UNT Theses and Dissertations - 194 Matching Results

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Interpersonal Factors Related to the Pursuit of a Higher Education Among First Generation Undergraduate Students

Description: The typical educational stressors experienced by college students, in conjunction with developmental stressors such as separation from parents, individuation, and perceived social support, can interact to impact adaptation significantly. First generation college students (students who are the first in their family to attend college) can experience stressors beyond the typical educational stressors experienced by later generation college students, including lack of support from family and peers as well as financial difficulties that can interact to impact the pursuit of an education beyond the undergraduate level. The present study examined factors that may be especially influential in the pursuit of a higher education for first generation college students. Results indicated that aspects of family enmeshment were related to academic motivation for first generation students, but not for later generation students. Exploratory analysis showed that family and finances were mentioned more often among first generation students when compared to later generation students as stressors that strongly influence the desire to continue beyond the undergraduate level.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Aguirre, Jacqueline S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationships Among Self-esteem, Psychological and Cognitive Flexibility, and Psychological Symptomatology

Description: Previous findings on the relationship between self-esteem and psychological outcomes are inconsistent. Therefore it appears that self-esteem, while related to crucial variables, does not provide a clear, direct, and comprehensive prediction of psychological symptoms. Thus, it was hypothesized that the relationship between self-esteem and symptomatology would be moderated by broader measures of how one interacts with emotional and cognitive stimuli.The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of self-esteem, psychological flexibility, and cognitive flexibility on psychological symptomatology. A sample of 82 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed self-report questionnaires measuring low self-esteem, psychological flexibility, measured inversely as inflexibility, cognitive flexibility, and psychological symptoms. Results of the study suggest that self-esteem (?= -0.59, p < 0.001) and flexibility (both psychological (?= 0.36, p = 0.001) and cognitive (?= 0.21, p < 0.05) are significant predictors of psychological symptoms. In other words, self-esteem is positively correlated with psychological symptoms, while psychological and cognitive flexibility are negatively correlated with psychological symptoms. Neither form of flexibility moderated the relationship between self-esteem and psychological symptoms in this sample. The findings of the current study are discussed as well as suggestions for further research related to self-esteem, psychological and cognitive flexibility, and their impact on psychological outcomes.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Analysis of Web-based Machine Translation Quality: English to French and French to English

Description: This study offers a partial reduplication of a 2006 study by Williams, which focused primarily on the analysis of the quality of translation produced by online software, namely Yahoo!® Babelfish, Freetranslation.com, and Google Translate. Since the data for the study by Williams were collected in 2004 and the data for present study in 2012, this gives a lapse of eight years for a diachronic analysis of the differences in quality of the translations provided by these online services. At the time of the 2006 study by Williams, all three services used a rule-based translation system, but, in October 2007, however, Google Translate switched to a system that is entirely statistical in nature. Thus, the present study is also able to examine the differences in quality between contemporary statistical and rule-based approaches to machine translation.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Barnhart, Zachary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ecological Significance and Underlying Mechanisms of Body Size Differentiation in White-tailed Deer

Description: Body size varies according to nutritional availability, which is of ecological and evolutionary relevance. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that differences in adult body size are realized by increasing juvenile growth rate for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Harvest records are used to construct growth rate estimates by empirical nonlinear curve fitting. Results are compared to those of previous models that include additional parameters. The rate of growth increases during the study period. Models that estimate multiple parameters may not work with harvest data in which estimates of these parameters are prone to error, which renders estimates from complex models too variable to detect inter-annual changes in growth rate that this simpler model captures
Date: May 2012
Creator: Barr, Brannon
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Are They Learning: a Study of Errors Produced During Behavior Acquisition Utilizing Two Prompting Procedures with a Cat

