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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Educational Psychology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Effect of Naturalistic Behavior Strategies on the Quality of Social Interactions for Children with Autism
Autism is primarily a social disorder and deficits in social?orienting may be responsible for the failure of children with autism to initiate critical social behaviors. The purpose of this research was to improve the quality of social interactions of children with autism by implementing naturalistic behavior strategies intervention utilizing a multiple baseline design across four participants. Naturalistic behavior strategies comprised a comprehensive package of integrated components including: (a) intervention in the child’s natural environment; (b) child-initiated play activities ; (c) prompts to emit language; (d) shaping for all vocal approximations and (e) delivery of natural reinforcement with embedded social interactions to maintain learned behavior. In addition to intervention, generalization of child behaviors was assessed across untrained parents and/or caregivers in the same environment. Results indicated the effectiveness of naturalistic teaching strategies package in increasing (a) the frequency of vocal mands for all children, (b) the number of times that children initiated social engagement during manding, and (c) intervals of nonverbal dyadic orienting. These skills generalized across two untrained caregivers in the same clinical setting without any training from the interventionist. Two parents required training during the generalization phase in order for their child’s behaviors to maintain at levels demonstrated during the intervention phase. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149644/
Teacher Educators: What Motivates Them to Choose Academe?
Currently, there is a shortage of professors preparing personnel to teach in high need areas (e.g., special education, English language learners) at institutions of higher education (IHE). The purpose of the present study was to examine the motivations or influencers that impelled individuals to pursue careers in IHEs as professors in personnel preparation. Data were collected using Motivations for Choosing Academia as a Profession (MCAP) and a 10-item Big Five Inventory (BFI-10). Two hundred eighty-nine professors of education representing the four U.S. census regions participated in the present study. The MCAP is a 25-item instrument designed to measure retrospective motivation of faculty decisions to enter the professoriate. The development of the MCAP is described and an exploratory factor analysis was employed to examine the psychometric validity of the instrument. Three factors emerged and implications are discussed. Data were analyzed using logistic regression with the dichotomous outcome variable being the area of education in which the professor works (i.e., general or special education). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149568/
Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders’ Perceptions of Professional Standards of Practice
In recent decades, there has been renewed interest in examining the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. Unfortunately, researchers have found that there is limited empirical research on the effectiveness of quality special education teacher preparation programs, specifically those programs specializing in the education of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest special education organization, conducts research on the standards needed by teachers who serve children and youth with exceptionalities. These CEC standards are recommended to serve as a guide for teacher preparation programs in special education. Utilizing the CEC standards delineated for preparation programs in EBD, the present study sought to determine how graduates of one program perceived the importance of the standards and their perceived proficiency in using the standards in their work with students with EBD. Results indicated that graduates viewed the standards as Important to their work with students with EBD. Further, they viewed their proficiency in using the standards to be above average. In addition, the present study examined the relationship between graduates perceived importance and perceived proficiency in using the CEC standards. Results indicated that graduates who had higher score ratings on their perceived importance of the standards tended to have higher ratings on their perceived proficiency scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149634/
Service Provisions for Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Youth with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD) have poorer outcomes compared to their peers with and without disabilities. As a result, the federal government has mandated transition services to improve supports and ultimately student outcomes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2), this secondary analysis looked at services provided to youth with EBD (n = 410). The purpose of the study was to show a relationship between utilization of multiple services and the attainment of paid employment, and/or attending post-secondary education. Results indicate relationships between receiving financial services, tutoring and educational services and vocational services with attending a post-secondary institution. Logistic regression indicated a relationship between time, age and amount or services with paid employment. These results indicate the need for continuous, systematic and linked services for youth with EBD well into their twenties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149580/
Teacher Turnover among Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that compel teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) to quit or stay in their job. Invitations to participate in the study were sent to a sample of educators from each the four census regions of the United States who currently work or have worked in the past worked with students with E/BD and have participated in one or more of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) professional development events. A total of 156 educators responded to the online survey and 9 participated in the focus groups. Quantitative information generated from the survey was analyzed using frequency distributions and ANOVA, whereas, qualitative information were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories. The results were presented in narrative and tabular form and organized in response to each of the research questions. The projected high teacher turnover as depicted in the findings, were mainly attributed to workplace variables and classroom conditions. Both variables are likely to be associated with high levels of dissatisfaction and lack of commitment eventually leading to decisions by teachers of students with E/BD to leave their job. Most respondents perceived themselves as being adequately prepared for responsibilities associated with teaching students with E/BD. The low variances associated with the grouping variable, career decisions did not explain a significant amount of variance in perceived levels of preparedness with regards to implementation of various program components and instructional activities. Hence, teacher qualifications and perceptions did not play a significant role in career decisions made by teachers of students with E/BD. In addition, findings reveal the need for all future teachers regardless of their certification to take specialized courses in special education to ensure that all teachers understand the unique characteristics and needs of students with E/BD. Respondents recommended that all pre-service teachers would benefit from actual hands-on training through structured field experiences and practicum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5208/
A follow-up study of a masters program for teachers of students with emotional/behavioral disorders.
