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Absorptive Capacity: An Empirical Examination of the Phenomenon and Relationships with Firm Capabilities

Description: The field of strategic management addresses challenges that firms encounter in an attempt to remain competitive. The ability to explain variation in firm success through examination of knowledge flows has become a prominent focus of research in the strategic management literature. Specifically, researchers have sought to further examine how firms convert knowledge, a phenomenon conceptualized as absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity is the firm’s ability to acquire, assimilate, transform, and exploit knowledge. Few studies have captured the richness and multi-dimensionality of absorptive capacity, and it remains to be understood how the dimensions of the phenomenon convert knowledge. Furthermore, how absorptive capacity influences the firm remains to be understood. To address these research gaps, this dissertation seeks to (1) determine how absorptive capacity converts knowledge, and (2) determine how absorptive capacity influences firm capabilities. The research questions are investigated using structural modeling techniques to analyze data collected from software-industry firms. The findings offer contributions to the absorptive capacity and capability literatures. For example, absorptive capacity is hypothesized to consist of complex relationships among its internal dimensions. However, findings of this study suggest the relationships among the dimensions are linear in nature. This finding is in line with the theoretical foundations of and early literature on absorptive capacity but contrary to recent conceptualizations, which suggests relationships among the dimensions are more closely related to the theoretical origins of absorptive capacity. Additionally, to examine how absorptive capacity influences the firm, a capability-based perspective is used to hypothesize the influence of absorptive capacity on firm capabilities. Findings suggest absorptive capacity positively influences each dimension of firm capabilities (e.g., operational, customer, and innovation capabilities); thus, absorptive capacity influences the firm by altering firm capabilities. Given the richness of the findings, numerous fields are likely to benefit from this investigation. Through an examination of absorptive capacity and ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Daspit, Josh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Academic Advising Professional Characteristics and Standards: Do Academic Advisors Follow Recognized Professional Standards in Their Work?

Description: There were two main purposes of this quantitative study. The first purpose was to identify characteristics associated with the selected sample of academic advisors that comprise study. Secondly, the study sought to determine how well work related activities of a selected population of academic advisors correlate with professional characteristics constructs and professional standards constructs of academic advising as a profession. The study used Habley’s (1986) characteristics of a profession to derive the studies professional characteristic construct, education activities, research activities, and professional development activities as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The studies professional standards construct was derived from five Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) professional standards for academic as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The study of 78 out of 210 identified full-time academic advisors at two-and four-year public colleges and universities in the North Texas Region utilized a multidimensional researcher-developed Web survey instrument designed to measure professional standards and characteristic within the field of academic advising. Study results reinforced current criticism of research and education activities within the field of academic advising showing that the lack of scholarly research and education activities among academic advisors decreases significantly their efforts towards professionalization. Also, professional standards construct results suggest that the utilization of CAS standards for academic advising as an evaluation tool may enhance an academic advisor’s knowledge of professional standards within the field.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Shelton, Kiesha R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Academic and Athletic Experiences of African-american Males in a Division I (Fbs) Football Program

Description: This study investigated the academic and athletic experiences of African-American males in a Division I football bowl subdivision football program. Critical race theory, identity development model, and social learning model were the theoretical frameworks used as the critical lenses in a qualitative design to examine the participants. The participants’ responses were analyzed and interpreted using thematic analysis. A qualitative research design, which included individual interviews with 10 second year African-American male football players, was used to address this research problem. The goal was to bring together both the psychological and sociological perspectives and to challenge participants to candidly describe their academic and athletic experiences and attitudes toward obtaining an undergraduate degree. Four themes were determined in the data analysis: differential treatment and determining oneself, time management, relationships, and career aspirations. In relation to the theoretical frameworks, the development of self-confidence and knowledge of balancing their academic and athletic schedules was critical for all participants. The sense of feeling different and challenged because of the differences in culture and experience was evident. From this study, university and collegiate athletics administrators may better understand the backgrounds, challenges, and learning needs of this population. As a result, higher education personnel may improve the services they provide these young men in hopes of educating and developing whole persons—physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually—to become well-rounded and functional in contemporary society.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Salinas, Silvia M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Academic Progress Scores to Predict Performance on a State Assessment