Description: Prompting methods are common amongst animal trainers, both novice and experts. However, there is little empirical evidence to demonstrate the strengths or weaknesses of common prompting procedures. The current study assessed the strengths and weaknesses during behavior acquisition of two prompting methods, luring and targeting. Luring placed an edible directly in front of the animal which guided the animal through the desired behavior. Targeting, however used a target, an arbitrary object the animal has been trained to touch, guide behavior. A cat was trained, using each method, to walk around a flower. Walking around the right flower pot was trained using luring and walking around the left flower pot was trained using targeting. After both behaviors were acquired, a delay cue method was designed to transfer stimulus control. Later a combination of a delay cue and prompt fading was used. During acquisition the luring method acquired the behavior of walking around a pot more quickly with consistently fewer errors. During stimulus transfer the cat began independently initiating the behavior earlier with the target trained behavior and produced more correct behaviors after the verbal cue. Luring appeared to produce the faster behavior, but after stimulus transfer it could be concluded that the cat did not learn the desired behavior, but rather following the lure. Both methods could be beneficial in different circumstance, however, given the desired behavior was to walk around a flower pot on cue, targeting would be considered best practice.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Beasley, Robin Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mental Toughness: An Analysis of Sex, Race, and Mood

Description: Mental toughness has become a focus for researchers as coaches, athletes, and others extol its influence in performance success. In this study I examined mental toughness among collegiate athletes, focusing on its potential relationship to different demographic variables and to the athletes’ mood. Two hundred seventy-two student-athletes representing 12 different sports from a southwestern NCAA Division I university, participated by completing the Sports Mental Toughness Questionnaire (SMTQ), the Brief Assessment of Mood (BAM), and providing demographic information. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) assessed differences in mental toughness scores by sex, race, scholarship status, and starting status. Significant differences in mental toughness emerged between Black – White, male – female, and full – partial – zero scholarship athletes. Pearson correlations showed mental toughness was significantly related to lower levels of anxiety, sadness, anger, confusion, fatigue, and total mood disturbance, and higher levels of vigor.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Beck, Nicholas M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Childhood Bereavement and Parents’ Relationship With Children

Description: It has long been recognized that childhood bereavement is a risk factor for depression in adulthood. Research also has consistently demonstrated that parental depression is linked to poor parent-child relationship quality. The current study examined whether bereavement in childhood increases likelihood of current depressive symptoms among parents and explored whether this vulnerability in the parent then alters the quality of the parent-child relationship. Archival data for a sample of 86 families (N=176 parents) are drawn from the Family & Kid Connection project led by Dr. Shelley Riggs. Instruments utilized include the Background Information Questionnaire, the Symptom Assessment-45 Questionnaire, and the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire. Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, Multilevel Modeling procedures explored the hypothesis that parental depression mediates the association between parents’ childhood bereavement and their perception of the parent-child relationship. Results show a significant relationship between parental (actor) depressive symptoms and parent-child attachment, indicating the need for therapeutic interventions targeting the parent-child relationship, and not just parents, for parents suffering from depression.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Benson, Karen M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Never Odd Or Even: Using Temporal Structures In Composing Music For Dance

Description: This study engages the collaboration of dance and music, focusing primarily on experiences in the production of a large scale collaborative concert entitled Never Odd or Even. Famous historical collaborations offer archetypal collaborative models, the more unconventional of which are applied to the pieces of the concert. Issues and observations regarding cross-influence, project evolution, and application of the collaborative models are engaged to determine effective means of collaboration given different circumstances. The key focus of the study, the temporal relationship between music and dance, is explored in great detail to determine three models for relating time between music and dance. These temporal relationship models are applied to the pieces and evaluated on effectiveness and potential strengths when applied to dance.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Bernardo, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Layer Double Hydroxide Nanoclays on the Toxicity of Copper to Daphnia Magna

Description: Nanoparticles may affect secondary pollutants such as copper. Layer Double Hydroxides (LDH) are synthetically produced nanoparticles that adsorb copper via cation exchange. Pretreatment of copper test solutions with LDH nanoparticles followed by filtration removal of LDH nanoparticles demonstrated the smallest LDH aggregates removed the most copper toxicity. This was due to increased surface area for cation exchange relative to larger particle aggregates. Co-exposure tests of copper chloride and clay were run to determine if smaller clay particles increased copper uptake by D. magna. Coexposure treatments had lower LC50 values compared to the filtration tests, likely as a result of additive toxicity. LDH nanoclays do reduce copper toxicity in Daphnia magna and may serve as a remediation tool.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Blake, Deanne Renee
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

