 2001; Milevsky & Levitt, 2004; Hirsh, Walberg & Peterson, 2013). As important as religious and spiritual beliefs are to societies, cultures, and individuals, little is known about which psychological factors determine choices of faith. Although there are likely many determinants of religious, spiritual, atheist or agnostic beliefs, this study explored four possible factors: critical thinking skills, need for cognition, need for emotional comfort/security, and need for closure. Participants included an undergraduate sample and a community sample. It was hypothesized that religious and spiritual individuals will have lower critical thinking skills, lower needs for cognition, higher needs for emotional comfort/security and higher needs for closure than agnostic and atheist individuals. Hypotheses also included potential interactions between these variables in predicting each faith path. Religiosity was measured using the I/E Religious Orientation Scale - Revised (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989) and Spirituality was measured utilizing the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) (Fetzer Institute, 1999). These two faith paths were also self -reported by participants after definitions of each were provided. Atheist and Agnostic beliefs were only measured through self-report. Results indicated that both measures of logic (critical thinking skills and need for cognition) and emotional comfort/security (Need to Belong and Religious Motivations) predicted various faith paths. Limitations included sample characteristics and small numbers of Atheist and Agnostic individuals. A better understanding of the motivations for choosing either spiritual or non-spiritual paths may assist in further explanation of the multiple roles each faith choice plays in individual lives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862765/
"Man Up!": Exploring Intersections of Sport Participation, Masculinity, Psychological Distress and Help-Seeking Attitudes
Contemporary masculinity research has focused on the ways in which socialized masculine ideologies influence, especially negatively, the lives of men. Adherence to traditional masculine norms has been inversely associated with psychological help-seeking yet positively related to psychological distress and substance use. Though sport has been conceptualized as an environment in which masculine ideologies (e.g., emphasis on competition) are learned and reinforced, few studies have quantitatively explored how, or if, masculinity differs in athletes and nonathletes. Using a sample of male collegiate athletes (n = 220) and nonathletes (n =205), this study explored: (a) differences in masculinity between athletes and nonathletes; (b) relations between masculinity and psychological/behavioral outcomes (e.g., depression, substance abuse) in athletes and nonathletes; and (c) the mediational role of self-stigma in the relation between masculinity and help-seeking in athletes and nonathletes. Athletes endorsed greater conformity to masculine norms (CMN) and experienced greater gender role conflict (GRC) than nonathlete peers. Masculinity variables also predicted depressive symptomology and alcohol use in both groups, though accounted for greater variance in nonathletes. Furthermore, self-stigma mediated the relationship between CMN and help-seeking intentions for both athlete and nonathlete men. Clinical implications of these findings and potential directions for future research are discussed. Using a sample of male collegiate athletes (n = 220) and nonathletes (n = 205), this study explored: (a) differences in masculinity between athletes and nonathletes; (b) relations between masculinity and psychological/behavioral outcomes (e.g., depression, substance abuse) in athletes and nonathletes; and (c) the mediational role of self-stigma in the relation between masculinity and help-seeking in athletes and nonathletes. Athletes endorsed greater conformity to masculine norms (CMN) and experienced greater gender role conflict (GRC) than nonathlete peers. Masculinity variables also predicted depressive symptomology and alcohol use in both groups, though accounted for greater variance in nonathletes. Furthermore, self-stigma mediated the relationship between CMN and help-seeking intentions for both athlete and nonathlete men. Clinical implications of these findings and potential directions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862779/
Eight-Year Course of Cognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features
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The purpose of the current study was to examine neuropsychological functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) with psychotic features. Data from a large, epidemiological study of patients with first-episode psychosis was used to examine verbal learning and working memory 10 years after onset of psychosis in patients with BD relative to patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and patients with psychotic major depressive disorder (MDD). Cross-sectional comparisons of verbal learning and working memory at the 10-year follow-up mirrored findings of relative performance at the 2-year follow-up (Mojtabai, 2000), as patients with SZ performed significantly worse than patients with psychotic affective disorders. When FEP patients' cognitive performance was examined longitudinally, all groups showed non-significant decline over time, with no significant diagnostic group differences after accounting for current symptoms. More frequent hospitalizations and longer treatment with antipsychotics were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing 10 years after illness onset, but these associations disappeared when controlling baseline cognitive performance. Within the BD sample, current positive and negative psychotic symptoms were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing. After controlling for baseline cognitive performance, markers of clinical course were unrelated to cognitive performance, consistent with existing literature on longitudinal cognitive functioning in patients with BD. The current findings support a neurodevelopmental model of verbal learning and working memory deficits in patients with bipolar disorder. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862811/
Elementary Students' Critical Examination of Characters in Children's Literature Depicting Social Justice
Despite the ruling of Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, segregation in schools is still quite visible with suburban schools educating a student body of more than 70% White and urban schools comprised of mostly Black, Hispanic, and Asian students. Ideally, a school should dispel social and structural inequities through curriculum and quality resources, but fallibly, schools continue to be the vehicles to maintaining the status quo. Students who develop critical awareness and cultivate a critical literacy stance can become agents of change toward a more democratic society. In the current study, urban upper-elementary-age students were asked to engage in a critical literacy event by critically examining the power positions of characters in books that depict historical social injustice. The six female participants met in several sessions to read books and a newspaper article, use a critical reader response tool, and then engage in critical conversations about the books' characters. Their dialogue was recorded and analyzed using a critical discourse qualitative methodology. The findings show that older elementary students are capable of seeing multiple perspectives of an issue and can explain characters' power from born from privilege and fueled by fear and how a shift in power may occur through solidarity. The findings suggest school curriculum enhanced by media narrows the students' view of discrimination as being targeted mostly towards African-Americans, but those experiences through literature have the potential to expand the students' views to include other cultural groups. Subsequently, there is a need for broader teacher preparation using books that enhance students' views of social injustice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862856/
Environmental Ethics from the Periphery: José Lutzenberger and the Philosophical Analysis of an Unecological Economics
This dissertation provides a philosophical analysis about the influence colonialism had over capitalism's current configuration and how their intricate interplay impacts both the social and the ecological spheres, in both central and peripheral countries. Such analysis draws from the work of José Lutzenberger, a Brazilian environmentalist. The current capitalist economic system tends to disregard the environment, since it would be greatly affected by negative externalities. A negative externality is an economic activity that imposes a negative effect on an unrelated third party. Many negative externalities are related to the environmental consequences of production and consumption. In addition, this dissertation explores the fact that an ecological crisis is also a social crisis. A genealogical and existential thread going from Brazil's early days as one of Portugal's colonies to the present is drawn, showing how colonialism helped to create the foundations and the conditions for the current exploitative capitalist system, in Brazil and elsewhere. To change this situation, the environment should not be entrusted to private interests but to an institution responsible for the good of society as a whole. Genuinely green economies are more prone to appear on the periphery, but only if global economic justice is achieved first. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862837/