Description: This quantitative study examined seventh-grade reading scores to determine the extent to which certain demographic variables (race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status) explain and MAP reading scores predict reading scores on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in a selected northeast Texas public school. Standardized assessments only compare the relative performance of an individual student to other groups of students using scaled scores, which can vary from year to year and from state to state. With the advent of computer adaptive testing, this study provides information on the predictive validity of benchmark assessments. Specifically, this study looked for predictive evidence that indicates how accurately test data can predict criterion scores. Findings revealed, through a multiple regression analysis, that the fall MAP Rasch Unit (RIT) scores predicted the STAAR scale scores. Using SPSS version 22, the data were entered and analyzed in a multiple regression model to determine the presence of a statistical trend or lack thereof. Demographic data and MAP scores were entered into the regression model to examine the predictive validity of the MAP assessment in determining student performance on the STAAR seventh-grade state-mandated reading assessment. The statistical analysis revealed that MAP RIT scores explain a significant variance related to seventh-grade STAAR reading scale scores. There is a vital need for tools that improve a student's academic development and MAP assessments have been found to predict performance on state-mandated assessments.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Curry, David Mitchell
Partner: UNT Libraries

Academic Reading Online: Digital Reading Strategies of Graduate-level English Language Learners

Description: English language learners (ELLs) face many linguistic and cultural challenges in their attempts to succeed academically. They encounter complex academic text, which is increasingly presented online. Although some research has addressed the challenges that university-level ELLs face when reading online texts, almost all of this prior work has focused on undergraduates. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the reading strategies employed by graduate-level ELLs when reading an academic English text online. Participating in the study were four foreign-born doctoral students from different first-language backgrounds—Arabic, Korean, Urdu, and Vietnamese—and the focus was on commonalities as well as differences among them. All four were enrolled in the same doctoral-level course, which included the reading of a specific online academic article as a course requirement. When reading this text individually, each student participated in a think-aloud procedure, followed by post-reading and discourse-based interviews. Analyses included unitizing data from the think-aloud protocols, coding units for strategies employed, and considering related interview commentary and classroom contributions. In their reading, these students made major use of problem-solving strategies, especially reading segments aloud and questioning. They also employed evaluative strategies as well as metacognitive strategies, which included affirming their understanding or indicating lack of understanding. With respect to global strategies, all made use of the article’s abstract and used the cursor to scroll forward to preview the article. In contrast to previous research with undergraduates, these students made little use of support strategies that involved translation websites. Instead, their major support strategies were navigating to web-based tools, particularly online encyclopedias in English. Despite prior theory and research suggesting the importance of sociorhetorical strategies in academic reading, only one student directed much attention to the authors of the article and to authorial intent. Although all four participants were students in the same doctoral course and ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Knezek, Lois Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Academic Self-efficacy of Adult First-generation Students Enrolled in Online Undergraduate Courses

Description: This study examined differences between adult first-generation (AFG) and adult-continuing generation (ACG) students’ academic self-efficacy with regard to the online courses in which they were currently enrolled. The study used an online survey methodology to collect self-reported quantitative data from 1,768 undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a mid-sized, four-year public university in the southwestern United States; 325 cases were usable for the study. The t-tests revealed no statistically significant differences between the academic self-efficacy of the AFG and ACG students. Parents’ level of educational attainment was unrelated to adult students’ academic self-efficacy with online courses. Ordinary least-squares analysis was used to evaluate student characteristics that might be associated with academic self-efficacy in the online environment. A combination of gender, GPA, age, race/ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic, and other), and number of previous online courses predicted a statistically significant 12% of the variance in academic self-efficacy in an online environment (p < .001). Age (p < .001) and self-efficacy were positively correlated, meaning that adult students reported greater academic self-efficacy than did younger students; and number of previous online courses (p < .001) was also positively correlated to academic self-efficacy, indicating that students with greater experience with online courses reported a greater sense of academic self-efficacy in that environment than students who had completed fewer online courses. This study has implications of providing additional insight for higher education practitioners working with adult learners. Identifying additional factors influencing adult learners’ academic self-efficacy in an online academic environment may be useful when building effective strategies to improve online retention and completion rates for these students. Future research should examine a wider variety of variables beyond demographic characteristics. External and internal factors, along with existing theories of behaviors should be investigated to help explain adult persistence and retention online and in face-to-face ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Jackson, Delores
Partner: UNT Libraries

Academic, Social and Emotional Functioning of College Students with Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (Adhd)

Description: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with negative occupational, social and psychological outcomes among community samples of adults; as such, it is expected that college students with ADHD face similar struggles. The research targeting this group of individuals, however, is sparse and tempered by significant limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations in the current literature by including instruments to formally diagnosis ADHD and comorbid disorders, utilizing psychometrically sound instruments and comparing functioning of college students with ADHD across gender and subtype. It was hypothesized that participants with ADHD would report lower GPAs, higher levels of emotional distress and negative relationship characteristics than participants without ADHD. It was also hypothesized that participants with ADHD-combined type (ADHD-C) would report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than participants with ADHD-predominately inattentive type (ADHD-I), and that participants with ADHD-I would report higher levels of anxiety and depression than participants with ADHD-C. Women diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of anxiety and depression than men diagnosed with ADHD; whereas, men diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than women. MANOVA, ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to test hypotheses. Results revealed no significant differences between the ADHD and comparison group on GPA and relationship characteristics. Participants diagnosed with ADHD did report significantly higher emotional distress than participants in the comparison group. No differences in GPA or relationship characteristics were found across ADHD subtype or gender. Overall, these findings provide evidence to suggest that college students with ADHD are functioning relatively well compared to their non-ADHD peers.
Date: August 2015
Creator: McKelvy, Tara N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Academic Steroid: Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants at a North Texas University