Educators today are faced with a worthy goal. Every student, including those with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), must be taught by a qualified teacher. However, recruiting, training, and retaining quality special education teachers continue to confound the field. The purpose of this study was to determine if the completion of a NCATE/CEC (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for Exceptional Children) approved masters program specializing in EBD from a well-known university increased the confidence in knowledge and skills of special educators, the numbers of special educators, and/or the retention of special educators working with students with EBD. The sample in this study was composed of 199 students who had completed the master's degree in special education who specialized in emotional/behavioral disorders from 1985 to 2005. Data were compiled from 80 students at a response rate of approximately 40%. Additionally, five respondents participated in face-to-face interviews. The data did not lend themselves to the quantitative analysis and thus pose a limitation to the generalizability of this study. However, combined with the qualitative analysis, the study provided a rich analysis of a program whose graduates stay in the field of special education providing services to students with EBD. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9014/
Effects of the Why Try Social Skills Program on Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders at an Alternative Campus
Approximately 20% of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) are sent to an alternative campus for their lack of social competence. Social skills training (SST) is an evidence-based intervention to help increase social competence for students with E/BD, but there is limited research that addresses SST for students with E/BD at alternative campuses. A mixed-methods design was utilized to examine SST at an alternative campus for students with E/BD. Pre-intervention data were collected for students' attendance, grades, office disciplinary referrals, and behavioral rating scales, after which, the Why Try SST program was implemented. Following the intervention, the same type of data were collected. Nonparametric statistics guided the quantitative analysis, because of the small population being studied. Differences from pre- to post-intervention were examined. Triangulation methods drove the qualitative data collection and analysis through observations, student interviews, and teacher interviews. Students exhibited significant differences from pre- to post-intervention in the number of office disciplinary referrals and several areas on the behavioral rating scales. Important insight into motivation and perceptions was gained through the observations and interviews. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33212/
Knowledge and Training in Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Special Education Administrators.
A significant rise in the number of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) served in today's schools requires special education administrators to possess knowledge in this area. The purpose of this study was to determine the general knowledge of special education administrators concerning ASD and knowledge of educational programming, to explore their educational training and professional development experiences in ASD, to identify the training needs of special education administrators in ASD, and to determine if knowledge, training and experience in ASD predict litigation. Using survey methods, data were collected from a sample of 106 special education administrators in Texas. Data revealed special education administrators were most knowledgeable of general characteristics, common myths, and instructional strategies, and less knowledgeable of eligibility criteria. Knowledge regarding educational programming for learners with ASD produced mixed results. Logistic regression analysis revealed general autism knowledge, knowledge of educational programming, training, and experience in ASD were not factors predicting litigation. Although results indicated none of the factors explored in this study were predictors of litigation, areas of need regarding professional development were identified. Implications for future research are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33169/
A Hierarchical Regression Analysis of the Relationship Between Blog Reading, Online Political Activity, and Voting During the 2008 Presidential Campaign
The advent of the Internet has increased access to information and impacted many aspects of life, including politics. The present study utilized Pew Internet & American Life survey data from the November 2008 presidential election time period to investigate the degree to which political blog reading predicted online political discussion, online political participation, whether or not a person voted, and voting choice, over and above the predication that could be explained by demographic measures of age, education level, gender, income, marital status, race/ethnicity, and region. Ordinary least squares hierarchical regression revealed that political blog reading was positively and statistically significantly related to online political discussion and online political participation. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds of a political blog reader voting were 1.98 the odds of a nonreader voting, but vote choice was not predicted by reading political blogs. These results are interpreted within the uses and gratifications framework and the understanding that blogs add an interpersonal communication aspect to a mass medium. As more people use blogs and the nature of the blog-reading audience shifts, continuing to track and describe the blog audience with valid measures will be important for researchers and practitioners alike. Subsequent potential effects of political blog reading on engagement, discussion, and participation will be important to understand as these effects could impact the political landscape of this country and, therefore, the world. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33182/
Knowledge and Confidence of Speech-Language Pathologists Regarding Autism
The increased prevalence rate of autism has immense implications for speech language pathologists (SLPs) who are directly involved in the education and service delivery for students with autism. However, few studies have documented the effectiveness of the knowledge and confidence of SLPs regarding autism. The purpose of this study was to measure the knowledge and confidence of SLPs regarding autism and the extent to which their educational and professional training prepared them to work effectively with this population. An online survey was administered to and returned by 336 SLPs nation-wide. Two multiple linear regressions were conducted to determine the variables that explained overall knowledge and confidence. The number of students with autism on one's caseload explained most of the variance. Independent sample t-test results depicted knowledge and confidence scores of SLPs who were behaviorally trained versus those who were not behaviorally trained. SLPs who were behaviorally trained had higher mean scores on measures of knowledge and confidence when compared to those without formal behavioral training. Finally, a bivariate correlation was conducted to explore the relationship between knowledge and confidence of SLPs, however, results were not statistically significant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33197/
Frequency and quality of the implementation of functional behavioral assessments as reported by educators.
The research investigation reported herein examined the quality and experience of the functional behavioral assessment (FBA) process as reported by educators working with students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD). The data accrued is based on a 30-item survey and participant telephone interviews examined the overall knowledge of the FBA process by educators and their general experience when conducting a FBA, specifically the procedural timeline, types of education professionals involved, and typical outcomes and results. Survey responses indicated two common barriers in the FBA implementation which often inhibit best practice: lack of true collaborative teamwork and insufficient communication among FBA team members. Survey responses also indicated a level of statistical significance from education professionals working in elementary school settings who self-rated positively higher when conducting a FBA than those education professionals working on either a secondary or special campus. Additionally, participant interviews indicated a growing awareness of the advantages of using the FBA as an early intervention process when dealing with challenging behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9749/
Investigating the hypothesized factor structure of the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory: A study of the student satisfaction construct.