Evaluation of an Observation and Training System to Increase Play Skills in Young Children with Autism
Play is considered to be important for the development of young children in that it provides a means to expand their interests, promote engagement and learning, and increase social interactions. Children with autism, however, display deficits in play skills, such as lack of pretend play and rigid or stereotyped manners of play. Research suggests supported play techniques, such as reciprocal imitation training, play expansions, and scaffolding increase play skills in children diagnosed with autism. The current study evaluated the effects of a training package to teach staff members supported play techniques to six young children diagnosed with autism. The study employed a concurrent multiple baseline design across two preschool classrooms. The results suggest that the training package successfully increased staff member use of the supported play techniques and child and staff engagement. The training, however, did not have consistent effects on child social engagement (proximity, attending, and initiating) or on the types of child play (simple manipulation, advanced manipulation, and pretend play). Staff member responses to the post-intervention satisfaction and feedback survey were positive and the results are discussed in the context of the observation procedures and directions for future studies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862752/
Market Efficiency, Arbitrage and the NYMEX Crude Oil Futures Market
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Since Engle and Granger formulated the concept of cointegration in 1987, the literature has extensively examined the unbiasedness of the commodity futures prices using the cointegration-based technique. Despite intense attention, many of the previous studies suffer from the contradicting empirical results. That is, the cointegration test and the stationarity test on the differential contradict each other. In marked contrast, my dissertation develops the no-arbitrage cost-of-carry model in the NYMEX light sweet crude oil futures market and tests stationarity of the spot-futures differential. It is demonstrated that the primary cause of the "cointegration paradox" is the model misspecifications resulting in omitted variable bias. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862846/
Married in a Frisky Mode: Clandestine and Irregular Marriages in Eighteenth-Century Britain
The practice of irregular and clandestine marriage ran rampant throughout Britain for centuries, but when the upper class felt they needed to reassert their social supremacy, marriage was one arena in which they sought to do so. The restrictions placed on irregular marriages were specifically aimed at protecting the elite and maintaining a separation between themselves and the lower echelon of society. The political, social, and economic importance of marriage motivated its regulation, as the connections made with the matrimonial bond did not affect only the couple, but their family, and, possibly, their country. Current historiography addresses this issue extensively, particularly in regards to Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 in England. There is, however, a lack of investigation into other groups that influenced and were influenced by the English approach to clandestine marriage. The Scots, Irish, and British military all factor into the greater landscape of clandestine marriage in eighteenth-century Britain and an investigation of them yields a more complete explanation of marital practices, regulations, and reactions to both that led to and stemmed from Hardwicke's Act. This explanation shows the commonality of ideas among Britons regarding marriage and the necessity of maintaining endogamous unions for the benefit of the elite. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862840/
Maturation of Endothermic Capacity within the Avian Developmental Spectrum: A Characterization of Thermoregulatory Metamorphosis
An avian embryo is ectothermic, with body temperature determined by environmental temperature. Upon hatching, the neonate begins a conversion so that endothermic capacity becomes feasible and body temperature becomes independent of environment. Whole animal metabolic rate and ventilation response, cardiovascular development, and maturation of muscle mitochondrial flux were the focus of this dissertation because of the direct role in shivering thermogenesis. Precocial ducks and altricial Double-crested Cormorants exhibit increasing hematocrit and disproportionate increases in fractional heart mass resulting in greater oxygen delivery capacity and increased capacity of muscles to utilize oxygen compared with ectothermic American Alligator and Common Snapping turtles. By selecting for faster growth and higher meat yield in the domestic chicken, differences in whole-animal, tissue, cellular, and regulatory responses are evident between broiler and layer type birds. In the altricial red-winged blackbird, despite appearance of a whole animal endothermic response sometime after 7 dph, capacity of skeletal muscles involved in shivering thermogenesis peaks prior to that time. Thus, full development of endothermy is delayed in this species, allowing the altricial nestling to allocate energy towards growth rather than metabolic maintenance. Hypothyroidism in neonate red-winged blackbirds results in delayed maturation of the cardiovascular system and mitochondrial oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle. Such deficiencies were quickly recovered once the animals returned to a normothyroid state, apparently at the cost of increasing body mass. Insights into onset of thermoregulation provide a more thorough understanding of metabolic and physical transitions a hatchling bird must undergo to reach the adult endothermic phenotype. Endothermic capacity will continue to be at the forefront of physiological research because of the significance of changes between the energetic relations of an animal that must occur with its environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862809/
Measurement and Analysis of Indoor Air Quality Conditions
More than 80% of the people in urban regions and about 98% of cities in low and middle income countries have poor air quality according to the World Health Organization. People living in such environment suffer from many disorders like a headache, shortness of breath or even the worst diseases like lung cancer, asthma etc. The main objective of the thesis is to create awareness about the air quality and the factors that are causing air pollution to the people which is really important and provide tools at their convenience to measure and analyze the air quality. Taking real time air quality scenarios, various experiments were made using efficient sensors to study both the indoor and outdoor air quality. These experimental results will eventually help people to understand air quality better. An outdoor air quality data measurement system is developed in this research using Python programming to provide people an opportunity to retrieve and manage the air quality data and get the concentrations of the leading pollutants. The entire designing of the program is made to run with the help of a graphical user interface tool for the user, as user convenience is considered as one of the objectives of the thesis. A graphical user interface is made for the user convenience to visualize graphically the data from the database. The designed system is tested and used for the measurement and analysis of the outdoor air quality. This data will be available in the database so it can be used for analyzing the air quality data for several days or months or years. Using the GrayWolf system and the designed outdoor air quality data measurement system, both the indoor and outdoor air quality was measured to analyze and correlate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862782/
Microstructure for Enhanced Plasticity and Toughness
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Magnesium is the lightest metal with a very high specific strength. However, its practical applicability is limited by its toughness and reliability. Mg, being HCP has low ductility. This makes the improvement of toughness a grand challenge in Mg alloys. Friction stir processing (FSP) is a thermomechanical technique used to effect microstructural modification. Here, FSP was utilized to affect the toughness of WE43 sheets through microstructural modification. Room temperature Kahn-type tests were conducted to measure the toughness of WE43 sheets. Microscopic techniques (SEM, TEM) was utilized to study the effect of various microstructural factors like grain size, texture, constituent particles, precipitates on crack initiation and propagation. Tensile properties were evaluated by mini-tensile tests. Crack growth in WE43 sheets was also affected by mechanics and digital image correlation (DIC) was utilized to study the plastic zone size. The underlying mechanisms affecting toughness of these sheets were understood which will help in formulating ways in improving it. WE43 nanocomposites were fabricated via FSP. Uniform distribution of reinforcements was obtained in the composites. Improved mechanical properties like that of enhanced strength, increased hardness and stiffness were obtained. But contrary to other metal matrix composites which show reduction in ductility with incorporation of ceramic reinforcements, the nanocomposites showed good strength-ductility combination. The composites were precisely characterized and mechanisms governing this property were studied. The nano-length of the reinforcements was observed to be the main criteria and the dislocation-particle interaction, the main reason behind the strength-ductility property. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862825/