Development of Wireless Sensor Network System for Indoor Air Quality Monitoring

Description: This thesis describes development of low cost indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring system for research. It describes data collection of various parameters concentration present in indoor air and sends data back to host PC for further processing. Thesis gives detailed information about hardware and software implementation of IAQ monitoring system. Also discussed are building wireless ZigBee network, creating user friendly graphical user interface (GUI) and analysis of obtained results in comparison with professional benchmark system to check system reliability. Throughputs obtained are efficient enough to use system as a reliable IAQ monitor.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Borkar, Chirag
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Invisible Dragon

Description: This collection of memoir essays chronicles the author's 19 year struggle with chronic depression. "The Invisible Dragon" explores the onset of the disease and its cure. "The Silent Typewriter" looks at how it affected the author as a writer. "Roses for Trish" discusses how it affected his wife. "My Mother's Son" explores the possibility that he inherited depression from his mother. The final essay, "The Dragon Returns" probes the author's life in 2012 with the probability that he has a personality disorder. The preface examines several depression memoirs and explores the strategies used by William Styron, Elizabeth Wurtzel and Kay Redfield Jamison to prevent sliding into the pitfalls inherent in a linear structure. Among these are the use of alternative structures, language, characterization, focus and imagery.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Boutwell, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tactile Media: Factors Affecting the Adoption of Touchscreen Smartphones Among Consumers with Vision Loss

Description: Touchscreen technology is on the rise as the new standard in smartphone design. But, the usability of touchscreen is hindered for consumers that lack the physical ability to navigate such devices. Two focus groups were conducted in order to identify specific uses and gratifications that people with visual impairments had when using mobile phones. Additional questions were presented to the participants to determine if touchscreen technology limited access to communication and entertainment. The responses revealed an upward trend in touchscreen smartphone adoption among the participants. These users chose to adopt touchscreen smartphones that had built-in and downloadable assistive features which contributed to user-friendly designs.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Bradley, Sapora L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Prevalence of Eating Disorders and Pathogenic Weight Control Behaviors Among Male Collegiate Athletes

Description: Training in sport environments that emphasize leanness and muscularity may damage athletes' body image and negatively influence male athletes' eating behaviors and attitudes. The Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis and the Bulimia Test – Revised were completed anonymously online by 732 male intercollegiate athletes. Most male collegiate athletes were classified as asymptomatic (82.9%), followed by symptomatic (16%) and eating disordered (1.1%). The most common forms pathogenic behaviors were excessive exercise (51.6%), binge eating (21.4%), and dieting or fasting (20.5%). Results suggested that athletes who participate in weight class sports are at higher risk for developing these behaviors than endurance sport or ball game athletes. Counseling and other implications for professionals working with athletes are discussed.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Chatterton, Justine M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Effects of Apparel Attributes on Perceived Copyright Infringement and the Relationship Between Perceived Risks and Purchase Intention of Knockoff Fashion

Description: The growth of fast fashion retailers, availability of knockoff fashion apparel, and proposed apparel copyright law prompted this study. Fast fashion retailers are expanding rapidly and producing knockoffs fashion apparel in a matter of weeks, but current U.S. copyright laws do not protect apparel. The primary purpose of this study was to identify prominent visual fashion apparel attributes that could determine perceived copyright infringement. A secondary purpose was to examine the effects of fashion apparel attributes on perceived copyright infringement, perceived risk, and purchase intention. A sequential exploratory mixed method approach was used to explore the relationship between: Attributes, perceived copyright infringement, perceived risk, and purchase intention. This study consisted of a: Study one, study two, and study three. Twelve hypotheses were proposed, and five were supported. Quality significantly affected both perceived copyright infringement and purchase intention. Performance, social, and asset significantly affected purchase intention of knockoff fashion apparel.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Chaykowsky, Kelly
Partner: UNT Libraries