College student satisfaction is a concept that has become more prevalent in higher education research journals. Little attention has been given to the psychometric properties of previous instrumentation, and few studies have investigated the structure of current satisfaction instrumentation. This dissertation: (a) investigated the tenability of the theoretical dimensional structure of the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory™ (SSI), (b) investigated an alternative factor structure using explanatory factor analyses (EFA), and (c) used multiple-group CFA procedures to determine whether an alternative SSI factor structure would be invariant for three demographic variables: gender (men/women), race/ethnicity (Caucasian/Other), and undergraduate classification level (lower level/upper level). For this study, there was little evidence for the multidimensional structure of the SSI. A single factor, termed General Satisfaction with College, was the lone unidimensional construct that emerged from the iterative CFA and EFA procedures. A revised 20-item model was developed, and a series of multigroup CFAs were used to detect measurement invariance for three variables: student gender, race/ethnicity, and class level. No measurement invariance was noted for the revised 20-item model. Results for the invariance tests indicated equivalence across the comparison groups for (a) the number of factors, (b) the pattern of indicator-factor loadings, (c) the factor loadings, and (d) the item error variances. Because little attention has been given to the psychometric properties of the satisfaction instrumentation, it is recommended that further research continue on the SSI and any additional instrumentation developed to measure student satisfaction. It is possible that invariance issues may explain a portion of the inconsistent findings noted in the review of literature. Although measurement analyses are a time-consuming process, they are essential for understanding the psychometrics characterized by a set of scores obtained from a survey, or any other form of assessment instrument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9746/
Attenuation of the Squared Canonical Correlation Coefficient Under Varying Estimates of Score Reliability
Research pertaining to the distortion of the squared canonical correlation coefficient has traditionally been limited to the effects of sampling error and associated correction formulas. The purpose of this study was to compare the degree of attenuation of the squared canonical correlation coefficient under varying conditions of score reliability. Monte Carlo simulation methodology was used to fulfill the purpose of this study. Initially, data populations with various manipulated conditions were generated (N = 100,000). Subsequently, 500 random samples were drawn with replacement from each population, and data was subjected to canonical correlation analyses. The canonical correlation results were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and an ANOVA design to determine under which condition(s) the squared canonical correlation coefficient was most attenuated when compared to population Rc2 values. This information was analyzed and used to determine what effect, if any, the different conditions considered in this study had on Rc2. The results from this Monte Carlo investigation clearly illustrated the importance of score reliability when interpreting study results. As evidenced by the outcomes presented, the more measurement error (lower reliability) present in the variables included in an analysis, the more attenuation experienced by the effect size(s) produced in the analysis, in this case Rc2. These results also demonstrated the role between and within set correlation, variable set size, and sample size played in the attenuation levels of the squared canonical correlation coefficient. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30528/
Alternative Certification: A Comparison of Factors Affecting the Motivations of General and Special Educators
This study was developed to examine the motivations of individuals who chose alternative routes to teacher certification and what they believe were the strengths and weaknesses of their alternative certification preparation (ACP). Data accrued from this study were based on a 55-item online survey and participant information from an online focus group. The study compared the differences between general and special educators in regards to the motivating factors affecting the decision to become a teacher, remain a teacher, and in choosing a non-university-based ACP, as well as the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the ACP. The results from the survey suggest there are differences in the motivating factors affecting general and special educator's decision to become a teacher and to remain a teacher. Additional survey results suggest there are no differences in the reason these two groups chose a non-university-based ACP. The results of the survey and the online focus group were comparable for these two groups. The remainder of this dissertation includes a review of literature related to teacher shortages and teacher preparation including alternative certification. Additionally, information on the results and analysis of the study are discussed, as well as recommendations for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30467/
The Roles Elementary School Counselors Perform in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This nation-wide study investigated elementary school counselors (ESC) self-reported: (a) professional background and training; (b) general knowledge of autism spectrum disorders (ASD); (c) attitudes towards ASD; and (d) roles performed with students identified with ASD. Also investigated was the predictive relationships between professional background, training, knowledge, and attitudes on roles (counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination) performed with students identified with ASD. Descriptive statistics were utilized to address professional background, training, knowledge, attitude and characteristics of ESC participants. These variables were also examined in relationship to the four role types. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) and Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to test for significant relationships. A series of four multiple regression analyses predicting each of the total roles scores for counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination were also conducted. Results of the study suggest (a) ESC have limited training experiences of ASD, leading to self-education about this population of students, (b) ESC possess general knowledge about ASD, (c) overall, ESC have positive attitudes towards ASD, and (d) ESC perform all conceptualized roles in the education of students with ASD. Regression models revealed eight predictors found to influence roles: total knowledge, attitudes, geographic setting, U.S. region, years practiced, conference training, self-education, and ASD caseload. Significantly associated with performing roles across all four domains was the number of students with ASD on ESC caseload. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84253/
Personnel Preparation in Special Education: An Exploration of Autism Spectrum Disorders Programmatic Changes in Institutions of Higher Education Teacher Training Programs
Programmatic change related to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) training in special education teacher education programs across the U.S. and institutional variables that influenced change were examined. Variables included institutions’ current coverage of autism content in coursework and institution enrollment. One faculty member from each identified institution was invited to participate in the study. Data were collected from 136 special education faculty using an exploratory survey instrument, the National Survey on ASD Preparation in Undergraduate Special Education Teacher Training Programs (NSAP). This study was designed around themes which emerged from empirical and pragmatic research findings conceptualizing prevalent issues in personnel preparation for ASD including critical knowledge and skills needed by teachers to effectively serve students with ASD. Results indicated a significant number of programmatic changes (66%) remain to be implemented in undergraduate special education programs at institutions participating in the study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84239/
Comparing the Effects of Home Versus Clinic-Based Parent Training for Children with Autism
Research with parents on managing child problem behavior typically measures either child or parent behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training parents to implement a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) in a non-trained natural environment utilizing a Multiple Probe Design across Participants. Participants included four parent-child dyads. Measurement variables included parents' use of effective and ineffective strategies and child problem behavior. Intervention involved training parents to understand and implement the BIP using effective strategies, modeling the effective procedures, and providing feedback following parent implementation of procedures. Results showed that the intervention was very effective in promoting skill generalization of parents and decreasing child problem behavior. The findings have implications for research and clinical practice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28408/
The Effects of Positive Behavioral Supports in Schools since the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 based on 2001 SLIIDEA Data
Congress in 1997 recognized that there were some issues and concerns that had emerged surrounding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and sought to address these issues and concerns by mandating a national evaluation on the implementation and progress toward improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The Study of the State and Local Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was designed to address how the amendments of IDEA were being implemented by states, school districts, and schools. This mixed methods study examined the first year of data collected from the six-year Study of the State and Local Implementation of IDEA (SLIIDEA) and analyzing 20 case studies that used interviews of special education personnel and principals, conducted at the local school level. Data from the national survey were examined in light of findings from the case studies. The case studies brought out the varying opinions on implementation success at the local level. Further case studies for each year of the study would be helpful in determining the level of implementation locally and the significant insights of local school personnel on whether these initiatives have worked. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11021/
Stratified item selection and exposure control in unidimensional adaptive testing in the presence of two-dimensional data.