Observed Parenting Aspects of Child Compliance in Custodial Grandfamilies
Custodial grandmothers and grandchild (aged 4 to 12) dyads (N = 170) completed self-report, other-report, and an observational task that captured child HI, expressive social support, and custodial grandmother-grandchild compliance variables. A multivariate analysis of covariance tested differences between high and low hyperactivity-inattention on observed parenting variables while controlling for child age. While overall results were not significant, there were significant differences between child age and observed parenting variables. A hierarchical regression model revealed that, when controlling for age, child hyperactivity-inattention does not moderate the relationship between commands given by a custodial grandmother and child compliance, but revealed that direct commands from the grandmother predicted compliance. A second hierarchical regression model suggested that encouragement and praise (versus criticism and discouragement) from a grandmother moderated the relationship between grandmother commands and child compliance, when controlling for child age. It appeared that when grandmothers gave indirect commands more frequently, encouragement and praise instead of criticism was associated with greater compliance. In dyads with frequent direct commands given, compliance was high, however dyads who scored high in direct commands with criticism and discouragement were most likely to comply. This study adds to the literature by providing insight into the challenges and strengths for this unique, growing population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862834/
Persistence Patterns of Mathematics and Science Majors: A Profile of Highly Motivated Freshmen
Despite an increasing demand for college graduates skilled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ("STEM") fields, a substantial number of students who choose these majors leave after taking their first-year "gateway" math and science coursework. Research has shown GPA to be a salient predictor of persistence in STEM majors: Students who earn high grades in gateway courses are more likely to continue, and those who earn low grades are more likely to leave. However, a small number of students defy that expectation: Despite a low gateway course GPA, they persist not just to the sophomore year but all the way to graduation. The purpose of this study was to determine what other experiences, motivations, or attributes aside from academic performance influence these students to persist. A qualitative approach was taken with the use of semi-structured interviews, which provided a means for analysis based on insights directly from students. An invitation was sent to a cohort of graduating math and science majors at a large public institution, and 10 eligible volunteers were chosen to participate. A thematic analysis was conducted to seek common themes in the students' interviews regarding their experiences in their gateway coursework, their feelings towards their chosen major, their beliefs about their academic proficiency, their motivations for continuing in their major, and other prominent characteristics they attributed to their persistence. Five themes were found: Ambition, dedication, achievement, culture shock, and resilience. Of the five themes, four are attributes of the students themselves: Ambition, dedication, achievement, and resilience. The fifth, culture shock, is something that happened to them, although it does contain information about the students insofar as how they handled the situation. The end result was the identification of a specific group of students: High achievers majoring in math and science who are self-driven and independent, as well as confident in their abilities. A student fitting this profile is likely to persist in a math or science major despite any initial setbacks they may endure in the first year of coursework. In terms of application, institutions can implement initiatives for incoming freshmen to orient them to their STEM majors and guide them in understanding the attitudes, motivations, and practices that will help them succeed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862847/
Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction
Automatic text summarization and keyphrase extraction are two interesting areas of research which extend along natural language processing and information retrieval. They have recently become very popular because of their wide applicability. Devising generic techniques for these tasks is challenging due to several issues. Yet we have a good number of intelligent systems performing the tasks. As different systems are designed with different perspectives, evaluating their performances with a generic strategy is crucial. It has also become immensely important to evaluate the performances with minimal human effort. In our work, we focus on designing a relativized scale for evaluating different algorithms. This is our major contribution which challenges the traditional approach of working with an absolute scale. We consider the impact of some of the environment variables (length of the document, references, and system-generated outputs) on the performance. Instead of defining some rigid lengths, we show how to adjust to their variations. We prove a mathematically sound baseline that should work for all kinds of documents. We emphasize automatically determining the syntactic well-formedness of the structures (sentences). We also propose defining an equivalence class for each unit (e.g. word) instead of the exact string matching strategy. We show an evaluation approach that considers the weighted relatedness of multiple references to adjust to the degree of disagreements between the gold standards. We publish the proposed approach as a free tool so that other systems can use it. We have also accumulated a dataset (scientific articles) with a reference summary and keyphrases for each document. Our approach is applicable not only for evaluating single-document based tasks but also for evaluating multiple-document based tasks. We have tested our evaluation method for three intrinsic tasks (taken from DUC 2004 conference), and in all three cases, it correlates positively with ROUGE. Based on our experiments for DUC 2004 Question-Answering task, it correlates with the human decision (extrinsic task) with 36.008% of accuracy. In general, we can state that the proposed relativized scale performs as well as the popular technique (ROUGE) with flexibility for the length of the output. As part of the evaluation we have also devised a new graph-based algorithm focusing on sentiment analysis. The proposed model can extract units (e.g. words or sentences) from the original text belonging either to the positive sentiment-pole or to the negative sentiment-pole. It embeds both (positive and negative) types of sentiment-flow into a single text-graph. The text-graph is composed with words or phrases as nodes, and their relations as edges. By recursively calling two mutually exclusive relations the model builds the final rank of the nodes. Based on the final rank, it splits two segments from the article: one with highly positive sentiment and the other with highly negative sentiments. The output of this model was tested with the non-polar TextRank generated output to quantify how much of the polar summaries actually covers the fact along with sentiment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862796/
An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity
Recent estimates suggest that a large percentage of the population experiences some type of traumatic event over the course of the lifetime, but a relatively small proportion of individuals develop severe, long-lasting problems (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD). One major goal for trauma researchers is to understand what factors contribute to these differential outcomes, and much of this research has examined correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. An important next step in this line of research is the development of conceptual frameworks to foster a deeper understanding of the relationships among these diverse predictors of PTSD and their predictive power in relation to each other. A framework proposed by Rubin, Boals, and Hoyle centers on the influence of narrative centrality (construal of a traumatic experience as central to one's identity and to the life story) and negative affectivity (the tendency to experience negative emotion and to interpret situations and experiences in a negative light), suggesting many variables may correlate with PTSD symptoms via shared variance with these two factors. With a sample of 477 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, this dissertation project extended the work of Rubin and colleagues by a) utilizing structural equation modeling techniques to simultaneously examine relationships among variables, b) investigating the utility of the model with a carefully-selected list of PTSD correlates, c) extending the model by including PTSD symptom severity, and d) exploring both direct and indirect effects to assess the roles of narrative centrality and negative affectivity as they relate to known PTSD correlates and PTSD symptom severity. PTSD correlates included social support quality and quantity, peritraumatic dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions, perceived injustice, and negative religious coping. Hypotheses were partially supported, and there was some evidence that the model may be effective in distinguishing between variables more and less germane to the individual's construal of a traumatic experience. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862807/
