UNT Theses and Dissertations - 194 Matching Results

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Acculturation and Depression in Older Mexican American Adults: the Role of Social Support

Description: Despite socioeconomic disadvantages, less acculturated Mexican Americans tend to exhibit better mental health than their more acculturated counterparts. However, in the case of older Mexican American adults, research has demonstrated the opposite to be true (Gonzalez, Haan, & Hinton, 2001). A variable of interest potentially responsible for this difference is social support. Thus, the current study proposed to investigate the mediation and moderation effects that social support has on the relationship between acculturation and depression in older Mexican American adults age 60 or older. Data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) was analyzed. Results showed that the mediating effect of contact with one’s children (-.109*) and the moderating effect of total social support and contact with one’s children (-.127*; -.103*) were statistically significant in the relationship between acculturation and depression. Although these effects are small they may still hold important implications for better understanding this population.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Caballero, Daniela
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adoptive Parenthood: an Exploratory Study of the Influence of Pre-adoption Communication Satisfaction on Post-adoption Family Adjustment and Coping

Description: There are over a million adopted children in the United States, which makes up over 2% of the population. in spite of the fact that the majority of children are adopted into loving and caring homes, early life trauma puts them at higher risk for developing behavioral and emotional problems than non-adopted children. Due to these issues, many adoptive parents encounter post-adoption stress. This stress is often linked to minimal education regarding short- and long-term challenges associated with adoption. the adoption agency is likely the best group for addressing challenges, yet few researchers have studied adoption agency communication and adoptive parent adjustment. in this study I examined pre-adoption communication satisfaction, post-adoption adjustment (life change and parental adjustment), and coping strategies. Hypothesis 1 questioned the relationship between adoptive parents’ pre-adoption communication satisfaction with their social workers and post-adoption family adjustment; this hypothesis was supported only for problems related to home and work life adjustment. Hypothesis 2 predicted coping strategies would mediate the relationship between communication satisfaction and family adjustment. H2 was not supported for both life change and parental adjustment. Research Questions 1a and 1b inquired about the coping strategy that had an impact on life change and parental adjustment; escape-avoidance coping was most common for problems related to parental difficulty adjustment. a second research question was added post hoc; it questioned if special needs adopted children had an impact on family adjustment. Results indicated the special needs designation is related to home and work life adjustment. After discussing the theoretical and practical implications of this study, I offer limitations and directions for future research.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Seebeck, Lara N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Almost Astronauts”: Short Stories

Description: In this collection of short stories, I abduct experiences from my own life and take them on an imaginative journey. I experiment with elements of structure and point of view, often incorporating the magical or surreal to amplify the narrator’s internal landscape. As demonstrated in the title story, “Almost Astronauts,” these stories all deal with a sudden and sometimes destructive shift in the narrator’s perspective.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Miller, Laura I.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alterations in Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (Faah) Transcript Levels and Activity Lead to Changes in the Abiotic Stress Susceptibility of Arabidopsis Thaliana

Description: N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs) are a class of bioactive lipids, and FAAH is one of the enzymes responsible for degrading NAEs in both plants and animals. in plants, FAAH appears to be closely associated with ABA, a phytohormone which has long been associated with plant stress responses, since the overexpression of FAAH in Arabidopsis results in ABA hypersensitivity. Therefore, it is reasonable to speculate that alterations in FAAH transcript levels will result in altered stress responses in plants. to investigate this hypothesis experiments were carried out in which wild type (WT), FAAH-overexpressing (OE), and T-DNA insertional FAAH knockouts of Arabidopsis (faah) were grown in MS media under stress conditions. the stress conditions tested included chilling stress, heavy metal stress induced by cadmium or copper, nutrient limitations induced by low phosphorus or low nitrogen, salt stress induced with NaCl, and osmotic stress induced with mannitol. the OE plants were consistently hypersensitive to all stress conditions in relation to wild type plants. Inactive FAAH overexpressors did not have the hypersensitivity to the salt and osmotic stress of the active OE plants and were instead tolerant to these stresses. FAAH2 (faah2) knockouts and FAAH 1 and 2 double knockouts (faah 1+2) were based on some root development parameters somewhat more tolerant than WT plants, but more sensitive in terms of shoot growth. Collectively the data suggests that FAAH activity may interact with stress-responsive pathways in plants, perhaps including pathways involving ABA.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gonzalez, Gabriel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alternative Complementation in Partially Schematic Constructions: a Quantitative Corpus-based Examination of COME to V2 and GET to V2