It is not uncommon to use unidimensional item response theory (IRT) models to estimate ability in multidimensional data. Therefore it is important to understand the implications of summarizing multiple dimensions of ability into a single parameter estimate, especially if effects are confounded when applied to computerized adaptive testing (CAT). Previous studies have investigated the effects of different IRT models and ability estimators by manipulating the relationships between item and person parameters. However, in all cases, the maximum information criterion was used as the item selection method. Because maximum information is heavily influenced by the item discrimination parameter, investigating a-stratified item selection methods is tenable. The current Monte Carlo study compared maximum information, a-stratification, and a-stratification with b blocking item selection methods, alone, as well as in combination with the Sympson-Hetter exposure control strategy. The six testing conditions were conditioned on three levels of interdimensional item difficulty correlations and four levels of interdimensional examinee ability correlations. Measures of fidelity, estimation bias, error, and item usage were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the methods. Results showed either stratified item selection strategy is warranted if the goal is to obtain precise estimates of ability when using unidimensional CAT in the presence of two-dimensional data. If the goal also includes limiting bias of the estimate, Sympson-Hetter exposure control should be included. Results also confirmed that Sympson-Hetter is effective in optimizing item pool usage. Given these results, existing unidimensional CAT implementations might consider employing a stratified item selection routine plus Sympson-Hetter exposure control, rather than recalibrate the item pool under a multidimensional model. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11029/
Determination of the optimal number of strata for bias reduction in propensity score matching.
Previous research implementing stratification on the propensity score has generally relied on using five strata, based on prior theoretical groundwork and minimal empirical evidence as to the suitability of quintiles to adequately reduce bias in all cases and across all sample sizes. This study investigates bias reduction across varying number of strata and sample sizes via a large-scale simulation to determine the adequacy of quintiles for bias reduction under all conditions. Sample sizes ranged from 100 to 50,000 and strata from 3 to 20. Both the percentage of bias reduction and the standardized selection bias were examined. The results show that while the particular covariates in the simulation met certain criteria with five strata that greater bias reduction could be achieved by increasing the number of strata, especially with larger sample sizes. Simulation code written in R is included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28380/
Educators' Perceptions of the Importance of Selected Competencies for Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and their Perceptions of Personal Proficiency
This study investigated educators' perceptions of the importance of competencies for teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders and their own proficiency in the competencies. Participants included educators who had completed university-based coursework on emotional and behavioral disorders. Competencies from the Qualification and Preparation of Teachers of Exceptional Children study were correlated with CEC's content standards and knowledge skill sets for special education teachers of individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders. Participants ranked 88 competencies on importance and proficiency. Results revealed that educators' proficiency in competencies, their years of experience, and level of education contribute a significant percentage of variance in their ratings of the importance of competencies. Implications for further research are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33210/
Structural Validity and Item Functioning of the LoTi Digital-Age Survey.