Lifecycle Affordability Decisions
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SpaceX as aerospace manufacturer and space transport service technology company work along to make reusable rockets, their long term plan is to make spaceflight affordable routine. Elon Musk, as CEO, is involved in every step of decision making as he has mentioned in interviews. The rocket's engine has undergone a number of improvements, and to increase its efficiency and power, a number of parts has been reduced. The redesigning process involves several decisions, such as in-house or out-source production. This research provides a practical framework for contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers to build a more reliable, affordable, and low cost supply chain. As a result, the objective of my dissertation is to explore how managers can extend the useful life of their assets and reduce their total cost of ownership. The main research focus for this dissertation is lifecycle affordability (LCA) for capital intensive products when post production costs are significantly higher than production costs. Lifecycle cost is often not considered by firms in a product, service or asset when making acquisition decisions. Firm's acquisition are mainly based on the initial cost of the product. Decision making without considering the entire lifecycle cost of a product impacts the firm's profitability, revenue, pricing strategies, and competitiveness. Evaluating the trade-offs between all the costs involved in the product lifecycle can help firms to have an estimation of costs before making any acquisition decisions. To address these challenges, lifecycle affordability (LCA) considerations can enable firms to focus their decisions on their long-term investment process rather than trying to save on initial cost of purchasing a product. This dissertation presents the following research question: how has lifecycle affordability been represented in supply chain research to date? And what are constructs of lifecycle affordability? To address this research question, the dissertation is comprised of three separate essays. The first essay conducts literature review method to provide a framework for lifecycle affordability that reduces the total lifecycle cost while maintaining the reliability and efficiency of the capital equipment, and identify existing research gaps and future LCA research ideas. The second essay is constructed on a survey-based method and investigations how homeowners' lack of understanding lifecycle cost, and long-term affordability affects their dissatisfaction with the home purchase. A regression model is developed to study the factors that explain Homebuyers' lack of understanding cost, and affordability considerations. The third essay developed an agent-based model (ABM) to study small medium businesses (SMB) when the business organization and the community is hit by a disaster. The objective of the study is to investigate the resiliency and lifecycle affordability management of the community and the small medium businesses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862724/
Phases of Change in Psychotherapy Across Levels of Clinician Training
Given the alarmingly high rates of premature termination in training clinics, research aimed at understanding the course of change and treatment outcomes in training clinics deserves considerable attention. Additionally, more research is needed to understand the effectiveness of psychotherapy training and whether more training is actually associated with better client outcomes. Thus, this study sought to investigate whether clinicians' level of training and experience were related to a variety of clients' outcomes (e.g., well-being, symptom reduction, and life functioning) based on the phase model of psychotherapy. Unfortunately, confirmatory factor analysis of the OQ45.2 did not support the three-factor conceptual model paralleling the phase model. Rather, a two-factor model of best fit was identified. Neither clinicians' level of clinical training nor therapeutic orientation were found to be related to client improvements. However, this finding may have been attenuated by limited variance in client outcomes. Implications for clinical training and future outcome research methodologies are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862816/
Portraits of Undocumented Latino College Graduates Through a Lens of Resiliency Theory
Using resiliency theory as a lens, this qualitative study explored the educational journey and post-graduation experiences of 5 (2 females and 3 males) undocumented Latino college graduates (ULCGs). All participants completed a college degree from a U.S. four-year institution located in a state with an active in-state resident tuition (ISRT) policy. Pseudonyms were used to protect the identity of study participants since a viable path to permanent U.S. residency for undocumented students and/or graduates is currently unavailable. Participants shared their journeys through two 90-minute interviews conducted via Skype, follow-up questions conducted via e-mail, and journal entries collected via e-mail. Consistent with existing literature, findings revealed that participants experienced numerous cultural, academic, legal, and personal barriers, but were relentless in reaching their goals. Contrary to most existing literature, participants in this study enjoyed significant academic capital, aspirational capital, and followed a different and unique decision-making rationale. Findings are presented in five individual portraits and one collective portrait. Individual portraits illustrate participants' struggles, key turning points, and their life decisions. The collective portrait addresses four themes that emerged from the data, including 1) life barriers, 2) reflections of resiliency, 3) decision time, and 4) college education interpretation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862870/
Post-Hoc Analysis of Challenging Behavior by Function: A Comparison of Multiple-Respondent Anecdotal Assessments, Functional Analyses, and Treatments
The current study examines anecdotal assessment, functional analysis, and treatment outcomes from 44 participants. Agreement across Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS), Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF), and Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) assessments, agreement between those anecdotal assessments and functional analyses, and agreement between those anecdotal assessments and treatment outcomes were analyzed across maintaining variables and topography categories of challenging behaviors. Overall, the QABF had the highest agreement results with functional analyses and treatment with 70% and 92% of cases respectively. Patterns in the distribution of maintaining variables was examined across behavior topography categories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862773/
The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills
This study examined the effects of fluency-based instruction on the identification of six component-composite relations for early reading skills. Five participants (ages 5-8) who struggled with reading participated. A multiple probe design was used to assess the effects of frequency building on prerequisite skills on the emergence of composite reading skills. The results show that the prerequisite skills taught did not have an effect on the composite skill probes but did have an effect on the assessment scores. The data expand the research pertaining to Precision Teaching, fluency-based instruction, and component-composite relations. These data suggest that additional skills may be needed to be taught in order to effects on the composite skills. In addition, these authors identify the need for the identification of the component skills necessary to teach rapid autonomic naming. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862832/
The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism
Several evidence-based procedures based upon operant learning principles have been developed to teach language, and for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), naturalistic interventions are commonly implemented as they are both effective and developmentally appropriate. The current investigation compared contingent responsive intervention and combined intervention on the effects of language use in four children diagnosed with ASD. Results suggest that a combined intervention procedure increases target language and requests in children with simplified language (e.g., one-word phrase) as well as complex language (e.g., simple sentences). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862728/
The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame
Disordered eating is a general term that describes a wide range of behaviors from diagnosable eating disorders to subclinical patterns of behavior that do not meet criteria for diagnosis (e.g., problematic weight loss behaviors, excessive dieting, bingeing, purging). Disordered eating is prevalent and has a wide range of physical and psychological consequences. Negative self-conscious emotions such as shame and guilt have been implicated in the development and maintenance of disordered eating. Positive attitudes toward the self (i.e., self-forgiveness, self-compassion, self-acceptance) may be helpful in reducing shame, guilt, and disordered eating symptoms. In this dissertation, I explored the associations between positive attitudes toward the self, negative self-conscious emotions, and disordered eating in a sample of college students and adults (N = 477). Positive attitudes toward the self were associated with lower levels of disordered eating symptoms, and this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of negative self-conscious emotions. I concluded by discussing areas for future research and implications for clinical practice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862828/
Effects of UE Speed on MIMO Channel Capacity in LTE
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With the introduction of 4G LTE, multiple new technologies were introduced. MIMO is one of the important technologies introduced with fourth generation. The main MIMO modes used in LTE are open loop and closed loop spatial multiplexing modes. This thesis develops an algorithm to calculate the threshold values of UE speed and SNR that is required to implement a switching algorithm which can switch between different MIMO modes for a UE based on the speed and channel conditions (CSI). Specifically, this thesis provides the values of UE speed and SNR at which we can get better results by switching between open loop and closed loop MIMO modes and then be scheduled in sub-channels accordingly. Thus, the results can be used effectively to get better channel capacity with less ISI. The main objectives of this thesis are: to determine the type of MIMO mode suitable for a UE with certain speed, to determine the effects of SNR on selection of MIMO modes, and to design and implement a scheduling algorithm to enhance channel capacity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862877/
The Impact of Family Resilience Factors and Parent Gender on Stress Among Parents of Children with Autism
Parents of children with autism experience high degrees of stress. Research pertaining to the reduction of parental stress in families with a child with autism is needed. In this study, the relationship between family resilience, parent gender, and parental stress was examined. Seventy-one parents of young children with autism were surveyed. Regression and correlational analyses were performed. Results indicated that the vast majority of respondents reported significantly high levels of stress. Lower degrees of parental stress were correlated with higher degrees of family resilience. Family resiliency factors were significant contributors to the shared variance in parental stress. Mothers of children demonstrated higher levels of stress than fathers. Suggested explanations of these findings are presented and clinical and research implications are provided. The findings of this study provide evidence for the importance of facilitating family resilience for parents of children with autism and affirm differing stress levels between mothers and fathers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862763/
Opera and Society in Early-Twentieth-Century Argentina: Felipe Boero's El matrero
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Premiering at the twilight of the gauchesco era and the dawn of Argentine musical Modernism, El matrero (1929) by Felipe Boero (1884-1958) remains underexplored in terms of its social milieu and artistic heritage. Instantly hailed as a masterpiece, the work retains a place in the local repertory, though it has never been performed internationally. The opera draws on myths of the gaucho and takes further inspiration from the energized intellectual environment surrounding the one-hundred-year anniversary of Argentine Independence. The most influential writers of the Centenary were Leopoldo Lugones (1874-1938), Ricardo Rojas (1882-1957), and Manuel Gálvez (1882-1962). Their times were marked by contradictions: xenophobia and the desire for foreign approbation; pride in an imaginary, "barbaric" yet noble ideal wiped out by the "civilizing" ambitions of revered nineteenth-century leaders. Krausism, a system of ideas following the teachings of Karl Friedrich Krause (1781-1832), had an impact on the period as exhibited in the political philosophy of Hipólito Yrigoyen (1852-1933), who served as president from 1916 to 1922 and 1928 to 1930 when he was deposed by a right-wing coup d'état. Uncritical applications of traditional understandings of nationalism have had a negative impact on Latin American music scholarship. A distillation of scholarly conceptions of Argentine nacionalismo, which address the meaning of the word as it was used in the early twentieth century, combined with an examination of major works of important literary figures of the Centenary provide a firmer ground for discussion. Gálvez paints a conservative portrait of a refined, well-traveled dilettante who finds true enlightenment only in his own rural, Argentine culture. A liberal, Rojas understands nationalism as devotion to the development of national institutions and local art. Lugones argues the foundation of national art should be the gaucho, and articulates the hierarchical sociabilities it should articulate. Boero adopts elements of Krausism and the nationalistic system of values advanced by the Centenary writers within an Occidentalist framework. Occidentalism describes cosmopolitan initiatives to incorporate the ideals of the West as structural to Argentine identity. It shares the liberal outlook of the central government that valued international openness and European and Anglo-American affinity. Boero wrote to satisfy the responsibilities of the various occupations he held as opera composer, pedagogue, and art musician, but was always dedicated to the strengthening of national institutions and development of what he perceived to be a native art. His pieces evince the Occidental ideal in their adoption of Impressionistic, Puccinian, and folkloric elements in varied ways, sometimes in individual pieces in isolation, other times all within the same work. The use of each of these styles is done in a thoroughly Eurocentric manner as even the "gaucho" elements are utilized according to traditional art music conventions. Boero demonstrates his mastery of a variety of techniques throughout his oeuvre and explores each of them in his magnum opus. The play El matrero, written by the contemporary Uruguayan playwright, Yamandú Rodríguez, draws on themes explored and celebrated by the Centenary writers and resonates with certain Krausist values. The libretto diverges from the play in a few significant ways that suggest a more conservative political outlook. More than simply a story told in the popular gauchesco style, the work is a kind of origin story with supposedly authentic depictions of rural life that present a model for contemporary sociabilities informed by the Krausism and liberalism of the era. Musical analysis of the opera confirms affinities with verismo and Impressionism, but also reveals a unique stamp, not only in the use of gauchesco topoi, but the harmonic language and interplay of styles. These styles are not blended into a single, cohesive unity but arise at key points within the heterogeneous work. A critical analysis allows the musical styles to be considered to articulate a social hierarchy marked by Krausist organicism already hinted at in the text. The various character groups of the opera have distinct voices that reveal separate classes. In line with current Argentine thought rooted in the nineteenth century and the Centenary, and due to the work's status as an origin story, the relationships between the groups may be seen to represent a model for contemporary society with the elite successfully managing the affairs of their underlings. The music helps articulate these relationships with moments of diegetic gauchesco music-making being relegated to the voices and bodies of the lower classes and the representatives of the upper class speaking with a mixture of art music styles and a sublimated folkloric style. The combined study of text and music reveals an Occidentalist perspective with the native Argentine elements subordinated to the European. In spite of their lower sociopolitical position, the folk are not despised but given a coherent musical language with which to express themselves, and the higher characters are musically united to their gaucho compatriots. The combination of musical styles creates an engaging, complex tapestry more than worthy of considered study and appreciation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862860/
Passion Settings of the 20th- and 21st- Centuries Focusing on Craig Hella Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard
Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1963) has emerged as a leader in choral music over the last 20 years. As the conductor of the Austin, TX based chorus Conspirare Johnson implemented the European model of bringing singers together from all over the country to assemble for concerts and recordings over a short period of time. He is known for his collage programs which bring together many styles of music bound by a central theme. Through these programs he has written and arranged many pieces which are now published and being performed by choirs across the globe. Johnson's most significant work to date is a 90 minute passion oratorio which details the story of Matthew Shepard, a college student murdered in a hate crime in 1998. Considering Matthew Shepard (2016) is a wonderful example of Johnson's composition and programming style. Though not a traditional passion story, it is part of the evolution of the genre in the 20th and 21st centuries. The passion oratorio has seen a resurgence in the past 50 years and has undergone a transformation in that time. These new works pay homage to the history of the genre but have begun to stretch it in terms of form and content. This study will highlight the evolution of the passion oratorio focusing on Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard and offer some insight into the composers style and how this work represents a modern treatment of the passion oratorio. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862740/
Peculiar Pairings: Texas Confederates and Their Body Servants
Peculiar Pairings: Texas Confederates and their Body Servants is an examination of the relationship between Texas Confederates and the slaves they brought with them during and after the American Civil War. The five chapter study seeks to make sense of the complex relationships shared by some Confederate masters and their black body servants in order to better understand the place of "black Confederates" in Civil War memory. This thesis begins with an examination of what kind of Texans brought body servants to war with them and the motivations they may have had for doing so. Chapter three explores the interactions between master and slave while on the march. Chapter four, the crux of the study, focuses on a number of examples that demonstrate the complex nature of the master slave relationship in a war time environment, and the effects of these relationships during the post-Civil War era. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862736/
Cytochrome P450 Gene Expression Modulates Anoxia Sensitivity in Caenorhabditis Elegans
With an increasing population suffering from obesity or Diabetes Mellitus (DM), it is more pertinent than ever to understand how physiological changes impact cellular processes. Patients with DM often suffer from obesity, hyperglycemia, altered fatty acids that contribute to vascular dysfunction, and increased risk to ischemia. Caenorhabditis elegans is a model system used to study the conserved insulin signaling pathway, cellular responses in whole organisms and the impact a glucose diet has on oxygen deprivation (anoxia) responses. RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) was used to analyze the expression of genes in the anoxia sensitive populations of N2 (wild-type) fed glucose and hyl-2(tm2031), a mutant with altered ceramide metabolism. Comparison of the altered transcripts in the anoxia sensitive populations revealed 199 common transcripts- 192 upregulated and 7 downregulated. One of the gene families that have altered expression in the anoxia sensitive populations encode for Cytochrome P450 (CYP). CYPs are located both in the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but the CYPs of interest are all predicted to be mainly subcellularly localized to the ER. Here, I determined that knock-down of specific cyp genes, using RNA interference (RNAi), increased anoxia survival in N2 animals fed a standard diet. Anoxia sensitivity of the hyl-2(tm2031) animals was supressed by RNAi of cyp-25A1 or cyp-33C8 genes. These studies provide evidence that the CYP detoxification system impacts oxygen deprivation responses. using hsp-4::GFP animals, a transcriptional reporter for ER unfolded protein response (UPR), I further investigated the impact of cyp knock-down, glucose, and anoxia on ER UPR due to the prediction of CYP-33C8 localization to the ER. Glucose significantly increased ER UPR and cyp knock-down non-significantly increased ER UPR. Measurements of ER UPR due to anoxia were made difficult, but representative images show an increase in ER stress post 9-hour anoxia exposure. This study provides evidence that glucose affects ER stress and that ER stress is involved in oxygen deprivation responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862757/
Data-Driven Decision-Making Framework for Large-Scale Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty
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Managing large-scale dynamical systems (e.g., transportation systems, complex information systems, and power networks, etc.) in real-time is very challenging considering their complicated system dynamics, intricate network interactions, large scale, and especially the existence of various uncertainties. To address this issue, intelligent techniques which can quickly design decision-making strategies that are robust to uncertainties are needed. This dissertation aims to conquer these challenges by exploring a data-driven decision-making framework, which leverages big-data techniques and scalable uncertainty evaluation approaches to quickly solve optimal control problems. In particular, following techniques have been developed along this direction: 1) system modeling approaches to simplify the system analysis and design procedures for multiple applications; 2) effective simulation and analytical based approaches to efficiently evaluate system performance and design control strategies under uncertainty; and 3) big-data techniques that allow some computations of control strategies to be completed offline. These techniques and tools for analysis, design and control contribute to a wide range of applications including air traffic flow management, complex information systems, and airborne networks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862845/
The Effects of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for Adoptive Families
Adoptive parents often struggle to understand and meet the social-emotional behavioral needs of their adopted child, particularly when the child's pre-adoption experience lacked a secure relationship with an attuned and responsive caregiver. This randomized controlled study, a replication of Carnes-Holt and Bratton's 2014 research, investigated the effects of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) for adoptive families who reported attached-related concerns such as difficulties establishing a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship as well as concerns about the adopted child's behavior and parental stress. Participants were 49 adoptive parents (61% female; 7% couples; 86% European American, 6% Latino, 6% Asian, and 2% Black American) with adoptees between the ages of 2.5 to 9 (50% female; 35% European American, 22% Asian, 12% Latino, 10% Black American, and 21% Biracial or other). Eighty-four percent of children were adopted internationally or from the foster care system. Parents were randomly assigned to CPRT or treatment as usual (TAU). Results from 2 (group) by 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs indicated that compared to the TAU control group, parents who participated in CPRT reported statistically significant improvement in child behavior problems, parent-child relationship stress, and parental empathy, with a large treatment effects on all measures. Findings confirmed results from Carnes-Holt and Bratton's study and provided strong support for CPRT as a responsive intervention for adoptive parents and their children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862867/
An Experimental Study of Bifurcated (Weekend and Weekday) and Unitary (Past Week) Retrospective Assessments of Sleep
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Discordance between weekday and weekend sleep schedules is common (Bonnet & Arand, 1995; Breslau, Roth, Rosenthal, & Andreski, 1997; Machado, Varella, & Andrade, 1998; Strauch & Meier, 1988; Tsai & Li, 2004). Brief retrospective self-report measures are essential for epidemiological research studies (Moul, Hall, Pilkonis, & Buysse, 2004), but self-reports are prone to error in recall, and the greater the variability in nightly sleep, the less reliable are retrospective reports (Babkoff, Weller, & Lavidor, 1996). More accurate self-report responses may be possible if measures prompt participants to consider variations in sleep schedules that are consistent (i.e., weekday and weekend sleep schedules). The current study experimentally examined whether Bifurcated (Weekday and Weekend) retrospective assessments of sleep are more accurate than Unitary (Past Week) assessments. Participants were randomly assigned to complete one of the two versions (Bifurcated vs. Unitary) of the Sleep Questionnaire. One hundred and thirty-one participants were included in the analyses. Results of a a series of analyses demonstrated that the Bifurcated version of the Sleep Questionnaire provided more accurate and less variable estimates of total sleep time than the Unitary version of the Sleep Questionnaire. Differences between the versions of the Sleep Questionnaire for other sleep variables were less consistent, and the increased length of the Bifurcated version of the Sleep Questionnaire may have contributed to increased missing and unusable data in this group. Overall, the findings suggest that in both research and clinical work, retrospective measures that examine weekday and weekend sleep separately may offer advantages over retrospective measures that do not differentiate between weekday and weekend sleep. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862822/
Run, Women, Run! Female Candidates and Term Limits: A State-Level Analysis
This dissertation seeks to explain the puzzle in the state politics literature which expects females to benefit from the enactment of term limits, but initial research finds the number of female in office decreases after the implementation of term limits. Examining this puzzle involves three separate stand-alone chapters which explore female candidate emergence (1), success rates (2), and women-friendly state legislative districts (3). The goal of the dissertation is to reconcile the puzzle while adding insight into how female candidates behave at the state-level. Overall, I find that term limits increases female descriptive representation by increasing the likelihood a female candidate will run and win an election. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862859/
Scripture for America: Scriptural Interpretation in John Locke's Paraphrase
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Is John Locke a philosopher or theologian? When considering Locke's religious thought, scholars seldom point to his Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul. This is puzzling since the Paraphrase is his most extensive treatment of Christian theology. Since this is the final work of his life, did Locke undergo a deathbed conversion? The scholarship that has considered the Paraphrase often finds Locke contradicting himself on various theological doctrines. In this dissertation, I find that Locke not only remains consistent with his other writings, but provides his subtlest interpretation of Scripture. He is intentionally subtle in order to persuade a Protestant audience to modern liberalism. This is intended to make Protestantism, and specifically Calvinism, the vehicle for modern liberalism. This is seen clearly in Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Though Weber concludes that Protestant support for capitalism in the late 19th Century is due to its theological foundation, I find that Weber is actually examining Lockean Protestantism. Locke's success in transforming Protestantism is also useful today in showing how a modern liberal can converse with someone who actively opposes, and may even wish to harm, modern liberalism. The dissertation analyzes four important Protestant doctrines: Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, the church and family, and Christian political life. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862806/
Self-Control in Overweight and Obese Individuals: The Relationship of Dispositional Self-Control and Blood Glucose
Currently, the etiology of obesity is conceptualized as a confluence of environmental, socioeconomic, behavioral, biological and genetic factors. With regard to behavioral factors, some have suggested that a failure of self-control may contribute to the difficulty of an overweight/obese individual because of their inability to resist food or maintain physical activity. Recent research proposed that self-control could be described as similar to a muscle that can be fatigued. Thus, if an individual engages in a self-control task they have lessened ability to utilize self-control on a subsequent task. Theory also suggests self-control may be fueled by a finite resource, identified as blood glucose. The role blood glucose plays is important to understand, especially in overweight and obese populations, as they may be more likely to be insulin resistant. In effect overweight and obese individuals are less likely to adequately process glucose. Therefore overweight/obese individuals might react to self-control tasks differently than normal weight individuals. Participants who were considered normal weight, overweight, and obese were recruited from the UNT research pool. They answered questions about their trait self-control in daily life and engaged in either a task that required them to exert self-control (e.g., resist crossing out a letter unless criteria is met) or a control task (e.g., cross out a letter without restriction). All participants then engaged in a subsequent self-control task to assess if engaging in the initial self-control task reduced performance on the subsequent self-control task compared to the control task. The current research findings were not in line with previous research, in that a depletion effect in self-control was not observed; in neither the normal weight individuals nor the overweight and obese groups. There were several limitations that may have contributed to these findings including; higher DSC than observed in the general population and a possible adaptation effect due to the duration of the self-control tasks, which is in keeping with subsequently published research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862748/
Teaching Late Intermediate-level Technical Skills Through the Study of Leschetizky, Vengerova, and Neuhaus: Exercises or Repertoire?
Too be successful and be effective teaching, one must be familiar with a variety of methods in instruction and teaching strategies. This also includes becoming aware of any challenges that student and teachers might confront at all levels. Advanced-level piano students, such as those who are at the collegiate level, study the masterpieces of the great composers. However, they may still be in need of developing certain technical and musical skills which should have been covered at the late intermediate level. This study focuses both on exercises and on late intermediate-level repertoire. This study examined the methodical approaches of Russian technical school primarily through the exercises of Theodor Leschetizky, Isabelle Vengerova, and Heinrich Neuhaus and compared these exercises with passages from appropriate great literature suitable for late intermediate-level students. This may not only in preparing for more advanced piano repertoire but also broadening general piano techniques. All together, this may further promote in prevention of musical problems that might occur at a more advanced-level of piano study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862732/
The Power of the Servant Teacher
An instructor's power in the classroom is constructed and sustained through communication. The aim here is to examine how a teacher's power can be negotiated through a lens of servant leadership in hopes of furthering modes in which communication scholars can train future teachers to utilize their power in the classroom. I hypothesize that a teacher utilizing a servant leadership framework employs more pro-social behavioral alteration techniques (BATs). Participants were asked to answer an online survey with questions regarding a chosen instructor's attributes of servant leadership and behavioral alteration messages (BAMs). My hypothesis was partially supported in that that are perceived to use persuasive mapping a specific dimension of servant leadership engage in significantly more pro-social BATs; however, instructors with higher levels of emotional healing engage in significantly more anti-social BATs. Additionally, the gender of the participant and rank of the instructor evaluated influenced students' perceptions of compliance-gaining strategies. The discussion examines the specific dimensions of servant leadership as they relate to power and explores future directions for research examining professional development and training for future faculty and the need to examine gender of participant and instructors with an experimental research design. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862813/
Preschool Life Skills: A Systematic Replication with Children with Developmental Disabilities
School readiness literature indicates that skills which lend themselves to readiness and success in primary school are not amongst the skills generally taught in center based care facilities. Furthermore, children enrolled in non- maternal care settings are at greater risk for developing problem behavior. To address this issue, the Preschool Life Skills (PLS) program was created as a preventative intervention to teach functional communication and social skills to typically developing children. Children diagnosed with developmental disabilities are not immune to these concerns and are also at risk for developing problem behaviors in non-maternal settings, due to insufficient instruction and contingency management. The current study aimed to evaluate and identify the dose of instruction necessary for the PLS curriculum to be a successful and efficient teaching tool for children with developmental disabilities. Twelve preschool life skills were taught to 9 participants across 4 instruction units. Instruction was provided by means of a three-tiered instructional approach, which incorporated class-wide instruction, followed by small group and individual instruction as necessary. Skills were sequentially introduced and unit probes were conducted following mastery of all 3 skills within a unit. Results indicated that the adaptations made to the original preschool life skills curriculum led to skill acquisition with all nine participants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862783/
The Relationship of Motivated Strategies for Learning, Mental Toughness, and Grit to Developmental Math Student Success in an Adaptive Learning Technology Environment