Description: This paper examines two English polyverbal constructions, COME to V2 and GET to V2, as exemplified in Examples 1 and 2, respectively. (1) the senator came to know thousands of his constituents (2) Little Johnny got to eat ice cream after every little league game. Previous studies considered these types of constructions (though come and get as used here have not been sufficiently studied) as belonging to a special class of complement constructions, in which the infinitive is regarded as instantiating a separate, subordinate predication from that of the “matrix” or leftward finite verb. These constructions, however, exhibit systematic deviation from the various criteria proposed in previous research. This study uses the American National Corpus to investigate the statistical propensities of the target phenomena via lexico-syntactic (collostructional analysis) and morpho-syntactic (binary logistic regression) features, as captured through the lens of construction grammar.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Lester, Nicholas A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of Sources Affecting Ambient Particulate Matter in Brownsville, Texas

Description: Texas is the second largest state in U.S.A. based on geographical area, population and the economy. It is home to several large coastal urban areas with major industries and infrastructure supporting the fossil-fuel based energy sector. Most of the major cities on the state have been impacted by significant air pollution events over the past decade. Studies conducted in the southern coastal region of TX have identified long range transport as a major contributor of particulate matter (PM) pollution along with local emissions. Biomass burns, secondary sulfates and diesel emissions sources are comprise as the dominant mass of PM2.5 have been noted to be formed by the long range transport biomass from Central America. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to identify and quantify local as well as regional sources contributing to the PM pollution in the coastal area of Brownsville located along the Gulf of Mexico. Source apportionment techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA) and positive matrix factorization (PMF) were employed on the air quality monitoring data to identify and quantify local and regional sources affecting this coastal region. As a supplement to the PMF and PCA, conditional probability function (CPF) analysis and potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis were employed to characterize the meteorological influences for PM events. PCA identified an optimal solution of 6 sources affecting the coastal area of Brownsville, while PMF resolved 8 sources for the same area. Biomass comingled with sea salt was identified to be the dominant contributor from the PCA analysis with 30.2% of the apportioned PM mass in Brownsville, meanwhile PMF account secondary sulfates I & II with 27.6%. the other common sources identified included, biomass burning, crustal dust, secondary sulfate, oil combustion, mobile sources and miscellaneous traffic sources.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Diaz Poueriet, Pablo
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Correspondence Between the Measures Collected by an Autism Treatment Center and its Stated Mission Goals

Description: This study was a program evaluation for an autism treatment center for the period of April 2008 through August 2011. the study extended previous evaluations of the autism treatment center. the purpose of this evaluation was to determine the degree to which the center’s measures corresponded with its stated mission goals. a number of data sources were reviewed including client records of demographic and outcome information. Findings suggest the center maintained records that allow for the evaluation of most of its mission’s goals. There were, however, difficulties with data collection, storage, and retrieval. the present program evaluation found that missing information and lack of follow-up information hindered efforts toward mission evaluation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Kowalchuk, Holly M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Argei: Sex, War, and Crucifixion in Rome and the Ancient Near East

Description: The purpose of the Roman Argei ceremony, during which the Vestal Virgins harvested made and paraded rush puppets only to throw them into the Tiber, is widely debated. Modern historians supply three main reasons for the purpose of the Argei: an agrarian act, a scapegoat, and finally as an offering averting deceased spirits or Lares. I suggest that the ceremony also related to war and the spectacle of displaying war casualties. I compare the ancient Near East and Rome and connect the element of war and husbandry and claim that the Argei paralleled the sacred marriage. in addition to an agricultural and purification rite, these rituals may have served as sympathetic magic for pre- and inter-war periods. As of yet, no author has proposed the Argei as a ceremony related to war. By looking at the Argei holistically I open the door for a new direction of inquiry on the Argei ceremony, fertility cults in the Near East and in Rome, and on the execution of war criminals.The Argei and new year’s sacred marriage both occurred during the initiation of campaign and spring planting and harvest season. Both in the ancient Near East and in Rome, animal victims were sacrificed and displayed through impaling, crucifixion, and hanging for fertility and in war. for both Rome and the Near East war casualties were displayed on sacred trees. Through the Near East cultures a strong correlation existed between impaling, hanging, and crucifixion in war and Sacred Tree fertility worship. By examining Roman tree worship, military rituals, and agricultural ceremonies a similar correlation becomes apparent. on the same day of the Argei, Mars was married to the anthropomorphized new year and within the month became a scapegoat expelled from the city. Additionally, on the first day of the Argei boys became soldiers.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Ewin, Kristan Foust
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Assessment of Fruit Offerings for 7Th and 8Th Grade Students in Texas