The present study examined the structural construct validity of the LoTi Digital-Age Survey, a measure of teacher instructional practices with technology in the classroom. Teacher responses (N = 2840) from across the United States were used to assess factor structure of the instrument using both exploratory and confirmatory analyses. Parallel analysis suggests retaining a five-factor solution compared to the MAP test that suggests retaining a three-factor solution. Both analyses (EFA and CFA) indicate that changes need to be made to the current factor structure of the survey. The last two factors were composed of items that did not cover or accurately measure the content of the latent trait. Problematic items, such as items with crossloadings, were discussed. Suggestions were provided to improve the factor structure, items, and scale of the survey. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68014/
Teachers' Perspectives on Student Problematic Behavior and Social Skills
The research investigation reported herein examined program outcomes of student problem behavior and social skills, based on teachers' perspectives, before and after early behavioral intervention services. The study targets students in kindergarten through grade five who are identified by the school system for being at-risk for being labeled with emotional and behavioral disorders. Students identified received early intervention services based on individualized positive behavioral supports (i.e., social skills training, functional behavioral assessment, and team collaboration). Teachers completed a teacher form of the Social Skills Rating System before and after the student received program services to determine differences in social skills and problematic behavior pre- and post- program early intervention services. An analysis was also made of the differences among gender, ethnicity, and grade according to the teachers' perspectives. Data indicated statistically significant results in the area of social skills and problem behavior. The results indicate early intervention services that teach social skills and use functional behavioral assessments to deal with problem behavior are beneficial to children displaying behavior challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68039/
Missing Data Treatments at the Second Level of Hierarchical Linear Models
The current study evaluated the performance of traditional versus modern MDTs in the estimation of fixed-effects and variance components for data missing at the second level of an hierarchical linear model (HLM) model across 24 different study conditions. Variables manipulated in the analysis included, (a) number of Level-2 variables with missing data, (b) percentage of missing data, and (c) Level-2 sample size. Listwise deletion outperformed all other methods across all study conditions in the estimation of both fixed-effects and variance components. The model-based procedures evaluated, EM and MI, outperformed the other traditional MDTs, mean and group mean substitution, in the estimation of the variance components, outperforming mean substitution in the estimation of the fixed-effects as well. Group mean substitution performed well in the estimation of the fixed-effects, but poorly in the estimation of the variance components. Data in the current study were modeled as missing completely at random (MCAR). Further research is suggested to compare the performance of model-based versus traditional MDTs, specifically listwise deletion, when data are missing at random (MAR), a condition that is more likely to occur in practical research settings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84282/
The Use of Evidence-based Practices in the Provision of Social Skills Training for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a National Survey of School Psychologists' Training, Attitudes, and Practices
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine school psychologists' use of evidence- based practices (EBP), in general, and more specifically in the area of social skills training (SST) for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Study participants, consisting of 498 school psychologists from across the nation, participated in an online survey that gathered information about their training, attitudes, and practices. The frequency with which specific EBP practices for social skills training for students with ASD was examined, as was prediction of use of these practices. Multiple-regression analyses revealed multiple independent variables that were predictors for overall use of EBP. Results indicated that over half of the participants provide SST for students with ASD. Although the majority of participants indicated that their graduate program included at least one course with information about ASD and EBP practices, in general, nearly half indicated that their coursework did not include any courses that directly addressed social skills training for students with ASD. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to determine the extent to which the data fit the factor model. Participants' perception of the importance placed on EBP by their school district, scores on the openness subscale of the Evidence Based Practices Assessment Scale, perception of how well their graduate program prepared them in the EBP process, perception of whether they were adequately trained in the area of SST for students with ASD, and having a caseload evenly divided among settings were significant predictors of overall use of EBP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177174/
Heard but not seen: Instructor-led video and its effect on learning.
Educators and instructional designers are seeking ways to increase levels of learning. One of the ways this is being done is through cognitive load theory which attempts to reduce cognitive load through a better understanding of working memory and the factors that impact its function. Past studies have found that working memory processes visual and auditory information using separate and non-sharable resources (dual coding theory) and that by properly utilizing multimedia elements, information processing in working memory is more efficient (multimedia learning). What is not known is the effect that instructor-led video, which uses the visual channel but delivers no information, has on the cognitive load of the learner. Further, will the introduction of multimedia elements make the information processing of the learner more efficient? This study examined three ways in which instructional designers may create a more efficient learning environment through a better understanding of multimedia learning. First, by using the theories of multimedia learning, I examined a more efficient use of sensory memory. By minimizing extraneous load, which communication theory calls noise, on working memory through increased utilization of the visual and auditory channels, the effectiveness of instruction was increased. Secondly, the multimedia effect, defined as using visual helps and guides with spoken and written text, was shown to assist working memory in processing new information into existing schema. Last, by using the personalization principle set forth by Clark and Mayer (2008), I used both the video feed and multimedia together to foster a more social or conversational presentation to the learner. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9090/
The Big Five Personality Characteristics of World of Warcraft Players
This study is a comparative analysis of the personality characteristics of a sample of World of Warcraft players (n = 147) and a large normative sample (n = 20,993). The 120-item International Personality Item Pool, based on the five factor model, is used. Independent t-tests were conducted and statistical significance was found for some factors; however, the effect sizes were small, indicating a limited practical difference between the two groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9910/
Dimensions of social network position as predictors of employee performance.
Research of social networks has revealed that certain components of network position can have an impact on organizational effectiveness, yet relatively little research has been conducted on network position and individual performance. This study sought to determine if a relationship exists between an employee's social network position and an individual's job performance. The participant organization was a network of individuals within an Information Technology (IT) department at a major defense company. A social network analysis (SNA) was conducted to determine the employee's network position, measured by centrality and constraint. Centrality refers to the extent to which an individual is connected to others. Constraint refers to how constrained or inhibited an individual is within the network. Performance was measured by annual appraisal ratings provided by the employee's supervisor. Hierarchical regression analysis was performed to determine relationships between the dependent variable (performance) and independent variables of centrality and constraint. Secondary variables also studied in relation to the model included education level, service years (tenure), job grade, and age. The overall model revealed 17% of variance explained. The primary predictors of network position, centrality and constraint, were not statistically significant predictors of performance ratings. Three variables, job grade, tenure and age, were found to be statistically significant predictors of employee performance. Further research is suggested to provide additional insight into the predictive value of these variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3994/
Condom Use Among College Students
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With the spread of the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus and sexually transmitted diseases, it is extremely important for sexually active individuals to protect themselves properly if they decide to engage in sexual intercourse. Knowledge of HIV and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has been associated with safer sexual practices, but knowledge alone does not totally explain risky sexual practices. This study examined how 154 college students' knowledge of HIV/AIDS, relationship status, perceptions of condom use, and perceptions of personal risk affect condom use during sexual intercourse. The impact of trust and love justifications along with the approval of peers were also examined. Perceptions of condom use and perceptions of personal risk were compared by gender and ethnicity; how perception of personal risk is related to condom use and condom use intentions was also examined. Condom use intention was found to be a significant predictor of condom use, and a significant difference of means for condom use intentions was reported between individuals who used condoms during their last experience with sexual intercourse and those who did not use condoms during their last sexual experience digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2852/
Conflict resolution strategies in young children: Do they do what they say?