The importance of the study is grounded in the need to increase the success rates at community colleges, which is critical for meeting national goals for college attainment and promoting upward social mobility. The majority of community college students arrive unprepared for college-level math and are placed into developmental math. A drive to increase math performance has focused on course redesigns incorporating adaptive learning technologies. While adept at adapting subject matter to students' individual needs, there remains the need to understand the role of student metacognition in the learning process. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between specific learner attributes and academic success in developmental math for students who are acquiring their skills through an adaptive learning technology environment. The Motivated Strategies of Learning Questionnaire, GRIT, and Mental Toughness Questionnaires were used to uncover relationships and differences between measured traits, student success, and demographic items such as age, gender, race, amount of time spent in paid work, and previous credits. Survey results were analyzed using a correlation research design and demonstrated significant relationships between time and gender, topics mastered and race, time and Motivated Strategies for Learning, time and self-regulation, and grade and emotional control. The study makes recommendations about how to best develop and leverage adaptive learning technologies in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862853/
Residential Grid-Connected Photovoltaics Adoption in North Central Texas: Lessons from the Solarize Plano Project
Residential Grid-Connected Photovoltaics (GPV) systems hold remarkable promise in their potential to reduce energy use, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy costs to consumers, while also providing grid efficiency and demand-side management benefits to utilities. Broader adoption of customer-sited GPV also has the potential to transform the traditional model of electricity generation and delivery. Interest and activity has grown in recent years to promote GPV in north central Texas. This study employs a mixed methods design to better understand the status of residential GPV adoption in the DFW area, and those factors influencing a homeowner's decision of whether or not to install a system. Basic metrics are summarized, including installation numbers, distribution and socio-demographic information for the case study city of Plano, the DFW region, Texas, and the United States. Qualitative interview methods are used to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors influencing adoption for the Solarize Plano case study participants; to evaluate the effectiveness of the Solarize Plano program; and to identify concepts that may be regionally relevant. Recommendations are presented for additional research that may advance GPV adoption in north central Texas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862819/
Theoretical Analysis of Drug Analogues and VOC Pollutants
While computational chemistry methods have a wide range of applications within the set of traditional physical sciences, very little is being done in terms of expanding their usage into other areas of science where these methods can help clarify research questions. One such promising field is Forensic Science, where detailed, rapidly acquired sets of chemical data can help in decision-making at a crime scene. As part of an effort to create a database that fits these characteristics, the present work makes use of computational chemistry methods to increase the information readily available for the rapid identification and scheduling of drugs to the forensic scientist. Ab initio geometry optimizations, vibrational spectra calculations and ESI-MS fragmentation prediction of a group of common psychedelics are here presented. In addition, we describe an under development graphical user interface to perform ab initio calculations using the GAMESS software package in a more accessible manner. Results show that the set of theoretical techniques here utilized, closely approximate experimental data. Another aspect covered in this work is the implementation of a boiling point estimation method based on group contributions to generate chemical dispersion areas with the ALOHA software package. Once again, theoretical results showed to be in agreement with experimental boiling point values. A computer program written to facilitate the execution of the boiling point estimation method is also shown. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862850/
An Exploration of College Attitudes among Sioux Falls High School Students
Since the recession of 2008, there has been an increased scrutiny of higher education, with little research done on how this affects high school students' college search process. This study seeks to understand how college perceptions are formed and how they affect the college decision process of high school students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In order to gain a holistic perspective of this process, this study utilized a mixed method approach of analyzing public data, conducting interviews with community members and students, conducting a focus group with high school guidance counselors, and administering a survey to high school students. This study found that students in this area form their perceptions of college in three distinct phases and that these phases affect a student's college priorities. Special attention was given to how academics, cost and location contributed to a student's overall college decision. These findings can be used to assist faculty and staff at higher education institutions in creating effective messaging and programming that relate to this group of students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862875/
Exploring Volunteer Management in the Public Sector: What are the Challenges in Managing Volunteers in Local Government?
To effectively provide services to citizens, local governments have had to be creative. One approach has been the creation of volunteer programs to meet demands and expanding needs. Volunteer programs hold promise for creating meaningful engagement opportunities for citizens. However, limited organizational capacity, inadequate volunteer management practices, and difficulties in maintaining volunteer retention are concerns plaguing local government volunteer programs. Volunteer programs are often structured around a set of best practices thought to be necessary for ensuring the retention of volunteers. To apply best practices across the board would suggest that local government volunteer programs are similar in organizational structure, budget size, amount of citizen engagement, accountability concerns, and that they adopt similar bureaucratic procedures. Using human relations and bureaucratic theories as theoretical frameworks, four research questions are asked and answered: 1) What are the managerial and political challenges in volunteer management and retention for local government volunteer coordinators?, 2) What challenges are local governments' volunteer coordinators facing in using volunteer management practices?, 3) What strategies are helpful in retaining volunteers in local government volunteerism?, and 4) What challenges do local government volunteer coordinators face in engaging citizens? Data collection for this qualitative study was conducted using online surveys and telephone semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest that creating meaningful work for volunteers and coordinating this work with local government managers was an important "best practices" challenge. Although local government volunteer programs also have a mission of engaging citizens, the practices actually used may directly conflict with their mission. Many volunteer management practices are supporting organizational goals rather than supporting the needs of volunteers. The study findings suggest that the best practices used by local governments are not given equal weight and "one size does not fit all." Instead, local governments must prioritize their practices carefully. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862758/
Extensions of the General Linear Model into Methods within Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling
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The current generation of structural equation modeling (SEM) is loosely split in two divergent groups - covariance-based and variance-based structural equation modeling. The relative newness of variance-based SEM has limited the development of techniques that extend its applicability to non-metric data. This study focuses upon the extension of general linear model techniques within the variance-based platform of partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). This modeling procedure receives it name through the iterative PLS‑SEM algorithm's estimates of the coefficients for the partial ordinary least squares regression models in both the measurement model and the overall structural model. This research addresses the following research questions: (1) What are the appropriate measures for data segmentation within PLS‑SEM? (2) What are the appropriate steps for the analysis of rank-ordered path coefficients within PLS‑SEM? and (3) What is an appropriate model selection index for PLS‑SEM? The limited type of data to which PLS-SEM is applicable suggests an opportunity to extend the method for use with different data and as a result a broader number of applications. This study develops and tests several methodologies that are prevalent in the general linear model (GLM). The proposed data segmentation approaches posited and tested through post hoc analysis of structural model. Monte Carlo simulation allows demonstrating the improvement of the proposed model fit indices in comparison to the established indices found within the SEM literature. These posited PLS methods, that are logical transfers of GLM methods, are tested using examples. These tests enable demonstrating the methods and recommending reporting requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862733/
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