Description: Childhood obesity in America is reaching epidemic proportions. This study explored whether daily online lunch menu information was sufficient to enable parents to advise their children about healthy and unhealthy menu choices in 350 Texas middle schools and whether online menu information strongly correlated with the descriptions of the offerings given by 52 school cafeteria managers in telephone interviews. Although schools are making efforts to describe their offerings, they are not vigorously taking advantage of the opportunity to aggressively inform or educate. They are not coding their descriptions in such a way as to explicitly brand food as healthy or unhealthy. They are also not labeling food as generally required by law for consumer services that provide food (except for the fresh produce that lines supermarket shelves). Instead, they only briefly describe what they are serving in the way of fruit in one or two word snippets. Finally, cafeteria managers’ online descriptions were inconsistent with what they described in interviews. Online and verbal descriptions were sometimes contradictory, raising questions about the accuracy of either type of description.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Paschal, Ryan Tyler
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automated Classification of Emotions Using Song Lyrics

Description: This thesis explores the classification of emotions in song lyrics, using automatic approaches applied to a novel corpus of 100 popular songs. I use crowd sourcing via Amazon Mechanical Turk to collect line-level emotions annotations for this collection of song lyrics. I then build classifiers that rely on textual features to automatically identify the presence of one or more of the following six Ekman emotions: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. I compare different classification systems and evaluate the performance of the automatic systems against the manual annotations. I also introduce a system that uses data collected from the social network Twitter. I use the Twitter API to collect a large corpus of tweets manually labeled by their authors for one of the six emotions of interest. I then compare the classification of emotions obtained when training on data automatically collected from Twitter versus data obtained through crowd sourced annotations.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Schellenberg, Rajitha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automatic Tagging of Communication Data

Description: Globally distributed software teams are widespread throughout industry. But finding reliable methods that can properly assess a team's activities is a real challenge. Methods such as surveys and manual coding of activities are too time consuming and are often unreliable. Recent advances in information retrieval and linguistics, however, suggest that automated and/or semi-automated text classification algorithms could be an effective way of finding differences in the communication patterns among individuals and groups. Communication among group members is frequent and generates a significant amount of data. Thus having a web-based tool that can automatically analyze the communication patterns among global software teams could lead to a better understanding of group performance. The goal of this thesis, therefore, is to compare automatic and semi-automatic measures of communication and evaluate their effectiveness in classifying different types of group activities that occur within a global software development project. In order to achieve this goal, we developed a web-based component that can be used to help clean and classify communication activities. The component was then used to compare different automated text classification techniques on various group activities to determine their effectiveness in correctly classifying data from a global software development team project.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hoyt, Matthew Ray
Partner: UNT Libraries

Baseband Noise Suppression in Ofdm Using Kalman Filter

Description: As the technology is advances the reduced size of hardware gives rise to an additive 1/f baseband noise. This additive 1/f noise is a system noise generated due to miniaturization of hardware and affects the lower frequencies. Though 1/f noise does not show much effect in wide band channels because of its nature to affect only certain frequencies, 1/f noise becomes a prominent in OFDM communication systems where narrow band channels are used. in this thesis, I study the effects of 1/f noise on the OFDM systems and implement algorithms for estimation and suppression of the noise using Kalman filter. Suppression of the noise is achieved by subtracting the estimated noise from the received noise. I show that the performance of the system is considerably improved by applying the 1/f noise suppression.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Rodda, Lasya
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bearing Strength of Cold Formed Steel Bolted Connections in Trusses

Description: The existing design provision in North American Specification for Cold- Formed Steel Structural Member (AISI S100) for the bearing strength of bolted connections were developed from tests on bolted connected sheets which were restrained by bolt nut and head with or without washers. However, in the cold-formed assemblies, particularly in trusses, the single bolt goes through both sides of the connected sections, making the connected sheets on each side unrestrained. the warping of the unrestrained sheet may reduce the bearing strength of the bolted connection. This research investigates the behavior and strength of bearing failure in bolted connections in cold-formed steel trusses. Tensile tests were conducted on trusses connections with various material thicknesses. It was found that the AISI S100 works well for thick connections but provides unconservative predictions for thin materials. Based on the experimental results, a modified bearing strength method is proposed for calculating the bearing strength of bolted truss connections. the proposed method can be used for any cold-formed steel connections with unrestrained sheet.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Panyanouvong, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

Beta-adrenergic Blockade Via Atenolol and Its Effects on Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, and Renal Morphology in the Developing Chicken Gallus Gallus Domesticus