This study examined the consistency between verbal responses to hypothetical conflict scenarios and the actual conflict resolutions techniques children apply in everyday play. Twenty-one children were interviewed and observed in order to determine their conflict resolution strategies. During the interview process, each child was asked to finish 6 hypothetical conflict scenarios. During the observation portion, each child was observed in 2 conflict scenarios. Significant (p < .05) differences were found with regards to verbal responses for 3 scenarios, verbal and behavioral responses of females (females exhibited more socially acceptable conflict resolution strategies in their verbal responses, yet less socially acceptable conflict resolution strategies in their behavioral responses), and socially acceptable responses to conflict in verbal strategies. Results were discussed in light of previous research comparing gender differences and peer relationships to conflict resolution strategies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5151/
A case study of intervention with an at-risk preschool child.
This study evaluates archival data from a home intervention with an at-risk preschool child and her family. The intervention model studied was created by the Developmental Research Lab at Texas Christian University. Data was collected prior to and during the first 4 weeks of intervention to assess change in parent-child interaction, behavior and neurochemical profile. Measures used include coding of videotape recordings of the intervention, neurotransmitter levels taken via subject urine samples, Child Behavior Checklist, Parent Stress Index, and ACTeRS Parent Form. Results suggest positive change in parent-child interaction, behavior and neurochemical profile. However, consistent growth was not observed in several neurochemical results. Future studies should assess the entirety of the home intervention model and with a larger sample size. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9080/
Spatial Ability, Motivation, and Attitude of Students as Related to Science Achievement
Understanding student achievement in science is important as there is an increasing reliance of the U.S. economy on math, science, and technology-related fields despite the declining number of youth seeking college degrees and careers in math and science. A series of structural equation models were tested using the scores from a statewide science exam for 276 students from a suburban north Texas public school district at the end of their 5th grade year and the latent variables of spatial ability, motivation to learn science and science-related attitude. Spatial ability was tested as a mediating variable on motivation and attitude; however, while spatial ability had statistically significant regression coefficients with motivation and attitude, spatial ability was found to be the sole statistically significant predictor of science achievement for these students explaining 23.1% of the variance in science scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67961/
Teacher Perceptions of Inclusionary Practices for Students with Emotional/behavioral Disorders
The present study examined variables affecting teachers’ perceptions of inclusionary practices for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) in three areas: inclusion of students with E/BD, behaviors of students with E/BD, and teacher efficacy. Teachers listed in the database of one Education Service Center located in north central Texas which represented 66 school districts, completed the online Survey on Teacher Perceptions of Inclusionary Practices for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders. Findings of the study showed that (a) teaching experience was a significant predictor of teacher’s perceptions regarding the inclusion of students with E/BD, (b) student age was a significant predictor of teachers’ perceptions regarding behaviors of students with E/BD, (c) special education teachers are more likely to have a higher degree of perceptions on the subscale that measures their efficacy than general education teachers, and (d) the number of special education courses taken by general education teachers did not have a significant effect on teachers’ perceptions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149629/
A Quantitative Modeling Approach to Examining High School, Pre-Admission, Program, Certification and Career Choice Variables in Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Programs
The purpose of this study was to examine if there is an association between effective supervision and communication competence in divisions of student affairs at Christian higher education institutions. The investigation examined chief student affairs officers (CSAOs) and their direct reports at 45 institutions across the United States using the Synergistic Supervision Scale and the Communication Competence Questionnaire. A positive significant association was found between the direct report's evaluation of the CSAO's level of synergistic supervision and the direct report's evaluation of the CSAO's level of communication competence. The findings of this study will advance the supervision and communication competence literature while informing practice for student affairs professionals. This study provides a foundation of research in the context specific field of student affairs where there has been a dearth of literature regarding effective supervision. This study can be used as a platform for future research to further the understanding of characteristics that define effective supervision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5109/
The Relationships Between Perceived Parenting Style, Academic Self-Efficacy and College Adjustment of Freshman Engineering Students
This study examined the relationships between perceived parenting styles, academic self-efficacy, and college adjustment among a sample of 31 freshman engineering students. Through the administration of self-report surveys and chi-square analyses, strong academic self-efficacy was demonstrated in students who reported authoritative maternal parenting. These findings support previous research on the relationship between academic self-efficacy and parenting styles. Implications were drawn for parents and future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6054/
The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program’s Effect on Academic Achievement of TAKS Tests
This study investigated the effectiveness of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program on school readiness. The HIPPY program uses home-based instruction to aid parents in teaching their children school readiness skills. The curriculum in this program includes literacy, math, and social skills. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills assesses the academic achievement of students in different grade levels and in various subject areas. The chi square test revealed that the children in the HIPPY program were more likely to have higher passing rates on the first administration of TAKS Reading, Math and Science sections compared to non-participants. The implementation of early intervention and parental involvement programs such as HIPPY helps to facilitate students‟ success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103361/
Marital conflict and marital satisfaction among Latina mothers: A comparison of participants in an early intervention program and non-participants.
The purpose of the study was to better understand marital conflict and marital satisfaction among Latina mothers in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program. Latina mothers living in a marriage or in a committed relationship (n = 91) reported levels of marital conflict and marital satisfaction. Between both groups, non-HIPPY mothers reported significantly less marital satisfaction and more conflict associated with affection than HIPPY mothers. A negative correlation (r = -.495, p <.001, n = 91) indicated that more satisfaction was related to less marital conflict. Out of ten marital conflicts, religion, leisure time, drinking, and other women (outside the relationship) best explained how satisfied mothers were in their relationship with their spouse. In this study, participants who were in the HIPPY program may have more support and higher marital quality. Social service programs such as HIPPY may help families build stronger marriages. Further research on Latino/Hispanic culture and values are important when developing culturally sensitive marriage and couples education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9104/
Parent Involvement and Science Achievement: A Latent Growth Curve Analysis
This study examined science achievement growth across elementary and middle school and parent school involvement using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Class of 1998 – 1999 (ECLS-K). The ECLS-K is a nationally representative kindergarten cohort of students from public and private schools who attended full-day or half-day kindergarten class in 1998 – 1999. The present study’s sample (N = 8,070) was based on students that had a sampling weight available from the public-use data file. Students were assessed in science achievement at third, fifth, and eighth grades and parents of the students were surveyed at the same time points. Analyses using latent growth curve modeling with time invariant and varying covariates in an SEM framework revealed a positive relationship between science achievement and parent involvement at eighth grade. Furthermore, there were gender and racial/ethnic differences in parents’ school involvement as a predictor of science achievement. Findings indicated that students with lower initial science achievement scores had a faster rate of growth across time. The achievement gap between low and high achievers in earth, space and life sciences lessened from elementary to middle school. Parents’ involvement with school usually tapers off after elementary school, but due to parent school involvement being a significant predictor of eighth grade science achievement, later school involvement may need to be supported and better implemented in secondary schooling. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84228/
The Use Of Effect Size Estimates To Evaluate Covariate Selection, Group Separation, And Sensitivity To Hidden Bias In Propensity Score Matching.
Covariate quality has been primarily theory driven in propensity score matching with a general adversity to the interpretation of group prediction. However, effect sizes are well supported in the literature and may help to inform the method. Specifically, I index can be used as a measure of effect size in logistic regression to evaluate group prediction. As such, simulation was used to create 35 conditions of I, initial bias and sample size to examine statistical differences in (a) post-matching bias reduction and (b) treatment effect sensitivity. The results of this study suggest these conditions do not explain statistical differences in percent bias reduction of treatment likelihood after matching. However, I and sample size do explain statistical differences in treatment effect sensitivity. Treatment effect sensitivity was lower when sample sizes and I increased. However, this relationship was mitigated within smaller sample sizes as I increased above I = .50. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103349/
Maternal employment: Factors related to role strain.
Past literature suggests that working mothers are at an increased risk for experiencing role strain compared to other employed adults. The current study investigated attitudes and beliefs of 783 working mothers of 15-month-old children using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Working mothers' levels of role strain was associated with perceived social support, attitudes toward maternal employment, job and parental role quality, financial stress, and depression. Negative attitudes toward maternal employment predicted maternal separation anxiety, while positive attitudes toward employment did not affect separation anxiety. These findings have implications for the importance of decreasing role strain in working mothers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12156/
The effect of participation in advanced placement and/or dual credit on four-year graduation rates.
Advanced Placement and dual credit programs are designed for high school students and are used to earn college credit and possibly gain college admissions advantages. The present research examined the impact of participation in one or both programs on four-year college graduation rates. Findings indicated significant differences between the programs as well as with students who did not participate in either program. Students in AP achieved the highest four-year graduation rate, followed by students in dual credit, both programs, and neither program. These findings indicate the need for further study to determine whether the programs substantially contribute to four-year graduation rates and what the implications are. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12172/
Analysis of School Discipline with a Focus on Characteristics of Hispanic Adolescents with Learning Disabilities from a Low-Socioeconomic Area
The research reported herein examined the emotional and behavioral characteristics of adolescent Hispanic students with and without learning disabilities from a middle school in north central Texas. The data were based on all students enrolled at the campus (N = 986), but focused on 55 students of Hispanic descent with learning disabilities and 55 students without. The data accrued for this study utilized a school discipline database. In addition, a 43-item behavioral rating scale was completed on each student of the more focused group. Methods of data analysis were derived from descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, and multiple regression measurements. The results indicate that Hispanic students with learning disabilities often exhibit more disruptive behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12126/
An analysis of job satisfaction for special educators who instruct students with emotional/behavioral disorders: How working conditions impact commitment.
Teachers of students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) find that myriad concerns for effective teaching (e.g., salaries, increased paperwork, classroom management) challenge their ability to meet personal and professional needs. The push for certified teachers and limited training to work with students with special needs create stressors that can prohibit effective teaching in the workplace. Teacher moral drops and half of newly hired employees leave the profession. Equally important, student outcomes are affected. Demographic information, program practices, and commitment information from special education teachers across the country were examined in this study. These areas of study helped to determine the best indicators for teacher job satisfaction and barriers that threaten satisfactory working conditions. An online survey was designed to capture 29 areas to explore qualifications and working environments for these teachers. Of the 600 targeted teachers, 332 individuals participated in Likert-like scales to determine their degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction for working conditions, use of intervention strategies, and areas of commitment. Closed-ended and multiple-choice questions were used. Descriptive analyses and tables aided in understanding this study. The resulting factors indicated that, although some respondents pointed to job dissatisfaction within the subset of questions, participants who worked for more than 6 years were less likely to vacate their positions than teachers working for less than six years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12067/
Student Scores on Advanced Placement Exams: Gender Variables
The results of the Advanced Placement exams given to students in 2006 were disaggregated according to gender. The level of performance was compared between males and females using Cohen's d. The standardized differences between male and female performance group levels were compared to previous results for the 1992 Advanced Placement (AP) exams. One purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the male-favored results that existed in 1992 still existed in the 2006. This study found that differences still exist in results based on gender and no real progress has been made in reducing the gap in achievement between males and females. A second purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the local data to the national data set to see if scores in Brazosport were similar to scores collected at the national level. To determine if similar results would be obtained at the local level the results of 267 Advanced Placement exams taken by 190 students from Brazsosport Independent School District in 2006 were disaggregated according to gender. The level of performance was compared between males and females using Hedge's g. Because of limited sample size, only 9 Advanced Placement exams were reviewed at the local level. This study found that the results from Brazosport were, in many cases, quite different from those found on the national level and there was no pattern to explain the variation among the differences. This study supports the collection of local data for monitoring gender bias that might exist on Advanced Placement exams. The data collected in the current study indicates that individual district progress in overcoming gender differences that historically have existed in specific scores on the AP exam might be overlooked if only national data is reviewed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5198/
A comparative study of advanced placement and learning differenced students: Comparing internal attribution and correlation to hopefulness.