Newspaper Ownership Structure and the Quality of Local Political News Coverage

Description: This research sought to ascertain how newspaper ownership structures influence the quality of local political news coverage. More specifically, do independently owned newspapers tend to produce larger quantities of quality local political reporting than do corporately owned and publicly traded newspapers? In the thesis, I develop an understanding of "quality" news coverage as being coverage that is thematic, or providing interpretive analysis and supplying contextual information. Additionally, I tackle the question of quality news coverage from three angles: whether or not independently owned newspapers provide more quality local political news stories per edition than corporately owned papers; whether or not the percentage of quality local political news stories of total political news stories within an edition is higher for independently owned or corporately owned newspapers; and whether or not the percentage of total political news stories of total news stories is higher for independently owned or corporately owned newspapers.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Clark, Karla Christine Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Zero Anaphora and Meithei

Description: The focus of this thesis is to determine what factors predict zero anaphora in Meithei. The data for this thesis is derived from pear stories. Arguments were tabulated in spreadsheets counting nouns, pronouns, and zero anaphors; they were also examined for their semantic role and information status. The findings showed the agent role was typically represented by reduced forms of reference, the majority of the time by zero anaphora. Other semantic roles were typically represented by lexical full forms of reference. Agents were strongly correlated to previous subjects. Other semantic roles were typically found in the other information status categories. The conclusion drawn from these findings is semantic role and information status influence accessibility, and accessibility determines whether or not arguments are represented by zero anaphors in Meithei.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Cockerham, Terence
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ota-quadrotor: An Object-tracking Autonomous Quadrotor for Real-time Detection and Recognition

Description: The field of robotics and mechatronics is advancing at an ever-increasing rate and we are starting to see robots making the transition from the factories to the workplace and homes as cost is reduced and they become more useful. In recent years quadrotors have become a popular unmanned air vehicle (UAV) platform. These UAVs or micro air vehicles (MAV) are being used for many new and exciting applications such as aerial monitoring of wildlife, disaster sites, riots and protests. They are also being used in the film industry, as they are significantly cheaper means of getting aerial footage. While quadrotors are not extremely expensive a good system can cost in the range of $3000 - $8000 and thus too costly as a research platform for many. There are a number of cheaper open source platforms. The ArduCopter is under constant development, has the largest community and is inexpensive making it an ideal platform to work with. The goal of this thesis was to implement video processing on a ground control station allowing for the ArduCopter to track moving objects. This was achieved by using the OpenCV video-processing library to implement object tracking and the MAVLink communication protocol, available on the ArduCopter platform, for communication.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Coelho, Gavin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mist Characterization in Drilling 1018 Steel

Description: Minimum quantity lubrication replaces the traditional method of flood cooling with small amounts of high-efficient lubrication. Limited studies have been performed to determine the characteristics of mist produced during MQL. This study investigated the mist concentration levels produced while drilling 1018 steel using a vegetable based lubricant. ANOVA was performed to determine whether speed and feed rates or their interactions have a significant effect on mist concentration levels and particle diameter. It was observed that the concentration levels obtained under all four speed and feed rate combinations studied exceeded the current OSHA and NIOSH standards.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Cole, Ian
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Increasing Rates of Reinforcement Through an Alternative Fluent Behavior on the Acquisition and Extinction of Behavior in Dogs

Description: The purpose of the present study was to experimentally investigate the effects of interspersing the opportunity to perform a fluent behavior during the acquisition of a new behavior. The experimenter trained left and right paw movements in domestic canines using a multiple treatment design. One paw movement was trained with a typical shaping procedure while the other was trained with an opportunity to perform a fluent behavior, touching the dog’s nose to a plastic disc, following each successive approximation in the shaping procedure. Two extinction phases were implemented during the experiment. The results showed that higher rates of reinforcement were achieved primarily following changes in criteria for reinforcement for the behavior in acquisition. There were no effects on rate of acquisition of the behavior, but adding an alternative fluent behavior may have slowed the differentiation between the reinforced behavior and alternative behaviors for one dog. The behavior trained with the addition of an alternative fluent behavior extinguished more quickly than in the control condition and extinguished at similar rates to the opposite leg movement. This suggests that the technique of offering an alternative fluent behavior may facilitate the chaining of the opposite behavior with the behavior targeted for reinforcement.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Coulter, Laura E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Untangling the Effects of Scheduled Exercise on Child Engagement, Stereotypy, and Challenging Behavior