Description: Chicken embryos were chronically exposed to the ?1- blocker atenolol during one of three stages: mesonephros (E7-E9), mesonephros-metanephros (E11-E13), or metanephros (E15-E17). Mesonephros group hearts were larger than all other groups (P < 0.01). Mesonephros and metanephros group kidneys were larger than all remaining groups (P < 0.0001). The mesonephros group nephron number was ~40% lower than control values (P = 0.002). Glomerular areas were 26% and 18% larger than the control group in the mesonephros and metanephros groups, respectively (P < 0.001). These data suggest an E7-E9 critical window of cardiovascular and renal development for atenolol. Acute atenolol exposure in E15 embryos showed an increase in mean arterial pressure with all but the highest dose. All doses significantly decreased heart rate.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Rossitto Lopez, Josie Jovita
Partner: UNT Libraries

Blood Brothers

Description: Blood Brothers as a media project works as a diptych. There are two – seemingly identical – pieces of the project that must both be experienced to understand the project as a whole. The first piece of the project is the linear documentary. This part captures the experience as it exists in the past. It exists as a master copy of the original story of mine and my foster brother’s relationship. This version of the story will always exist in the past. The second part is the live-cinema documentary performance. In this version of the story, my foster brother and I are no longer only images on a screen; we are living, breathing, and emotional subjects in the present. Our presence alters how the audience consumes the material.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Quam, Jonathon David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bodies and Other Firewood

Description: The chakra system consists of seven energetic vortexes ascending up the spine that connect to every aspect of human existence. These vortexes become blocked and unblocked through the course of a life, these openings and closings have physiological and mental repercussions. Knowledge of these physical and mental manifestations, indicate where the chakra practitioner is in need, the practitioner can then manipulate their mind and body to create a desired outcome. These manipulations are based upon physical exercises and associative meditations for the purpose of expanding the human experience. As a poem can be thought of as the articulation of the human experience, and the chakra system can be thought of as a means to understand and enhance that experience, it is interesting and worthwhile leap to explore the how the chakras can develop and refresh the way we read and write poetry. This critical preface closely reads seven poems, one through each chakra, finding what the chakras unveil. Here, each chakra is considered for its dynamic creative capabilities and for its beneficial potentiality in the reading and writing process, finding each chakra provides tools: idea generators with the potential to free the poet from usual patterns of creativity while broadening vision and expressivity. In this collection of poetry poems are experiences chopped into consumable units that show and tell the constant negotiation between what is actually happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what is happening.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Blomgren, Aubree Sky
Partner: UNT Libraries

Body Dissatisfaction, Disordered Eating Behaviors and Body Image Quality of Life in African American Women with Hiv

Description: The purpose of the current study was to further our understanding of the subjective experience of middle-age African American women who are HIV+ and on highly active antiretroviral therapy, particularly how self-reported lipodystrophy (LD), levels of body dissatisfaction, body image quality of life, and engagement in disordered eating behaviors are related. Multiple regression, MANOVA, MANCOVA, ANOVA, and chi-square were utilized to test hypotheses. Results revealed that HIV+ and HIV- women did not differ significantly on their levels of body dissatisfaction or drive for thinness. When HIV+ women were examined in more detail a pattern emerged: women who self-reported fat hypertrophy had significantly higher levels of body dissatisfaction, bingeing, but not purging, and dietary restriction and fear of weight gain compared to women who did not self-report LD. About 75% of the sample was overweight or obese, and when BMI was controlled for, these differences persisted for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors for fat hypertrophy, but not fat atrophy. Overall, the findings indicate that the type of LD, specifically hypertrophy, is more related to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors, than LD in general. Clinical implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Hammon, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Branded Content: Understanding the Mechanisms of Strategic Messaging in Entertainment Television Formats

Description: Branded content as an advertising tactic is a growing phenomenon that is not widely researched and is generally ambiguous in nature. This study uses qualitative methods to explain how branded content is defined, how it functions, and how it can influence a brand. Case studies of IKEA and Chevrolet were compared alongside four interviews with branded content professionals. the data collected suggests that branded content in structure and substance is varied, however it comprises engagement, the brand, and financial transaction. the data collected also suggested that brands take a variety of stances when controlling content to support their brand, and that branded content generally supports the intangible aspects of a brand, as opposed to product features.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Nicholson, Danielle Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Burushaski Case Marking, Agreement and Implications: an Analysis of the Hunza Dialect

Description: This thesis was written to explore the structural case patterns of the Burushaski sentence and to examine the different participant coding systems which appear between noun marking and verb agreement. Verb suffixes follow nominative alignment patterns of agreement, while the verb prefix agrees with the affected argument as determined by semantic relations, as opposed to syntactic ones. The agent noun phrase is directly marked when highly active or volitional, suggesting a system of agent marking on the noun phrase and nominative alignment on the verb suffix. Nominative alignment also allows for a less marked presence of passive voice. Burushaski's agent marking is not entirely consistent; however, its nominative alignment is consistent. The conclusion is that Burushaski is not an ergative language at all.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Smith, Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries

Challenge the Silence

Description: This collection of personal essays about incest, abuse, and depression explores the lasting effects of an invisible childhood. The essays follow the protagonist from the age of five to her early twenties. Her brother, at a young age, becomes sexually abusive of her and her sisters, and her parents fail to protect their daughters. The family is divided as the older girls strive to defend their little sisters, while their parents attempt to excuse their son. When her brother is finally sent away, the protagonist is left to salvage what remains of her relationships with her parents.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Peterson, Erica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Changes in Gene Expression Levels of the Ecf Sigma Factor Bov1605 Under Ph Shift and Oxidative Stress in the Sheep Pathogen Brucella Ovis

Description: Brucella ovis is a sexually transmitted, facultatively anaerobic, intracellular bacterial pathogen of sheep (Ovis aries) and red deer (Cervus elaphus). Brucella spp. infect primarily by penetrating the mucosa and are phagocytized by host macrophages, where survival and replication occurs. At least in some species, it has been shown that entry into stationary phase is necessary for successful infection. Brucella, like other alphaproteobacteria, lack the canonical stationary phase sigma factor ?s. Research on diverse members of this large phylogenetic group indicate the widespread presence of a conserved four-gene set including an alternative ECF sigma factor, an anti-sigma factor, a response regulator (RR), and a histidine kinase (HK). The first description of the system was made in Methylobacterium extorquens where the RR, named PhyR, was found to regulate the sigma factor activity by sequestering the anti-sigma factor in a process termed "sigma factor mimicry." These systems have been associated with various types of extracellular stress responses in a number of environmental bacteria. I hypothesized that homologous genetic sequences (Bov_1604-1607), which are similarly found among all Brucella species, may regulate survival functions during pathogenesis. To further explore the involvement of this system to conditions analogous to those occurring during infection, pure cultures of B. ovis cells were subjected to environments of pH (5 and 7) for 15, 30, and 45 minutes and oxidative (50mM H2O2) stress, or Spermine NONOate for 60 minutes. RNA was extracted and converted to cDNA andchanges in transcript levels of the sigma factor Bov1605 were measured using qPCR. Preliminary results indicate that under the exposure to Spermine NONOate there was little change in expression, but under oxidative stress expression of the sigma factor Bov1605 was 4.68-fold higher than that expressed under normal conditions. These results suggest that the sigma factor Bov1605 may be involved in oxidative stress defense during ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Kiehler, Brittany Elaine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization of Arthrobacter Globiformis Aspartate Transcarbamylase Concentrations of Substrates

Description: This thesis consists of one major section with two subsections. The first subsection investigates the activity of Arthrobacter globiformis aspartate transcarbamylase's specific activity with increasing concentrations of the enzyme's substrate. Dihydroorotase (DHOase) activity was also measured with increasing concentrations of the substrate dihydroorotate. The second subsection collected data in order to classify the enzyme, resulting in a classification into the category of class A ATCases with bifunctional ATCase-DHOase complexes. The thesis provides evidence to broaden understanding of the ATCase and DHOase enzymes for members of the family that Arthrobacter belongs to.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Wright, Jackie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization of Ecg Signal Using Programmable System on Chip

Description: Electrocardiography (ECG) monitor is a medical device for recording the electrical activities of the heart using electrodes placed on the body. There are many ECG monitors in the market but it is essential to find the accuracy with which they generate results. Accuracy depends on the processing of the ECG signal which contains several noises and the algorithms used for detecting peaks. Based on these peaks the abnormality in the functioning of the heart can be estimated. Hence this thesis characterizes the ECG signal which helps to detect the abnormalities and determine the accuracy of the system.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Ravuru, Anusha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization of Ionic Liquid As a Charge Carrier for the Detection of Neutral Organometallic Complexes Using Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Description: A novel application of ionic liquid as a charge carrier for the analysis and detection of neutral organometallic complexes using a mass spectrometer has been presented. The mass spectrometer detects only charged compounds which raise a difficulty in analyzing a neutral molecule that lacks a basic site to associate with charge. Therefore, an effective way of providing charge has always been an area of keen interest in the field of mass spectrometry. Ionic liquids have a very fascinating property of forming a cation-? interaction with other molecules to give a charged complex. In order to take advantage of this, it is important to know the geometric structure of the complex. Advanced methodologies like hydrogen-deuterium exchange and computational calculations have been used assisting in better understanding of the structure of the ionic liquid complexes.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Joshi, Ubisha
Partner: UNT Libraries