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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/
Group Activity Play Therapy for Preadolescents: Effects on Low Self-Esteem
Research shows that preadolescent females are more prone to negative self-perceptions than their male counterparts which places them at greater risk of developing mental health problems stemming from low self-image. The purpose of this randomized, controlled outcome study was to examine the effectiveness of group activity play therapy (GAPT) compared to an evidenced based social skills/self-esteem group. Participants were 29 fourth and fifth grade girls in two Title I schools in the southwest U.S. referred by teachers and school counselors as presenting with low self-esteem. Participants identified as 45% Latina, 38% Caucasian, 14% African American, and 3% Asian. Children were randomly assigned to either 16 sessions of GAPT (experimental group; n = 15) or 13 sessions of an evidenced based social skills/self-esteem group intervention (control group; n = 14). Results from a 2 (Group) by 3 (Times) repeated measures ANOVA indicated that, compared to the control group over time, the GAPT group reported statistically significant improvement in self-esteem with a moderate to large treatment effect. Teachers did not report a statistically significant difference between the two groups over time. However, teachers reported noteworthy improvement for children in both treatment groups, with generally stronger improvement for the GAPT group. Overall, results indicate that GAPT may be a promising school-based intervention for preadolescent females suffering with low self-esteem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862864/
The Historical Importance and Resulting Arrangement of Artie Shaw's Third Stream Composition Interlude in B-flat
Artie Shaw's Interlude in B-flat is unknown to many in the classical clarinet world and remains unperformed by clarinetists, despite its historical importance as one of the earliest Third Stream compositions, the earliest composition of its type in the clarinet repertoire. This prompts the question, why? This document explores four possible reasons for the marginalization of Interlude in B-flat. First, Shaw's historical narrative typically places him within the jazz world and not the classical world. Classical clarinetists may assume a Shaw composition will require a jazz background and experience beyond their abilities, namely improvisation. Second, the instrumentation, string quartet plus jazz combo, is atypical, making it difficult to program. Third, jazz and classical educational worlds do not necessarily overlap or interact, and neither has taken ownership of this Third Stream composition. Lastly, manuscripts, recordings, and other materials for Interlude in B-flat are limited and not readily available. Because Artie Shaw is not only a significant American clarinetist but also an important composer within the Third Stream narrative, Interlude in B-flat should be known and performed. This project aimed to promote the understanding and accessibility of this important and unknown composition to the classical clarinet world by providing an accessible arrangement of the work for clarinet and piano. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862739/
Identification of a Potential Factor Affecting Graduation Rates in STEM for Hispanic Students at the University of North Texas, via Analysis of Nonfiction Science Books in Spanish Language for ELLs in the Dallas ISD Schools
Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S.; however despite the continuous growth of the Hispanic population, Latinos are severely underrepresented in STEM fields. One of the reasons that might explain why Latinos do not major in STEM is the way they encounter science curriculum in primary school. Students' limited proficiency in English may constrain their science achievement when instruction is delivered exclusively in English. A quantitative analysis with graduation rates in STEM from 2009 to 2014 at the University of North Texas was conducted, finding that there is a significant difference (p<0.05) in the number of bachelor's degrees in STEM between Hispanic, White, African American and other student populations. Interviews with teachers, librarians and publishing companies were performed to describe the limited science literature in Spanish at the Dallas ISD schools. Improving science literacy by teaching according to ELLs' linguistic skills and culture may lead to a better understanding of science curriculum throughout their education, which may translate into higher college graduation rates by Hispanic recipients in STEM. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862785/
"Counting Out The Harvest"
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"Counting Out The Harvest" is a collection of poems exploring intimate encounters. The poems reflect on encounters with memories, family, and the natural and cosmic worlds. In one of the poems, "Red-Throated Anole," the speaker works desperately to save a small dying lizard. In "Ice Storm, Post-Divorce," the speaker attempts to decipher a cluster of ladybugs taking refuge in her room. In the title poem, a couple wonders patiently if their crop will eventually grow. In each of these poems there is a present longing for the construction of a meaningful identity by means of the encounter, but the intersection between speaker and world falls short of satisfaction, whether the faultiness lies in the body's inability to find full sustenance, or in the ever-changing fluidity of memory to find stability. But the poems progress from pressing against this difficulty toward finding a contented resignation to the world's cyclical order. The final line of the manuscript, "disrobe a layer to begin again," indicates an arrival at satisfaction, which is found ultimately in continuation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862729/
Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design
This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862829/
Customers' Attitudes toward Mobile Banking Applications in Saudi Arabia
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Mobile banking services have changed the design and delivery of financial services and the whole banking sector. Financial service companies employ mobile banking applications as new alternative channels to increase customers' convenience and to reduce costs and maintain profitability. The primary focus of this study was to explore the Saudi bank customers' perceptions about the adoption of mobile banking applications and to test the relationships between the factors that influence mobile banking adoption as independent variables and the action to adopt them as the dependent variable. Saudi customers' perceptions were tested based on the extended versions of IDT, TAM and other diffusion of innovation theories and frameworks to generate a model of constructs that can be used to study the use and the adoption of mobile technology by users. Koenig-Lewis, Palmer, & Moll's (2010) model was used to test its constructs of (1) perceived usefulness, (2) perceived ease of use, (3) perceived compatibility, (4) perceived credibility, (5) perceived trust, (6) perceived risk, and (7) perceived cost, and these were the independent variables in current study. This study revealed a high level of adoption that 82.7% of Saudis had adopted mobile banking applications. Also, the findings of this study identified a statistically significant relationship between all of demographic differences: gender, education level, monthly income, and profession and mobile banking services among adopters and non-adopters. Seven attributes relating to the adoption of mobile banking applications were evaluated in this study to assess which variables affected Saudi banks customers in their adoption of mobile banking services. The findings indicated that the attributes that significantly affected the adoption of mobile banking applications among Saudis were perceived trust, perceived cost, and perceived risk. These three predictors, as a result, explained more than 60% of variance in intention to adopt mobile banking technology in Saudi Arabia. While the perceived trust variable was the strongest influencing factor in the adoption of mobile banking, perceived cost and perceived risk had a negative correlation, equally, with mobile banking adoption. Furthermore, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and perceived compatibility had no significant correlation with mobile banking adoption. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862737/
Respiratory Responses in the Freshwater Snail (Pomacea Bridgesii) are Differently Affected by Temperature , Body Mass,and Oxygen Avalability
Pomacea bridgesii is a snail species native to tropical and sub-tropical regions, where it usually faces variability in water, temperature and oxygen level. This study of the effect of temperature on mass-specific oxygen consumption (ṀO2) and its relation to body weight shows that the ṀO2 of juvenile snails in normoxia (18-21 kPa) acclimated at temperature of 25°C ranged from 5 to 58 µMol O2/g/h, with a mean of 41.4 ± 18.3 µMol O2/g/h (n=7). Adult snails in normoxia at 25°C show less variation, ranging from 13 to 23 µMol O2/g/h , with a mean of 24.4± 6.1 µMol O2/g/h (n=12). The Q10 value for juvenile snails was higher in the interval 25-30°C (Q 10=5.74) than in the interval 20-25°C (Q10= 0.286). In adult snails, Q10 was higher in the interval 20-25°C (Q10=3.19). ṀO2 of P. bridgesii in relation to body weight showed a negative linear correlation between metabolic rate and body weight with b values between 0.23 and 0.76. Also, both juvenile and adult snails exhibited weak O2 regulation. In general, the different respiratory characteristics between juvenile and adult snails might be related to the differences of individual life history, which caused them to perform differently in face of temperatures change. Additionally, Pomacean snails species originated in tropical habitats where there is a lack of thermal fluctuation. For this reason, Pomacean snails may be less likely to have evolved effective thermal acclimation capabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862788/
The Role of Physical Activity and Physical Fitness on Biomarkers Associated with Depression and Cardiovascular Disease
Two important health issues that can develop during young adulthood are related to mental health (e.g., depression) and physical health (e.g., cardiovascular disease). A common characteristic for both of these diseases is low-grade and chronic inflammation, but inflammation is negatively associated with physical activity (PA) and physical fitness. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate how PA and physical fitness were associated with biomarkers for depression and cardiovascular disease. Participants included 41 undergraduates who were considered to be "physical fit" (n = 21, Males = 15) or "physically unfit" (n = 20, Males = 17). They completed a battery of physical fitness assessments (e.g., 20m shuttle run, body fat percentage, handgrip strength, push-ups, blood pressure, and waist circumference), a self-report measure for depression and stress, and wore an accelerometer for one week. Afterwards, blood was drawn to estimate CVD risk using biomarkers for metabolic syndrome (i.e., triglycerides, glucose, and HDL) and inflammation (i.e., C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6, interleukin-1b, and tumor necrosis factor alpha). The physically fit group had more moderate and vigorous PA, lower body fat percentage and handgrip strength scores, and performed better on the VO2max, curl-up, and plank tests compared to the physically unfit group. They also had a healthier profile for CVD (i.e., smaller waist circumference, lower triglycerides and glucose concentrations, higher HDL, and lower CRP) and lower self-reported depression and stress scores compared to the physically unfit group. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862753/
Quantum Chemistry Calculations of Energetic and Spectroscopic Properties of p- and f-Block Molecules
Quantum chemical methods have been used to model a variety of p- and f-block chemical species to gain insight about their energetic and spectroscopic properties. As well, the studies have provided understanding about the utility of the quantum mechanical approaches employed for the third-row and lanthanide species. The multireference ab initio correlation consistent Composite Approach (MR-ccCA) was utilized to predict dissociation energies for main group third-row molecular species, achieving energies within 1 kcal mol-1 on average from those of experiment and providing the first demonstration of the utility of MR-ccCA for third-row species. Multireference perturbation theory was utilized to calculate the electronic states and dissociation energies of NdF2+, providing a good model of the Nd-F bond in NdF3 from an electronic standpoint. In further work, the states and energies of NdF+ were determined using an equation of motion coupled cluster approach and the similarities for both NdF2+ and NdF were noted. Finally, time-dependent density functional theory and the static exchange approximation for Hartree-Fock in conjunction with a fully relativistic framework were used to calculate the L3 ionization energies and electronic excitation spectra as a means of characterizing uranyl (UO22+) and the isoelectronic compounds NUO+ and UN2. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862830/
Quantum Drinfeld Hecke Algebras
Quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras extend both Lusztig's graded Hecke algebras and the symplectic reflection algebras of Etingof and Ginzburg to the quantum setting. A quantum (or skew) polynomial ring is generated by variables which commute only up to a set of quantum parameters. Certain finite groups may act by graded automorphisms on a quantum polynomial ring and quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras deform the natural semi-direct product. We classify these algebras for the infinite family of complex reflection groups acting in arbitrary dimension. We also classify quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras in arbitrary dimension for the infinite family of mystic reflection groups of Kirkman, Kuzmanovich, and Zhang, who showed they satisfy a Shephard-Todd-Chevalley theorem in the quantum setting. Using a classification of automorphisms of quantum polynomial rings in low dimension, we develop tools for studying quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras in 3 dimensions. We describe the parameter space of such algebras using special properties of the quantum determinant in low dimension; although the quantum determinant is not a homomorphism in general, it is a homomorphism on the finite linear groups acting in dimension 3. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862764/