The goal of this research was to determine if there are significant differences in the attribution styles for positive and negative events between students of differing ability and the correlation of these attribution styles to hopefulness. The study examined twelfth grade advanced placement (AP N = 45) students and twelfth grade students with documented learning differences enrolled in college preparatory classes (CP-LD N = 14). Both groups of students came from high socioeconomic backgrounds. The students' internal attributions related to hopefulness were measured with the Hope Scale (Snyder, 1994) which assesses the constructs of agency (will), pathway (way), and produces an overall hopefulness score. Results indicate that AP and CP-LD students had similar measures of internal attribution for positive events, but significantly distinct measures of internal attribution for negative events. However, the AP students show no statistically significant difference from CP-LD students in their measures of agency, pathway, or overall hopefulness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9925/
Convergent Validity of Variables Residualized By a Single Covariate: the Role of Correlated Error in Populations and Samples
This study examined the bias and precision of four residualized variable validity estimates (C0, C1, C2, C3) across a number of study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error, correlations among error scores, and correlations between error scores and true scores (C3) performed the best, yielding no estimates that were practically significantly different than their respective population parameters, across study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error and correlations among error scores (C2) did a good job in yielding unbiased, valid, and precise results. Only in a select number of study conditions were C2 estimates unable to be computed or produced results that had sufficient variance to affect interpretation of results. Validity estimates based on observed scores (C0) fared well in producing valid, precise, and unbiased results. Validity estimates based on observed scores that were only corrected for measurement error (C1) performed the worst. Not only did they not reliably produce estimates even when the level of modeled correlated error was low, C1 produced values higher than the theoretical limit of 1.0 across a number of study conditions. Estimates based on C1 also produced the greatest number of conditions that were practically significantly different than their population parameters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271870/
Effects of a Prototypical Training Program on the Implementation of Systematic Observational Data Collection on Iep Objectives for the Core Deficits of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Legal mandates and best practice recommendations for the education of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) emphasize the importance of systematic, ongoing observational data collection in order to monitor progress and demonstrate accountability. The absence of such documentation in decision-making on instructional objectives indicates a weakness in bridging the research-to-practice gap in special education. Utilizing a multiple baseline design across participants, the current study evaluated the effects of a prototypical teacher training program (i.e., workshop, checklist, in-classroom training with feedback, and maintenance with a thinned schedule of feedback) on the frequency of data collection on core deficits of ASD and the use of data-based decision-making. Results indicate increases in daily mean frequency of data collection following intervention. Maintenance and generalization indicates variable responding across participants. Effect size (Cohen's d) indicates a large, clinically significant effect of the training program. Results are discussed in relation to training models, maintenance, and future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271829/
Preschool Teachers' Self-reported Levels of Preparation for Classroom Behavior Management
Research indicates that serious behavior problems begin during the early childhood years. The study examined the perceived preparedness of teachers related to behavior management as well as preschool teachers' usage of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. The data indicates that preschool teachers feel prepared for managing aggression in their classrooms and report utilizing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies regularly. Additionally, the data shows a weak relationship between teacher variables and the likelihood of feeling prepared for managing aggression or utilizing evidence-based strategies. The results can be used to gain a better understanding of special education preschool teachers' training needs in regard to behavior management and managing behavior problems in the preschool classroom. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283797/
Is It More Advantageous to Administer Libqual+® Lite Over Libqual+®? an Analysis of Confidence Intervals, Root Mean Square Errors, and Bias
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) provides an option for librarians to administer a combination of LibQUAL+® and LibQUAL+® Lite to measure users' perceptions of library service quality. LibQUAL+® Lite is a shorter version of LibQUAL+® that uses planned missing data in its design. The present study investigates the loss of information in commonly administered proportions of LibQUAL+® and LibQUAL+® Lite when compared to administering LibQUAL+® alone. Data from previous administrations of LibQUAL+® protocol (2005, N = 525; 2007, N = 3,261; and 2009, N = 2,103) were used to create simulated datasets representing various proportions of LibQUAL+® versus LibQUAL+® Lite administration (0.2:0.8, 0.4:0.6. 0.5:0.5, 0.6:0.4, and 0.8:0.2). Statistics (i.e., means, adequacy and superiority gaps, standard deviations, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, and polychoric correlation coefficients) from simulated and real data were compared. Confidence intervals captured the original values. Root mean square errors and absolute and relative biases of correlations showed that accuracy in the estimates decreased with increase in percentage of planned missing data. The recommendation is to avoid using combinations with more than 20% planned missing data. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283825/