Description: There is limited research pertaining to the effects of exercise on the behavior of children with autism. Previous researchers focused on exploring the dimensions of the exercise itself, leaving a functional account of the effects of exercise undetermined. There is recent evidence that exercise suppresses responses maintained by automatic reinforcement. The purpose of the present study was to better identify the relevant independent variable in such research and to assess if there were differential effects of exercise across functional response classes. The experimenter conducted a trial-based functional analysis and then implemented a sedentary or vigorous activity on alternating days to determine the impact of exercise on engagement, stereotypy, and challenging behavior. Results across functional response classes were variable as were data across individual sessions. There was a mean suppression of behavior maintained by nonsocial reinforcement during post-sedentary (4.3%) and post-exercise sessions (2.3%). A discussion of the role of matched stimulation and heart rate as a pertinent variable follows.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Currier, Thomas D. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Resistance Training on Cytokines in Hiv+ Men with Chemical Dependence

Description: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and substance abuse (drug and/or alcohol) independently impair the immune system; importantly, the combination of HIV infection and substance abuse might produce more than an additive effect on this system. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) and Interferon gamma (IFN?) are pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in differentiation of Th0 cells into Th1 cells. Interleukin 4 (IL-4) and Interleukin 10 (IL-10) are anti-inflammatory cytokine involved in differentiation of Th0 cells to Th2 cells. Unbalanced Th1 and Th2 cells can lead to immune suppression. Thus, changes in these cytokines could have important implications for people infected with HIV (HIV+). Resistance training can counteract muscle wasting, improve strength, and improve muscle mass. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of resistance training on resting concentrations of circulating TNF-?, IFN-?, IL-4, and IL-10. Sixteen men (42 ± 11 years, 180.4 ± 9.1 cm, 89.2 ± 20.7 kg) infected with HIV and enrolled in an intensive 60-day in-patient substance addiction/abuse treatment program were recruited shortly after admission to the treatment facility. Participants were assigned to one of two groups using randomization: supervised resistance exercise 3 times per week using a progressive and non-linear periodized program (Exercise) or no exercise training (Non-Exercise) for six weeks. Before (Pre) and after (Post) the 6-week period, resting and fasted blood samples were obtained and analyzed for serum TNF-?, IFN-?, IL-4, and IL-10 concentrations using a high-sensitivity ELISA. TNF-? did not change following the 6-week period for Exercise (Pre: 4.8 ± 2.7 pg·ml-1; Post: 4.6 ± 2.4 pg·ml-1) or Non-Exercise (Pre: 3.0 ± 1.3 pg·ml-1; Post: 2.7 ± 0.8 pg·ml-1). IFN-?, IL-4, and IL-10 concentrations were below detectable limits. No adverse effects of the intervention were reported. A six-week resistance training program does not elicit changes in circulating TNF-? concentrations in men infected with HIV and ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Curtis, John Harper
Partner: UNT Libraries

Young Journalists Today: Journalism Students’ Perceptions of the Ever-evolving Industry

Description: Today’s journalism students are learning in a time in which new technology innovations, including online news sites, blogs, and social media, have become a prominent part of the journalism industry. Whether it’s newspapers, public relations, or broadcast, technology has become a part of every area of journalism. While several studies have focused on how journalism classes should be taught in lieu of this change, how students are learning and how they feel about this changing industry has yet to be shared. This research uses both a survey of 203 current, undergraduate pre-journalism students at a large, Southwestern university, as well as focus group interviews with several subgroups of 11 of those students. The results show, not surprisingly, that journalism students are heavy users of technology and social media. They also show that a majority of journalism students prefers consuming media online. However, although students use technology and social media frequently, and also consume media online, there is evidence that suggests that they would rather learn face-to-face with an instructor than take online classes. In addition, they feel positive about their future in the changing industry.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Daniels, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries