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- 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.
- 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).
- Strategic Path to Fiscal Sustainability: Revenue Diversification and the Use of Debt By Us Municipal Governments
- This work explores the relationship between municipal government debt and revenue diversification using a prism of institutional and fiscal interactions, concentrating on revenue fungibility effects over time and on the role of state-imposed constraints. A diversified revenue structure tends to stabilize revenue levels by balancing income-elastic and inelastic revenue sources. The impact of such diversity has been the subject of much research on expenditure and service levels among state and local governments. Considerably less research has been conducted on its potential relationship with debt, although capital financing is a necessary and often-utilized mechanism for funding capital and operational spending for local governments. Since it is well known that debt payments are fixed in the short run, they require sufficient revenue adequacy through economic highs and lows. It is thus argued that local governments with more diversified revenue structures are better able to utilize debt financing since revenue diversity mitigates the risk of borrowing by providing for greater fiscal predictability in the long run. This hypothesis is tested on two samples - a large sample of cities in Massachusetts from 2000 through 2009, as well as a cross-state sample, encompassing the cities from the majority of U.S. states. The findings of both studies provide preliminary evidence on the influence of revenue diversification on the levels of municipal indebtedness. While the Massachusetts study reveals that revenue diversification is, indeed, a statistically significant determinant of debt per capita, which also has an indirect effect on property tax burdens, the cross-state study suggests that revenue diversification has a mitigating impact on certain state-imposed fiscal rules, further adding to its weight as a strategic financial management tool. Both studies also reiterate the importance of such fiscal capacity factors as fund balances, intergovernmental revenue, and the size of government, while also revealing some new interaction patterns among various state-imposed debt limitations.
- Korean Traditional Elements and Contemporary Compositional Techniques in Hyowon Woo’s Choral Music As Reflected in Gloria
- Among native Korean choral composers, Hyowon Woo has emerged as one of the most significant representatives of choral genre, both in Korea and internationally. She has created a new style of choral music that combines traditional Korean musical elements with contemporary Western compositional techniques, in a synthesis that generates new sonorities and effects. Her choral music falls into three basic categories: music employing direct quotation of Korean folk tunes or other elements, which produce typical Korean sonorities; music using Western practices, which produce modern and Western flavors; and music combining Korean traditional methods with modern Western concepts. Hyowon Woo’s unique contribution to contemporary Korean choral music is ideally represented by her Gloria, which will form the basis for this study. Because traditional Korean music culture has such a strong presence and influence on her choral compositions, detailed knowledge of these elements are essential for the study and performance of her work. The combination of traditional Korean music and Western contemporary techniques lies at the core of her compositional style, and is the principal focus of this study. A detailed understanding of these stylistic elements, both Korean and Western, and how they work together to achieve the composer’s purpose and vision, is vital to achieving an informed performance of this work. This study is intended to supply the conductor these needed tools and to add to the small but growing body of literature related to the performance practice not only of Woo’s significant body of choral compositions, but of Korean choral music in general.
- Superintendent Preparation for the 21St Century
- This study focused on the perceptions of six superintendents regarding the state of the profession as of 2012, and it reports their thoughts and suggestions as to what preparation is needed by superintendents for the 21st century. The participating superintendents, who were all members of the Western States Benchmarking Consortium, were employed in six school districts in five states. Data were collected through surveys and telephone interviews. The findings of this study clearly indicate a lack of cohesion between what superintendents learned in their university professional preparation programs and what they practice in their day to day activities. The superintendents involved in this study tended to favor a hybrid approach – rigorous theoretical insight grounded in real world practice. Since superintendents typically spend a good deal of their time solving challenging problems including funding shortfalls, competition from other educational institutions, and the constant scrutiny of the media; their preparation needs to provide opportunities to develop their leadership skills and solve real world problems in an environment where they can take risks. Mentoring and participation in professional consortiums were recommended as key elements for the preparation of the twenty-first century superintendent. This study contributes to the discussion of how to best prepare school leaders for the current and future demands of superintendency.
- Caregiver Perceptions of Wandering Behavior in the Adrd (Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias) Patient
- The dissertation examined family caregivers’ perceptions of wandering behavior after their loved one has been diagnosed with ADRD (Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias). Semi-structured in-depth face-to-face interviews of a convenience sample of 22 caregivers in the Dallas metropolitan area were conducted. Responses were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The use of qualitative methods facilitated the study of how caregivers of a loved one with ADRD understood and explained in their own voice the wandering behavior associated with the disease and how their views of the behavior informed the caregiving process. In particular, this research examined why some caregivers tend to recognize wandering behavior as significant early on while the ADRD patient is still living in the home (and community) and modifications can be made to keep him or her there despite the behavior, and why some caregivers do not. Findings indicated that caregivers were concerned about the general safety of their loved one. Precautions were taken within the home for conditions related to frailty, but were much less likely to be taken to address wandering behavior and its negative consequences. Three groups of caregivers emerged: (a) those who primarily reacted to their loved one’s problem behaviors including wandering, and intervened minimally; (b) those who were proactive, making modifications in their routines and environment to protect their loved one after a trigger event; and (c) those who had a mixed response, who did the best that they could with what they had. This last group of caregivers took on additional roles, modified their homes for safety, but environmental stressors and inadequate supports limited their interventions. Implications of the findings for aging in place and community, further research, policy-making, and practitioners are discussed.
- The Emotional Needs of Mothers of Multiple Birth Children
- The purpose of this study was to assess the emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children based on administration of a survey the researcher developed. The survey consisted of 25 demographic items, six 6-point Likert scale items, and three open-ended questions. Likert scale items were based on amount of perceived emotional support mothers received in their environments at the time of survey administration. Open-ended questions addressed negative and positive aspects of parenting multiples and emotional support needs. The sample consisted of 171 mothers of multiple birth children from 23 states in the United States. Participants ranged in age from 20-50 years old with 38% not reporting age. Participants were 95.3% Caucasian, 0% African-American, 1.8% Asian, 0% Native American and 1.2% other; of these, 5.8% were Hispanic. We used demographic statistics and constant comparison to determine basic demographic characteristics of this sample and to identify emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children. We used Pearson product moment correlation to determine potential relationships between variables. Results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between overall life satisfaction and partner satisfaction (r = .420, n = 170, p < 0.01). Therefore, mothers of multiples experience increased satisfaction with their lives when they receive greater support from partners. Also, results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between partner satisfaction and partner caretaking responsibilities (r = .305, n = 169, p < 0.01). As partners of mothers of multiples increase contribution to caretaking of children, mothers demonstrate greater relationship fulfillment. Implications for mental health professionals working with mothers of multiple birth children are discussed.
- Regulatory Orientation, Message Framing and Influences of Fit on Customer Behaviors
- Existing literature on consumer behavior has argued that an individual’s regulatory orientation interacts with message framing. If there is a match between regulatory orientation (promotion versus prevention) and message framing, this results in positive attitudes toward a given advertisement. Conversely, if there is a mismatch, the effect is opposite, i.e., attitudes toward that advertisement are less positive and less favorable. This research extends the term of compatibility by examining how regulatory focus moderates the impact of two aspects of message framing (attribute framing and risky choice framing) on customer perceptions. It also examines whether regulatory fit is created when there are interactions between individuals’ regulatory orientation and message framing and how the fit changes customer perceptions about a message. Specifically, this dissertation provides answers to the following questions: (1) does regulatory fit take place when regulatory focus is compatible with two aspects of message framing (attribute and risky choice)?; (2) does regulatory fit take place when one aspect of message framing (attribute) is compatible with the other (risky choice)?; and (3) how do customer perceptions change if customers experience regulatory fit? The results show that the effects of utilitarian attributes and national brands are dominating and that both promotion- and prevention-oriented customers have higher perceptions of these attributes and brands. The findings of this study have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, this study should enhance our understanding of regulatory focus theory. Practically, the results should provide marketers with more insights into the correlation between message framing and regulatory orientation and the effect of fit on message persuasion, enabling them to develop more effective marketing strategies.
- Licensed Professional Counselors’ Attitudes Toward People with Schizophrenia: Predictors of Interest in Providing Interventions
- For individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers, psychosocial interventions have been shown to significantly improve recovery and reduce relapse rates. Although this population is underserved and stigmatized, counselors have been excluded from most research into attitudes toward and interventions for these families. Using a stratified random sample survey design, researchers explored the relationships between participating U.S. Licensed Professional Counselors’ attitudes towards, recovery beliefs regarding, familiarity with, desire for social distance from, and interest in providing services to individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Most of the 111 participants (11.1% response rate) identified themselves as female (83.8%) and Caucasian (86.5%). A few participants described themselves as Hispanic (6.3%) or Black or African-American (5.4%). Respondents ranged in age in years from 20’s to 60’s with the largest group in their 40’s. Descriptive statistics indicated that the majority of LPC participants reported low to moderate stigmatizing attitudes, strong beliefs in recovery, and moderate to high interest in providing interventions for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Furthermore, almost half of participating LPCs reported already working with individuals with schizophrenia. Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regressions indicated that high interest in providing interventions for this population was significantly correlated (p < .01) with high frequency of already working with the population (large effect), low desire for social distance (medium effect), high desire to help socially (medium effect), and strong beliefs in recovery (small effect). The results support including LPCs in all areas pertaining to interventions, research, and recovery for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers.
- 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.
- Multi-perspective, Multi-modal Image Registration and Fusion
- Multi-modal image fusion is an active research area with many civilian and military applications. Fusion is defined as strategic combination of information collected by various sensors from different locations or different types in order to obtain a better understanding of an observed scene or situation. Fusion of multi-modal images cannot be completed unless these two modalities are spatially aligned. In this research, I consider two important problems. Multi-modal, multi-perspective image registration and decision level fusion of multi-modal images. In particular, LiDAR and visual imagery. Multi-modal image registration is a difficult task due to the different semantic interpretation of features extracted from each modality. This problem is decoupled into three sub-problems. The first step is identification and extraction of common features. The second step is the determination of corresponding points. The third step consists of determining the registration transformation parameters. Traditional registration methods use low level features such as lines and corners. Using these features require an extensive optimization search in order to determine the corresponding points. Many methods use global positioning systems (GPS), and a calibrated camera in order to obtain an initial estimate of the camera parameters. The advantages of our work over the previous works are the following. First, I used high level-features, which significantly reduce the search space for the optimization process. Second, the determination of corresponding points is modeled as an assignment problem between a small numbers of objects. On the other side, fusing LiDAR and visual images is beneficial, due to the different and rich characteristics of both modalities. LiDAR data contain 3D information, while images contain visual information. Developing a fusion technique that uses the characteristics of both modalities is very important. I establish a decision-level fusion technique using manifold models.
- Latino Students’ School Counseling Needs: an Exploratory Needs Assessment
- The purpose of this study was to examine Latino/a student preferences for school counselor activities. The primary focus of research was to determine what school counseling activities Latino/a students perceived as important and which school counseling activities Latino/a high school students perceived as satisfying. The researcher pursued this purpose through administration of a survey instrument developed by the researcher. The instrument consisted of 14 demographic items and 42 5-point Likert scale items based on the domains described in the ASCA’s national model and current literature on experiences of Latino/a adolescents. The sample was comprised of 210 Latino/a high school students from five high schools in three school districts in the suburbs of a large Southwestern U.S. metroplex. The study population consisted of 94 female and 115 male participants ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old with the median age of 17.54 years. Overall, students preferred school counseling activities focusing on college and career readiness. According to the results of this study, students indicated that although they believed college and career activities to be important, they were not satisfied with how their school counselors provided those activities. Multiple regression analyses were utilized to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of respondents’ perceptions of importance. Results indicated student perceptions of importance did not vary across grades, economic levels, genders, or cultural differences. The results, limitations, and suggestions for school counseling programs were provided within the report.
- Synthesis and Characterization of Two and Three Coordinate Gold (I) Conjugated and Rigid Metallodendrimers
- This dissertation is a study of two major topics that involve synthetic strategies for new classes of phosphorescent gold(I)-based metallodendrimers. The phosphorescence of organic and inorganic luminophores originates from spin-orbit coupling owing to internal or external heavy atom effects as well as metal-centered emissions. Previous work in the Omary group entailed systematically designed small molecules, metallopolymers, and unconjugated metallodendrimers that contain d10 and d8 metals, whereas this dissertation aims in part to expand such strategies to the conjugated metallodendrimer regime. In one approach novel synthetic strategies were used to make first-generation phenyl acetylene dendrimers and phosphine derivatives thereof. The phosphine dendrimers are made by tethering one of the phosphines to an unsaturated dendrimer, as such phosphine dendrimers are better chromophores and luminophores due to their structural rigidity and extended conjugation. In another approach, 2- and 3-coordinate Au(I) dendritic complexes are synthesized from these phosphine dendrimers. This study is further extended to study metallodendritic complexes with different cores, for example triphenylene-based metallodendritic complexes with six acetylene branches. The physical properties of the metallodendrimers can be modulated upon proceeding to further dendrimer generations or by using solubilizing groups on the peripheral phosphines, thus allowing better processability for thin-film fabrication as required for molecular electronic devices and higher chance for crystal growth toward accurate structural characterization. Other data produced in this project suggested that some structural alterations led to porous solids that render them suitable for realized and potential applications in energy storage and carbon capture. The interesting luminescence properties of the metallodendrimers and porous extended solids produced in this dissertation are significant toward utilizing such materials for optoelectronic applications such as energy-saving organic light-emitting diodes and optical sensors for environmental pollutants.
- Social Capital and Health Among Older Adults in China: a Multi-level Analysis
- Health and well-being of older adults has become a worldwide public health concern and has been attracting increasing attention from scholars across the globe. But little is known about the health of the Chinese elderly. Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) --Pilot, a pilot survey in 2008 in two provinces of China, Gansu and Zhejiang, this dissertation examines the association between social capital at both the individual- and community- levels and three health outcomes among older adults in China. A series of multi-level models were estimated using SAS 9.2. Statistical results indicate that such individual-level social capital variables as perceived help and support in the future, help from others, and birthplace significantly impacted health among older Chinese adults. When examining the relationship between community-level social capital and health, this study confirms the significant association between community-level social capital and good health independent of individual-level predictors. This study also indicates that the impact of gender and rural-urban Hukou status interacts with the province of residence. The results were discussed in terms of cultural legacy in the Chinese cultural setting, the current social dynamics related to old age support, health-related government reforms, and various disparities across different regions and across different social groups in China.
- The use of notated and aural exercises as pedagogical procedures intended to develop harmonic accuracy among beginning jazz improvisers
- This study compared the effects from the use of aural and notated exercises as pedagogical procedures for teaching harmonic accuracy to beginning jazz improvisation students. The methods of pedagogy were identified from published pedagogic and historical sources, the results of oral and written traditions of jazz pedagogy. The performance objective was produced from a review of the related literature as a recognized and measurable characteristic of jazz improvisation. The purpose of this study was to compare measurements of harmonic accuracy, following the use of notated and aural exercises as experimental procedures of jazz improvisation pedagogy. A lesson plan, materials, curriculum and outline were developed followed by student recruitment and participation. A total of 20 student volunteers participated in the methods of pedagogy (aural or notation). Data collection consisted of a musical background questionnaire and pre and posttest performance recordings. Student recordings were evaluated by six judges using the “experimental performance evaluation measure.” Statistical analyses were conducted, including comparisons of pre to posttest effects between, and among the methods of pedagogy. Although all student participants performed mostly from notated music prior to this study, students who received the aural method of pedagogy produced greater improvement for all measurement items. While the aural method produced no differences between grade level, the notation method produced significantly lower scores for 9th graders compared to 12th graders; no other significant grade level differences were noted. Conclusions were that although many sources of pedagogy do not include aural exercises as the predominate activity, beginning improvisers who have more experience reading music than playing by ear, learn better from aural, than notated exercises.
- 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.
- Device Engineering for Enhanced Efficiency from Platinum(II) Phosphorescent OLEDs
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Phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) based on efficient electrophosphorescent dopant, platinum(II)-pyridyltriazolate complex, bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) have been studied and improved with respect to power efficiency, external efficiency, chromacity and efficiency roll-off. By studying the electrical and optical behavior of the doped devices and functionality of the various constituent layers, devices with a maximum EQE of 20.8±0.2 % and power efficiency of 45.1±0.9 lm/W (77lm/W with luminaries) have been engineered. This improvement compares to devices whose emission initially could only be detected by a photomultiplier tube in a darkened environment. These devices consisted of a 65 % bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) doped into 4,4'-bis(carbazol-9-yl)triphenylamine (CBP) an EML layer, a hole transporting layer/electron blocker of 1,1-bis[(di-4-tolylamino)phenyl]cyclohexane (TAPC), an electron transport layer of 1,3,5-tris(phenyl-2-benzimidazolyl)-benzene (TPBI), and a LiF/Al cathode. These devices show the acceptable range for warm white light quadrants and qualify to be called "warm white" even w/o adding another emissive layer. Dual EML devices composed of neat Pt(ptp)2 films emitting orange and CBP: Pt(ptp)2 film emitting blue-green produced a color rendering index (CRI) of 59 and color coordinates (CIE) of (0.47,0.49) at 1000Cd/m² with power efficiency of 12.6±0.2 lm/W and EQE of 10.8±0.2 %. Devices with two blue fluorescent emission layers as singlet filters and one broad yellow emission layer from CBP: Pt(ptp)2 displayed a CRI of 78 and CIE of (0.28,0.31) at 100Cd/m² with maximum power efficiency of 6.7±0.3 lm/W and EQE of 5.7±0.2 %.
- Road Debris
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This dissertation comprises two parts: Part I, which discusses the growing trend in project books in contemporary poetry, and Part II, a collection of poems titled, Road Debris. There is an increasing trend in the number of project books, which are collections of poetry unified in both thematic and formal ways. the individual poems in a project book share overt connections which allow the book to work on many different levels, blending elements of fiction and non-fiction or sharing a specific theme or speaker. While these books have the advantage of being easily memorable, which might gain poets an edge in book contests, there are also many risks involved. the main issue surrounding project books is if the individual poems can justify the book, or do they seem too repetitive or forced. As more poets, especially newer ones, try to use the project book as a shortcut to publication, it can result in poorly written poems forced to fit into a particular concept. By examining three successful cotemporary project books—The Quick of It, by Eamon Grennan; Incident Light, by H. L. Hix; and Romey’s Order by Astory Riley—this essay discusses how these books work in order to understand the potential of the project book. All of these books work in distinctly different ways, yet they all fall into the category of project book. While project books will inevitably result in poor imitations, it allows books of poetry to expand and explore in different directions.
- Social Self-Concept and Positive Illusory Bias in Boys and Girls With and Without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- This study examined differences in social self-concept, as measured by the Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC), between boys and girls with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) while controlling for internalizing symptoms. Ninety-six children between the ages of 8 and 13 participated in the study as part of a larger project. Teacher reports of social competence were collected using the Teacher Rating Scale (TRS). The results indicated ADHD children experienced more peer rejection than control children. ADHD girls appeared to be more susceptible to low social self-concept and competence than control children or ADHD boys. Inattentive symptoms were most predictive of teacher reports of competence. Positive illusory bias was not found to serve a protective function in children regardless of ADHD status. The implications of the current study and directions for future research are presented.
- Evaluating Quality Standards for Teachers in the Field of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- The purpose of this study is to determine quality indicators in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders based on six empirically validated standards outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children. Invitations to participate in the study were disseminated to a randomized selection of members within the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Respondents (N = 199) included teachers (n = 128) and related service personnel (n = 71) who directly and indirectly work with students with emotional and behavioral disorders throughout the United States. A rank order list of the most important knowledge and skills to teachers with regard to demographic characteristics (i.e., types of communities, educational settings, or years of experience) was developed. Additionally, a rank order list was developed to determine which knowledge and skills related service personnel felt should be most important to teachers. Level of agreement was determined between teachers and related service personnel and variances among the rank order lists were examined. Results of the study revealed statistically significant variances in the rank order of knowledge and skills among educational settings of teachers (i.e., self-contained, resource, and general education/inclusion) across the standard of Learning Environments and Social Interactions. Rank orders in two knowledge and skills (i.e., assistive technology and structure) were significant. When rank order was compared between teachers and related service personnel, level of agreement was low within the standards of assessment (58%) and collaboration (63%).
- Evaluating a Doctoral Program in College and University Teaching: A Single Case Study
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This study assessed alumni of the College and University Teaching Program at the University of North Texas and how they perceived the training they received. Three hundred sixty alumni holding a college and university teaching degree were surveyed. One hundred forty-two usable questionnaires were returned. A response rate of 39.4 % was achieved. A survey instrument was used to gather alumni perceptions of learning experiences, academics, and professional benefits as a result of earning a doctorate in the major of college and university teaching at the University of North Texas. Alumni were asked their perceptions on the following: 1) the quality of graduate professional education in college and university teaching degree program, 2) whether they thought the goals and objectives of the program were met, and 3) their recommendations regarding the college and university teaching degree program. It is the overall opinion of the alumni that the quality of the graduate education in college and university teaching degree program was high. The majority of alumni indicated that the program should be reinstated and continued and if the program was still available they would recommend it to others.
- A Computation of Partial Isomorphism Rank on Ordinal Structures
- We compute the partial isomorphism rank, in the sense Scott and Karp, of a pair of ordinal structures using an Ehrenfeucht-Fraisse game. A complete formula is proven by induction given any two arbitrary ordinals written in Cantor normal form.
- Interorganizational Relationships: The Effects of Organizational Efficacy on Member Firm Performance
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Relationships between the collective actors within interorganizational relationships are a growing area of research in management. Interorganizational networks continue to be a popular mechanism used by organizations to achieve greater performance. Organizations develop competencies to work with other organizations, but the confidence of these organizations to use these strengths for a competitive advantage has yet to be empirically examined. The purpose of this study is to examine organizational efficacy, how competencies may related to that efficacy, and the relationship of efficacy with performance. The goal of this study is to observe the relationship among trust, dependence, information quality, continuous quality improvement, and supplier flexibility with organizational efficacy. In addition, the relationship between organizational efficacy and performance is also observed. There are two primary research questions driving this study. First, what is the relationship between trust, dependence, information quality, continuous quality improvement, supplier flexibility and organizational efficacy? Second, what is the relationship between organizational efficacy and performance? The theories supporting the hypotheses generated from these questions include theories such as social cognitive theory, quality improvement, and path-goal theory. Data collected from the suppliers of a large university support the hypotheses. Regression analysis and structure coefficients were used to analyze the data. Results indicate that both research question one and research question two are supported. In addition, the theoretical model as a whole, which indicates a mediating relationship, was examined and discussed. This study contributes to both academic and practice by examining efficacy in an interorganizational setting. In addition, as organizations better understand the relationship between competencies and confidence, they will better know how to collectively work to achieve greater results with more attention being placed on monitoring the relationship in order to experience more desired outcomes. Limitations of the current study and opportunities for future research are also discussed.
- Cross-Cultural Adaptability of Texas Dental Hygienists and Dental Hygiene Students: A Preliminary Study
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This causal-comparative and correlational study examined cross-cultural adaptability of randomly selected licensed dental hygienists, 1995-2005 graduates, practicing in the state of Texas and first and second-year dental hygiene students attending 5 randomly selected accredited 2 and 4-year dental hygiene schools in the state of Texas. A sample of 289 individuals: 194 enrolled students and 95 licensed dental hygienists, alumni of the 5 schools, completed the 50-item Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI ®) and a brief demographic survey. The purpose of this study was to determine if statistically significant differences existed among and between licensed dental hygienists and first and second-year dental hygiene students in the state of Texas on a cross-cultural adaptability measure. The study also examined relationships among and between cross-cultural adaptability scores, as measured by the CCAI, and several independent variables. The data were analyzed by using the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS 12). Eight hypotheses related to group differences and relationships among and between groups and variables were tested. The groups were compared on total CCAI scores using a t-test, and on subscale CCAI scores simultaneously using a descriptive discriminant analysis (DDA). A 3X2 MANOVA was used to compare all groups simultaneously on subscale CCAI scores. The sample was also analyzed for statistically significant differences among 3 levels of ethnicity and total CCAI scores using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Lastly, various Pearson correlation analyses were conducted to determine relationships among and between the 3 independent variables mentioned above and total and subscale CCAI scores. The results revealed no statistically significant differences among the various groups and CCAI scores. A statistically significant relationship (r = .148) was found between age and 1 of the 4 CCAI subscale scores, flexibility/openness. No other statistically significant relationships were found. The study concluded that number of years for degree, level of practice, ethnicity, and years employed may not play a significant role in enhancing cross-cultural adaptability. Further research needs to be conducted to determine differences and relationships between and among various dental hygiene groups and their cross-cultural adaptability performance.
- An empirical investigation of the salient dimensions of Baby Boomer and Generation Y consumers' health care decision choices.
- The purpose of this research is to empirically investigate consumers' health care decision choices in a dynamic market setting. The unprecedented demands on the U.S. health care system coupled with the mounting controversies surrounding health care reform suggest that consumers' health care decisions warrant empirical research attention. Toward this end, this dissertation empirically explored (1) the characteristics of consumers who possess a willingness to use non-conventional treatments over conventional treatments, (2) the characteristics of consumers who elect self-medication in lieu of health care practitioner-directed medication, and (3) the salient dimensions of consumers' channel choice for the procurement of health care products. Each of these decision choice factors were tested across two U.S. generational segments to assess whether differences existed across Baby Boomers' and Gen Yers' health care decision choices. The conceptual framework for empirical assessment is Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory. From Bandura's social cognitive theory, a general model of healthcare decision choice is proposed to assess consumers' states of mind, states of being and states of action (decision choice). Results indicate that social cognitive factors (e.g., self-efficacy, objectivism) play an important role in each of the decision domains explored in this dissertation. Moreover, health value was found to be an important moderator between the social cognitive factors and health care decision choices. The predictors of the health care decision choices were found to vary across the Baby Boomers and Generation Yers on several dimensions, confirming the notion that generational differences may be a salient dimension of consumers' health care decision choice. The research offers several implications for practitioners, academicians and policy makers. Both descriptive and normative implications are gleaned from the research findings. Most notably, the results indicate that consumers' social cognitive factors and health value may be mechanisms for managing health care decisions.
- Propensity for knowledge sharing: An organizational justice perspective.
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Converting individual knowledge into organizational knowledge can be difficult because individuals refuse to share knowledge for a number of different reasons. Creating an atmosphere of fairness plays an important role in the creation of a knowledge-sharing climate. This dissertation proposes that perceptions of organizational justice are crucial building blocks of that environment, leading to knowledge sharing. Data was collected using a field survey of IT managers representing a broad spectrum of the population in terms of organizational size and industry classification. The survey instrument was developed based on the adaptation of previously validated scales in addition to new items where no existing measures were found. Hypotheses regarding the influence of distributional, procedural, and interactional justice on knowledge sharing processes were tested using structural equation modeling techniques. Based on the theory of reasoned action, which states that attitudes and subjective norms are the major determinants of a person's intention, the hypotheses examining the relationship between attitude toward knowledge sharing, subjective norm and the intention to share knowledge were supported. However, results did not support the hypothesis exploring the relationship between the organizational climate and the intention to share knowledge. The results show that all three types of justice constructs are statistically significant antecedents of organizational climate and interactional justice is an antecedent of an attitude toward knowledge sharing. The study attempts to merge streams of research from sociology and organizational behavior by investigating organizational justice and knowledge management. It contributes to theory by the development of the survey instrument, comprised of seven constructs that were developed by incorporating multiple theories to address various aspects of knowledge sharing and provide application to practice and research. It is relevant to IT managers who need to know how to design information systems that are most effective in distributing knowledge throughout organizations.
- An Approach to the Analytical Study of Jung-Sun Park's Choral Work: Arirang Mass
- The significance in Jung-Sun Park's Arirang Mass is the discovery of artistic value in folk song and its applicability to art music. By using fragments of the Arirang folk songs, or by imitating its musical character, composer could create and develop musical characteristics that are recognizably Korean. The work exhibits his remarkable compositional style, which shows a relationship between Korean traditional style and Western style. This analysis demonstrates specific examples of the elements of Korean traditional folksong, such as Sikimsae, Jangdan, Han, and pentatonic scales which are permeated into this mass setting, and how composer uses fragments of the Arirang tune.
- Effects of partner violence and psychological abuse on women's mental health over time.
- This study examined the distinct effects of partner violence and psychological abuse on women's mental health over time. Latent growth modeling was used to examine stability and change over time, evaluating the course and consequences of each form of abuse. The size of women's social support network was examined as a mediator. The sample consisted of 835 African American, Euro-American, and Mexican American low-income women. Participants who completed Waves 1, 2, 3, and 5 were included in the study (n = 585). In general, partner violence decreased over time for all groups, while psychological abuse decreased over time for only Euro-American women. Whereas initial and prolonged exposure to psychological abuse was related to and directly impacted women's mental health, partner violence was only related to initial levels of mental health. Surprisingly, social support was only related to initial violence and distress and had no impact on the rate of change over time. These results have important implications for researchers and health care professionals. First, differences in the pattern of results were found for each ethnic group, reaffirming the notion that counselors and researchers must be sensitive to multicultural concerns in both assessment and intervention. For example, psychological abuse had a greater impact on the mental health of African American and Mexican American women than it did for Euro-American women, suggesting a shift in focus depending on the ethnicity of the client may be warranted. Second, this longitudinal study highlights the importance of future research to considerer individual differences in treating and studying victimized women. Understanding factors that contribute to individual trajectories will help counselors gain insight into the problem and in devising plans to prevent or reduce the occurrence and negative health impact of partner abuse.
- Chen Yi and Her Choral Music: A Study of the Composer's Ideal of Fusing Chinese Music and Modern Western Choral Traditions
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Chen Yi's music is well accepted and recognized nationally and internationally through an increasing number of commissions and performances. Major symphony orchestras, choruses, institutions and companies request her compositions on many occasions in order to increase understanding and exploration of Chinese influences on western classical idioms. This study provides the first detailed discussion of her compositional mastery and her fusion of Chinese music with the language of western choral traditions. Chen Yi's reputation as a prominent orchestral composer does not restrain her passion to apply instrumental techniques and materials to her quality choral compositions. This study focuses on (1) how hardship and various life experiences during the ten-year Cultural Revolution shaped Chen Yi's musical inspirations; (2) how the influences of major musical genres, such as traditional Chinese folksong, jingju, model play, 19th-20th century nationalism, impressionism, and serialism are consolidated in her kaleidoscopic compositional techniques; and (3) the application of Chinese languages, pedagogical concepts, and extra-musical elements, such as Chinese poems, paintings, and calligraphies, revealed in her original, intelligent and resourceful choral creations.
- Development of a Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Youthful Offenders: The Influence of Psychosocial and Personality Risk Factors
- This study employed a multivariate, multidimensional approach to understanding psychosocial and personality variables associated with institutional maladjustment and recidivism among youthful offenders. Participants included nine hundred serious and chronic male youthful offenders incarcerated in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC); sample sizes varied by analysis. Empirically-validated psychosocial factors (e.g., intelligence, home approval status), past criminal history variables, and two self-report personality measures of empathy and hostility were entered into hierarchical regression and structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses to predict institutional behavior and recidivism at one- and three-year intervals after release from the TYC. Confirmatory factor analysis of the personality measures revealed one underlying factor indicative of their theoretical constructs of empathy and hostility. Some differences were noted between youth in the specialized treatment programs; however, effect sizes were small to moderate. Overall, regression and SEM results indicated the variables accounted for a meaningful proportion of the variance in the outcomes. Specifically, although length of stay in the TYC was associated with institutional behavior, younger age of onset, higher hostility, and greater home disapproval also contributed significantly. Past criminal behavior was predictive of future reoffending, but lower empathy, greater home disapproval, and younger age of onset accounted for a substantial portion of the variance in recidivism. Institutional maladjustment served as a mediator between the psychosocial and personality variables and the recidivism outcomes. Treatment implications are provided, including a discussion of the tenuous association between length of sentence and recidivism and an emphasis on the importance of evaluating dynamic personality and psychosocial variables beyond static measures of past behavior.
- The Pettis Integral and Operator Theory
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Let (Ω, Σ, µ) be a finite measure space and X, a Banach space with continuous dual X*. A scalarly measurable function f: Ω→X is Dunford integrable if for each x* X*, x*f L1(µ). Define the operator Tf. X* → L1(µ) by T(x*) = x*f. Then f is Pettis integrable if and only if this operator is weak*-to-weak continuous. This paper begins with an overview of this function. Work by Robert Huff and Gunnar Stefansson on the operator Tf motivates much of this paper. Conditions that make Tf weak*-to-weak continuous are generalized to weak*-toweak continuous operators on dual spaces. For instance, if Tf is weakly compact and if there exists a separable subspace D X such that for each x* X*, x*f = x*fχDµ-a.e, then f is Pettis integrable. This nation is generalized to bounded operators T: X* → Y. To say that T is determined by D means that if x*| D = 0, then T (x*) = 0. Determining subspaces are used to help prove certain facts about operators on dual spaces. Attention is given to finding determining subspaces far a given T: X* → Y. The kernel of T and the adjoint T* of T are used to construct determining subspaces for T. For example, if T*(Y*) ∩ X is weak* dense in T*(Y*), then T is determined by T*(Y*) ∩ X. Also if ker(T) is weak* closed in X*, then the annihilator of ker(T) (in X) is the unique minimal determining subspace for T.
- Characterization of Triclocarban, Methyl- Triclosan, and Triclosan in Water, Sediment, and Corbicula Fluminea (Müller, 1774) Using Laboratory, in Situ, and Field Assessments
- In the last decade emerging contaminants research has intensified in a bid to answer questions about fate, transport, and effects as these chemicals as they get released into the environment. The chemicals of interest were the antimicrobials; triclocarban (TCC) and triclosan (TCS), and a metabolite of triclosan, methyl triclosan (MTCS). This research was designed to answer the question: what is the fate of these chemicals once they are released from the waste water treatment plant into receiving streams. Three different assessment methods; field monitoring, in-situ experiments, and laboratory studies were used to answer the overall question. TCS, TCC, and MTCS levels were measured in surface water, sediment and the Asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea. Field studies were conducted using four sites at Pecan Creek, Denton TX. Levels of all three chemicals in clams were up to fives orders of magnitude the water concentrations but an order of magnitude lower than in sediment. Highest sediment levels of chemicals were measured in samples from the mouth of Pecan Creek (highest organic matter). TCC was the most and TCS was the least accumulated chemicals. In-situ and lab studies both indicated that uptake of these chemicals into the clams was very rapid and measurable within 24hours of exposure. The after clams were transferred into clean water most of the compounds were depurated within 14 days.
- Comparison of Bare Root vs. Potted Plants, Species Selection, and Caging Types for Restoration of a Prairie Wetland, and Quantitative Analysis and Descriptive Survey of Plant Communities and Associations at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), Lewisville, TX
- Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is an 809-hectare property in Denton County, TX. A study of the vegetation community identified 466 species in 104 families, with 25% of the species from only two families, Asteraceae and Poaceae. The property demonstrates the characteristics of an early successional community, dominated by weedy species. Prairie communities are dominated by Johnson grass and ragweed, with climax tall grass prairie communities only in areas that have been planted with native grass seed. Forest communities are similarly in an early successional stage, dominated by the hackberry-elm-ash alliance, with small remnants of native Cross Timbers found in isolated patches. Species richness and diversity were highest in the forests and lowest in the wetlands; evenness, though not different across ecosystems, demonstrated a strong seasonal component. The species list was compared with previously reported lists for Denton County, and 256 species identified had not been previously reported for the county. A wetland restoration study was conducted to determine if there was a difference in survival and growth between potted transplants with intact root systems and bare-root transplants. Two different mesh sizes were used for protection, and the success of the different caging was evaluated. Of eight species, only four survived through the second growing season. There was no significant difference in the success of the propagule types for Sagittaria latifolia. The treatments planted with intact root systems showed significantly higher growth and reproduction than the bare-root treatments for Eleocharis quadrangulata, Heteranthera dubia, and Vallisneria americana. There was no survival recorded in the coarse mesh cages, likely due to the presence of crayfish that are able to get through the coarser mesh and feed on the transplants.
- Ecotoxicological Investigations in Effluent-Dominated Stream Mesocosms
- The University of North Texas Stream Research Facility (UNTSRF) was designed to examine contaminant impacts on effluent-dominated stream ecosystems. Stream mesocosms, fed municipal effluent from the City of Denton, TX, Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant (PCWRP), were treated with 0, 15 or 140 µg/L cadmium for a 10-day study in August 2000. Laboratory toxicity test and stream macroinvertebrate responses indicated that cadmium bioavailability was reduced by constituents of effluent-dominated streams. The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) for Cd was used to predict a 48 hour Cd EC50 for Ceriodaphnia dubia of 280 µg/L in these effluent-dominated streams. This value is higher that an EC50 of 38.3 µg/L Cd and a 7-day reproduction effect level of 3.3 µg/L Cd generated for C. dubia in reconstituted laboratory hard water. These results support use of a cadmium BLM for establishing site-specific acute water quality criteria in effluent-dominated streams. Although not affected by 15 µg/L treatments, organisms accumulated Cd in 15 µg/L treated streams. Hence, over longer exposure periods, Cd accumulation may increase and a no effect level may be lower than the observed 10-day no effect level of 15 µg/L. A toxicity identification evaluation procedure was utilized with in vitro and in vivo bioassays to identify estrogenic compounds in PCWRP effluent, previously identified to seasonally induce vitellogenin (VTG) in male fathead minnows. Steroids, nonylphenol ethoxylate metabolites, and other unidentified compounds were identified as causative effluent estrogens. These findings suggest that in vivo VTG bioassays should be used to confirm in vitro Yeast Estrogen Screening assay activity when effluents are fractionated or screened for estrogenicity. A subsequent 90-day cadmium study was initiated to assess long-term effluent and cadmium effects on fish endocrine function. Juvenile fathead minnows were placed in UNTSRF pool sections of replicate streams treated with 0, 5, 20 or 80 µg/L Cd. Male VTG was induced at each treatment level, indicating that PCWRP effluent was estrogenic during fall 2001. 20 and 80 µg/L Cd treatments reduced male circulating estradiol levels and critical swimming performance. Future studies are needed to assess impacts of environmental estrogen exposure on fish calcium metabolism and vertebral integrity.
- From Block to Traditional Schedule: The Impact on Academic Achievement, Attendance Rates, and Dropout Rates
- The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of school schedule on student achievement and attendance of ninth and tenth grade students in metropolitan area Texas high schools (n = 22) and campus dropout rates. High schools that were analyzed in this study made a transition from A/B block scheduling in the 2003-04 school year to a traditional school schedule in the 2004-05 school year. Academic achievement, attendance rates and dropout rates were gathered through the archived files of the Texas Agency through the Academic Indicator of Excellence System (AEIS). Academic achievement was measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) Reading/Language Arts and Mathematics standardized tests. This study compared the mean scores of ninth grader student achievement, attendance, and dropout rates from the 2003-04 school year to the mean scores of the tenth graders from the same schools from the 2004-05 school year, after the schools converted from an A/B block schedule to a traditional class schedule. Each independent variable was divided into four subgroups; campus mean results, minority student results, limited English proficient (LEP) student results, and low-socioeconomic student results. Students under the A/B block scored significantly higher in reading achievement than when they were instructed the following year under a traditional schedule. Paired sample t-tests were conducted to analyze the data for each subgroup, and showed there was a statistically significance in reading / language arts student achievement scores for all subgroups. Statistical significance was determined with a ninety five percent confidence level (p < 0.05). Statistical analysis revealed varied results in mean scores for math academic achievement and attendance rates, but no statistical significant difference. Comparison of data showed a slight increase in mean scores for dropout rates in traditional schedule, however the results were not significant.
- Personality and the prediction of outcome following rehabilitation in persons with acquired brain injuries: The Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD).
- Neuropsychological rehabilitation following acquired brain injury is increasingly recognized as essential with the advancements in research evidence of its effectiveness, particularly as current estimates of disability following the most common forms of brain injury (traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular accident) are so high. Improvements in predictive capabilities of researchers and clinicians are paramount in designing effective interventions. As many variables associated with outcome following brain injury are not controllable (e.g. severity of the injury, age, education), it is essential that rehabilitation programs design interventions to target those variables that are susceptible to amelioration. While personality factors have been shown to affect outcome in other medical illnesses, only a few studies have examined the influence of personality on outcome following neurorehabilitation for acquired brain injury. The results of these studies have been mixed. This study used the Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD) to predict outcome as measured by the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Index (MPAI-4) following brain injury rehabilitation in a heterogeneous sample of persons with acquired brain injuries (N = 50). It was hypothesized that specific coping styles scales from the MBMD (Introversive, Dejected, Oppositional), which are based on Millon's personality system, would predict outcome. Results indicated that both the Introversive and Oppositional coping styles scales accounted for significant amounts of variance in outcome beyond that accounted for by the severity of the injury alone (p < .001). In both cases, individuals with mild/moderate-moderate/severe limitations following completion of the rehabilitation program had significantly higher scores on the Introversive and Oppositional coping compared to individuals with more successful outcomes. The hypothesis that a dejected coping style would predict outcome was not supported. Implications for rehabilitation are discussed in the context of Millon's personality system.
- The Nonadditive Generalization of Klimontovich's S-Theorem for Open Systems and Boltzmann's Orthodes
- We show that the nonadditive open systems can be studied in a consistent manner by using a generalized version of S-theorem. This new generalized S-theorem can further be considered as an indication of self-organization in nonadditive open systems as prescribed by Haken. The nonadditive S-theorem is then illustrated by using the modified Van der Pol oscillator. Finally, Tsallis entropy as an equilibrium entropy is studied by using Boltzmann's method of orthodes. This part of dissertation shows that Tsallis ensemble is on equal footing with the microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles. However, the associated entropy turns out to be Renyi entropy.
- Adult attachment and posttraumatic growth in sexual assault survivors.
- Posttraumatic growth, defined as positive psychological changes in the aftermath of adversity and suffering, is a relatively recent focus in psychological research. The addition of this concept to the literature has provided a new, more resiliency-based framework through which to view survivors of various forms of trauma. Despite estimates that over half of all sexual assaults are not reported to the authorities, current crime statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime (Campbell & Wasco, 2005). Given the large percentage of the population that is impacted by sexual assault, it is essential that professionals better understand the factors that influence the successful healing and growth that can occur post-trauma. The purpose of this study was to further expand the literature on posttraumatic growth in sexual assault survivors by considering this phenomenon through the lens of attachment theory. Specifically, this study tested a proposed model of the inter-relationships among subjective and objective perceptions of threat during the sexual assault, adult romantic attachment, and posttraumatic growth. It was hypothesized that adult romantic attachment and parent-child attachment would mediate the relationship between subjective, or perceived threat, defined as the victim's perception of life threat, and objective threat, defined as the severity of the sexually aggressive act perpetrated on the victim, and posttraumatic growth. Finally, it was hypothesized that subjective threat appraisal would better predict posttraumatic growth than objective threat appraisal. Contrary to hypotheses, results of the study indicated that adult romantic attachment and parent-child attachment did not mediate the relationship between subjective and objective threat appraisal and posttraumatic growth. Thus, both path analytic models were not viable. However, exploratory analysis indicated that both subjective and objective threat appraisal were directly related to posttraumatic growth, with subjective perceived threat appraisal accounting for more of the variance.
- An Interpretive Analysis of George Antheil's Sonata for Trumpet and Piano
- American composer George Antheil's Sonata for Trumpet and Piano was written in 1951. This dissertation provides historical and theoretical information that gives insight into the interpretation of this sonata. Reasons why the piece deserves greater attention with respect to the standard twentieth century trumpet literature are also given. Antheil's music was influential in the development of classical music in the first half of the 20th century and, more specifically, contributed to the establishment of an American style of classical music. Composed near the end of his life, this sonata has its roots in this heritage. The understanding of Antheil's history, motivations, and compositional techniques is intended to help bring a performance of this sonata to its full potential.
- A Systematic Review of Research on After-Death Communication (ADC)
- In this study, after-death communication (ADC) is defined as spontaneously occurring encounters with the deceased. Reported occurrences of ADC phenomena range widely among published ADC research studies, so a systematic review of 35 studies was conducted. A rubric was developed to evaluate the methodological quality; final inter-rater reliability among three raters was r = .90. Results were used to rank the studies; the methodologically strongest studies were used to arrive at best estimate answers to four research questions/subquestions: (1) How common are experiences of ADC? How does occurrence vary by gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, religious practice, religious affiliation, financial status, physical health, educational level, and grief status? (2) To what extent do ADCrs report ADC experiences to be beneficial and/or detrimental? What are the leading benefits and/or detriments? (3) What is the incidence of research studies in which the researchers mentioned that the research participants appeared mentally healthy? (4) What is the incidence of sensory modalities—for example, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—in which ADCs occur? Best estimate results were compiled into a one-page fact sheet that counselors and others can use to educate people who seek empirically-based information about ADC.
- The Texas Bandmasters Association: A Historical Study of Activities, Contributions, and Leadership (1920-1997)
- The purpose of the study was to investigate the leadership role of the Texas Bandmasters Association (1920-1997) in the development of the band program in Texas. It sought to determine TBA's effect on the band movement in Texas, and ascertain how the TBA has contributed to the emphasis on performance focus that is associated with the Texas band tradition. In doing so, the study also provided information regarding the association's goals, purposes, activities, and contributions during the time period under investigation. The historical data for the study was compiled from documentary sources and personal interview. Documentary sources included minutes of meetings from 1920-1997, information contained in various periodicals including the Southwestern Musician combined with the Texas Music Educator, and a nearly complete set of clinic-convention programs. Historical data from past researchers, including several masters theses and doctoral dissertations, and tapes and transcripts of interviews conducted by past researchers, as well as interviews conducted by this researcher, were also utilized. Much of the historical data for the study was located at the Texas Music Educators Association archives, housed at the association headquarters in Austin, Texas. The researcher identified five periods of the association's history. In addition to developing a historical chronology, the study identified prominent leaders for each historical period and explored how these individuals shaped the development of the association, which has grown from a small group of municipal bandmasters in 1920, into the largest state band association in the world, with over 2,200 active members. The researcher chronicles the events that led up to the first annual clinic-convention in 1948, and continues through the fiftieth clinic-convention in 1997. Although the first clinic-conventions focused on new music and the marching band exclusively, over the years this original concept has expanded and now encompasses virtually every aspect of band work. The study sought answers to the following research questions: (1) Who were the primary leaders of the association during each historical period? (2) What was TBA's leadership structure during each period? What was its effect on the growth and development of the association? (3) What were TBA's goals and activities during each historical period and to what extent were the goals of the association achieved? What role did the leadership play in achieving these goals? What were TBA's contributions to the band movement in Texas during each historical period? (4) TBA has come to find its present niche in the presentation of an annual clinic-convention centered, at least initially, on new music and the marching band. What was the role of the leadership in making this present state of affairs become reality? Using a previous leadership model, the researcher found that the leaders identified were mainly elected officers and/or executive secretaries of the association. The leadership structure changed over the years in order to meet the association's needs at the time. Goals, activities, and contributions were discussed for each historical period and evaluations were made regarding the extent to which the association's goals were achieved. Finally, the role of the leadership in making the current state of affairs become reality was discussed, as well as recommendations for further research.
- Wellness in student affairs: An exploration of the profession and its practitioners.
- This mixed design study surveyed members of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) to determine the baseline for wellness among student affairs administrators and within the profession. In addition to describing the wellness levels of the administrators and comparing them to the wellness of the general population, the study explored how wellness is represented within the student affairs profession, as reflected in the literature and practice. Student affairs administrators' wellness was assessed utilizing the Five Factor Wel Wellness Inventory (Myers & Sweeney, 2004). Collectively, the administrators posted "well" scores on the six factors utilized in the study and scored higher than the norms reported for the 5F-Wel general population. However, there was a broad range of actual scores across individuals indicating that not everyone can be considered to be maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle. The administrators' wellness was not affected by their length of time in the student affairs profession but was negatively associated with the number of hours they worked per week. The administrators possessed a holistic view of wellness and could articulate the behaviors and conditions associated with achieving, and failing to achieve, balance. However, reported engagement in certain wellness behaviors (e.g., physical activity and healthy eating) was not always reflected in the 5F-Wel scores. Additionally, the administrators noted a lack of focus on wellness issues in the student affairs literature, professional organizations, and most pointedly, in graduate preparation programs. The study creates a context for individual exploration of balance given the "norms" of the profession and instigates dialog focused on building healthy workplaces that facilitate positive role modeling experiences for students and staff. Recommendations for practitioners, graduate program faculty, and the profession aim to maximize personal wellness, create balanced professionals, and facilitate congruence between the student affairs profession's espoused values and wellness philosophy and the enculturation of professionals into this ideology.
- 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.
- The effects of an inquiry-based American history program on the achievement of middle school and high school students.
- Implicit in the call for educational reform in the teaching of social studies has been the suggestion that pursuing inquiry-based principles will lead to improvement in student achievement. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two types of pedagogy: traditional and inquiry-based upon student achievement as measured by a standards-based, state administered examination. Second, this study examined the relationship between the treatment teachers' level of implementation and student achievement. A nonequivalent control group posttest and experimental design was used in this study. Subjects involved in this study include 84 secondary American history teachers and their respective students from a large urban public school district in Texas. The sample consisted of two groups, one taught by traditional/didactic instruction (n=48) and the other taught by inquiry-based pedagogy (n=36). Data for this study were collected using a classroom observation protocol based upon the level of use rubric developed by the concerns-based adoption model. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p<.05) was used to measure the effects of inquiry-based instruction and traditional pedagogy on student achievement. Student achievement results were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for American history, grades 8 and 11. The study found that mean scores of the Grade 8 History Alive! group were significantly higher than the scores of the control group, but not for the Grade 11 History Alive! group. However, a comparison of mean scores by teachers' level-of-use suggested that the more faithful the teacher in designing standards-based lessons and delivering them through inquiry, the greater retention of American history student's knowledge about the subject.
- Teacher certification content area tests: Predictors of teacher knowledge for post-baccalaureate secondary candidates.
- In response to a growing teacher shortage, increasing numbers of secondary teachers are prepared through streamlined certification programs. For this reason, assessing candidates' content area knowledge gained from institutions of higher education across the United States is an important program admission factor as candidates must demonstrate content area knowledge by passing a Texas content area certification test (TExES). This study examines content knowledge for candidates enrolled in an online post-baccalaureate program from September 1, 2002 through April 30, 2005. Academic transcript analysis and grades 8-12 subject tests of the TExES were used as a proxy for subject matter knowledge for a sample of individuals seeking initial teacher certification in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification at the University of North Texas. Descriptive data,linear regression, and logistic regression analyses were used to draw conclusions about the content area knowledge of the individuals in the sample. Scores on the TExES were used to determine the relationships between the content area knowledge of initial certification students and the number of content area courses completed, the grade point averages, and time elapsed between the completion of the last content area course and the student's initial attempt on the TExES. Results differed by the content area of the candidates. Analysis of variance results indicate significant differences between the five test groups with regard to number of courses taken F(4,139) = 9.334, p < .001 grade point average F(4,139) = 5.733, p < .001 and time between the last course taken F(4,139) = 6.135, p < .001. The three-predictor model was statistically significant F(3,32) = 3.753, p = .02 for the History test group. The variable, upper-level grade point average accounted for approximately 12% variance among scores within the History test group, and the variable months of time elapsed between last content area course work and the initial state content examination accounted for approximately 13% of variance among scores.
- Relationships between selected sociometric variables and academic performance for counselors in training.
- The purpose of this research was to examine what relationships existed between selected sociometric variables and measures of academic performance for students in a counselor training program. The sociometric variables included counseling ability, counseling knowledge, and friendship. Academic performance measures included subject GPAs, group counseling participation and final grades, prepracticum grades, and practicum grades. Data was collected from sociometric questionnaires and academic records from the years 1991 to 2004, for 840 subjects who participated in a group counseling class at the University of North Texas. Counseling knowledge had the highest correlations with all academic measures except group counseling final grades, in which counseling ability had the highest strength. The strongest correlations for all three sociometric variables occurred with group counseling final grades; correlations were r = 0.42 for counseling ability, r = 0.40 for counseling knowledge, and r = 0.30 for friendship. The sociometric variable of friendship had the lowest correlations in all academic measures, but was more significant than expected. The friendship sociometric variable may account for likeability as a factor in making sociometric choices. Combined sociometric scores led to increased correlation strength and explained variances that reached the large level of 30% with group counseling final grades. A statistically significant difference was found between A and B grade students in group counseling, on all three sociometric variables. Effect sizes were generally large. Standard deviations for the A and B grade subjects were also large and could limit predictability of grades, based on sociometric scores alone. Results strongly suggested that all three sociometric variables would be a valuable source of information regarding counselor preparation. Results also validated that individual sociometric perceptions of others tended toward agreement. Significant correlations were found over a variety of academic measures and over a time-span of 14 years, suggesting a degree of consistency and stability in sociometric measures.
- The impact of selected school factors on the test performance of African-American economically disadvantaged elementary students.
- In order for America to retain its superior position in a global economy it is imperative that all students receive educational opportunities that will prepare them for the future. Currently, African-American economically disadvantaged students in the United States perform lower on standardized tests than their grade and age-level peers. Educators must find ways to improve the performance of students in this group in order to maximize future opportunities. Through a mixed-methodology approach, the current study finds three school factors that may positively impact the performance of African-American economically disadvantaged students: high expectations, student-teacher relationships and teacher effectiveness. Quantitative and qualitative analysis provides perspectives from principals primarily from a large urban school district on the impact of these factors on student performance.
- Reported Impact of a Correctional Facility's Presence on Community Solidarity: Huntsville, Texas
- The problem examined is community solidarity in a well-established prison town. The primary question addressed in this study is "what is the reported impact of a correctional facility's presence on community solidarity?" This study is concerned with the community's perception about the problems, as well as the benefits involved in the housing of a prison and in particular the solidarity of the community. The relevant literature dates from 1929 to 2004 and examines a wide range of concepts associated with community studies and prison studies. Based on themes found in the review of prison literature; work issues, safety, concern about children, stress, community image, benefits, community identity, and community cohesion, seven research questions were constructed. A semi-structured interview was conducted of 81 residents of Walker County in Huntsville, Texas. Huntsville houses 9 prisons. The prison system is the primary employer in the county. A qualitative data analysis using Altius/tr as a tool for content analysis was used. Throughout the data, community residents consistently indicated solidarity. Emerging from the data were seven themes associated with community solidarity:(a) unqualified community pride, (b) normalization, (c) defensiveness against the media, (d) qualified community pride, (e) denial, (f) community and myths, (g) economics.
- Democratic Pantheism in the Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville
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According to Alexis de Tocqueville, humanity is entering a new age of political and social equality, a new epoch in which the human race has no historical example or experience. As a result, he holds humanity's future will be largely determined by the political and moral choices made in this transitional time. For Tocqueville, the new egalitarian era is a forgone conclusion, but for him, the pressing question is whether humanity will choose a future in which it enchains itself to new forms of tyranny, or, whether the human race can establish the political and moral institutions designed to assure human freedom and dignity. In Tocqueville's view, liberty or slavery are the two choices modern men and women have in front of them, and it is the intent of this dissertation to explore Tocqueville's warning in regard to the latter choice. Tocqueville warns us that modern democratic peoples must beware of the moral and political effects of a new type of political philosophy, a political theory he terms democratic pantheism. Democratic pantheism is a philosophic doctrine that treats egalitarianism as a "religion" in which all social and political striving is directed toward realizing a providentially ordained strict equality of conditions. To attain this end, modern humanity gives up its right to self-government to an all-powerful "representative" state that will unconsciously (and as a result, unjustly) force equality on unequal human beings. Because this philosophy informs the core "soul" of a pantheistic social state, the vast majority of individuals are blissfully unaware that their humanity is diminished and their freedom is lost. The effect is a political and intellectual torpor wherein democratic citizens fall prey to a deterministic and insipid existence; and any thoughts of true independence and freedom of action are eventually extinguished--all due to the unknowing acceptance of a hidden social and political philosophy.
- Art museum resources and teacher use.
- I proposed that both Bruner's (1963) idea of the spiral curriculum and Yenawine's (1992) theories of teaching for visual literacy in the museum set the stage for significant learning for students when used together. If school teachers lay a foundation of knowledge about a museum object, especially through museum resources, then the student may transform and apply this 'prior knowledge' (explicit memories from the classroom) while on the museum visit tour. When docents utilize Yenawine's (1992) methods toward the goal of visual literacy, the semantic knowledge of the classroom is then fused with museum learning, building stronger memories and facilitating deeper understanding as students learn about museum objects. This research explored the correlation of these two theories in a qualitative manner based on observations of actual museum visit preparation in classrooms in Casper, Wyoming, and how it related to a museum tour at the Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center. The research revealed that conditions do exist within the community that would facilitate Bruner's (1963) idea of a learning spiral, yet not in the manner envisioned. The observed conditions toward a spiral was accomplished through the participant teachers relating the museum exhibit to their operational curriculum in a variety of curricular areas, such as language arts and science, when docents related the tour to classroom learning, and not through museum resources or Yenawine's (1992) methods toward increasing visual literacy, as was previously considered.