Description: The goal of this study was to determine the extent, motivations, and justifications of nonmedical prescription stimulant use among the population at a large public university in the North Texas region. Participants consisted of 526 undergraduate students enrolled at the studied university during the spring and summer 2014 semesters. The findings of the study suggest that the nonmedical use by students was higher than the findings in much of the current literature, but was within the parameters established in the literature. The primary motivation for nonmedical use was academic in nature and was justified by moderation of nonmedical use to strategic academic times.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Pennington, Cody W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accelerated Corrosion Test with Operation Simulation of All-Aluminum Microchannel Heat Exchangers

Description: The HVAC&R industry is looking to transition from copper-aluminum heat exchangers to all-aluminum microchannel technology. The want for the transition stemmed from seeing the performance improvement of all-aluminum microchannel radiators in the automotive industry. Applications differ between the two industries; therefore, applying this technology for HVAC&R use must be validated. Research towards operating modes of an all-aluminum heat exchanger in a defined corrosive environment will provide the industry with a better understanding of heat exchanger design and heat exchanger material selection. The worth in this is preventing overdesign and producing more efficient heat exchangers. Furthermore, ASHRAE members and the corrosion community will find value in a defined corrosion system and corrosion test procedure. The information gained through past research has progressed assessment of material performance; however, the methods improperly simulate and expedite natural weathering. The most common method being used is the ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) Sea Water Acetic Acid Test. The research discussed in this paper was focused on improving a standard corrosion system by implementing system modifications to simulate heat exchanger operation while performing a modified wet-dry cyclic test (e.g. ASTM G85 Annex 5). The goal is to produce results that are more representative of natural corrosion behavior and its forms. Current results were gathered from five of ten samples that underwent initial testing. Finally, possible improvements towards the chamber system and the test method, including the salt solution, are discussed.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Vaughan, Haydn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accelerated Degree Program Faculty: Motivation to Teach

Description: Adult educators are a growing part of American higher education. Because of their increasing prominence in adult education, it is essential to understand what roles these educators play and what motivates them to remain in the profession despite poor work prospects and conditions. Research to date, however, focuses primarily on the adult learner and not the adult educator. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple-case study was to explore the role and motivation for teaching of adult educators employed as adjunct faculty in an accelerated degree program at a small, liberal arts college in the northwest United States. Purposeful sampling was used to select the five participants for the study. All participants taught in the program for more than five years and were considered to be successful in their positions by peers, students, and administrators. The study employed a preliminary demographic survey to solicit initial background data on the instructors. Other data collection included in-depth, open-ended, face-to-face interviews, document analysis, and classroom observation. The results showed that all five participants identified the following roles and assumed them in the classroom: (a) facilitator, (b) listener, (c) specialist, (d) guide, (e) adviser, and (f) co-learner or colleague. Further results showed that all five participants were motivated to teach in the program for reasons other than monetary compensation. Although participants shared different levels of personal commitment to the institution, they all expressed extensive commitment to teaching, their discipline, and students. Motivating factors for teaching were (a) opportunity to teach part time, (b) love for the subject, (c) opportunity to gain more expertise in the field, (d) opportunity to grow and learn, (e) opportunity to give back, and (f) student success and growth. A major practical implication of this study is that adjunct faculty in an adult education program are motivated to teach for different ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Grishkevich, Hanna Hults
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Accelerometer-based Gesture Recognition System for a Tactical Communications Application

Description: In modern society, computers are primarily interacted with via keyboards, touch screens, voice recognition, video analysis, and many others. For certain applications, these methods may be the most efficient interface. However, there are applications that we can conceive where a more natural interface could be convenient and connect humans and computers in a more intuitive and natural way. These applications are gesture recognition systems and range from the interpretation of sign language by a computer to virtual reality control. This Thesis proposes a gesture recognition system that primarily uses accelerometers to capture gestures from a tactical communications application. A segmentation algorithm is developed based on the accelerometer energy to segment these gestures from an input sequence. Using signal processing and machine learning techniques, the segments are reduced to mathematical features and classified with support vector machines. Experimental results show that the system achieves an overall gesture recognition accuracy of 98.9%. Additional methods, such as non-gesture recognition/suppression, are also proposed and tested.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Tidwell Jr., Robert S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acceptability of Behavioral Interventions for Autism

Description: Caregivers' evaluation of evidence-based behavioral interventions may differ dependent upon the type of language used to describe the intervention. We administered a survey to 24 parents of children with autism to assess social validity measures of behavioral interventions described in one of three communication styles: technical, conversational, and conversational with intended outcome. Participants were presented with a description of two behavior-reduction and two behavior-acquisition interventions. Overall, interventions described in conversational with intended outcome style received the highest social validity ratings, while interventions described in the technical style received the lowest ratings. Moreover, behavior-acquisition interventions were rated significantly higher than behavior-reduction interventions when described in either conversational or conversational with intended outcome style. The current study supports the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's Compliance Code that behavior analysts should inform the client/consumer of the treatment/interventions in an understandable language. Findings are also discussed in terms of verbal communities.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Fatema, Afshaan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acceptance Theories for Behavior in Conducting Research: Instructors in the Rajabhat University System, Thailand

Description: Responding to globalization and its effects on education and research development, the Thai government decided to push all public universities to become autonomous and establish a system of quality assurances. The establishment of quality assurances has had a large impact on many Thai instructors, especially in new public universities. Thai instructors are now forced to more focus on conducting research because the number of research publications is regarded as one of the main criteria for quality universities. The purpose of this study is to investigate the key factors, at the individual and university levels, which impact on the instructors' behavior in conducting research of the full-time instructors in the faculty of Management Science from the Rajabhat Universities in Thailand. The current study will help explain how and why the instructors accept or refuse to conduct research and provide insight into the salient factors motivating the instructors to produce more research by conducting HLM. Data were collected from 694 participants at 37 institutions via a questionnaire survey. The findings revealed that there was no difference among these 37 universities on behavior in conducting research. The key factors statistically influencing behavior in conducting research of the instructors were facilitating conditions, academic degree, social influence, and usefulness as well as ease of conducting research that the instructors perceived. This study gained 46% of effect size.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Laksaniyanon, Benchamat
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acceptor-sensitizers for Nanostructured Oxide Semiconductor in Excitonic Solar Cells

Description: Organic dyes are examined in photoelectrochemical systems wherein they engage in thermal (rather than photoexcited) electron donation into metal oxide semiconductors. These studies are intended to elucidate fundamental parameters of electron transfer in photoelectrochemical cells. Development of novel methods for the structure/property tuning of electroactive dyes and the preparation of nanostructured semiconductors have also been discovered in the course of the presented work. Acceptor sensitized polymer oxide solar cell devices were assembled and the impact of the acceptor dyes were studied. The optoelectronic tuning of boron-chelated azadipyrromethene dyes has been explored by the substitution of carbon substituents in place of fluoride atoms at boron. Stability of singlet exited state and level of reduction potential of these series of aza-BODIPY coumpounds were studied in order to employ them as electron-accepting sensitizers in solid state dye sensitized solar cells.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Berhe, Seare Ahferom
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accessing the Power of Aesthetics in Human-computer Interaction

Description: In information systems design there are two schools of thought about what factors are necessary to create a successful information system. The first, conventional view holds that system performance is a key, so that efficiency characteristics such as system usability and task completion time are primary concerns of system designers. The second, emerging view holds that the visual design is also the key, so that visual interface characteristics such as visual appeal, in addition to efficiency characteristics, are critical concerns of designers. This view contends that visual design enhances system use. Thus, this work examines the effects of visual design on computer systems. Visual design exerts its influence on systems through two mechanisms: it evokes affective responses from IT users, such as arousal and pleasure and it influences individuals’ cognitive assessments of systems. Given that both affective and cognitive reactions are significant antecedents of user behaviors in the IT realm, it is no surprise that visual design plays a critical role in information system success. Human-computer-interaction literature indicates that visual aesthetics positively influences such information success factors as usability, online trust, user satisfaction, flow experience, and so on. Although academic research has introduced visual design into the Information Systems (IS) field and validated its effects, visual design is still very limited in three contexts: product aesthetics in e-commerce, mobile applications and commercial emails. This dissertation presents three studies to help fill these theoretical gaps respectively.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Chenyan, Xu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accomplished Teachers' Instructional Decisions About Shakespeare

Description: Teachers' decisions are a powerful influence on student learning and it is important to fully document accomplished teachers' instructional decisions, as well as to investigate possible influences on those decisions. Shakespearean dramas are central to high school curricula across the U.S. and pose particular instructional challenges, therefore teachers' decisions about teaching these texts are of particular interest. There is limited empirical research, however, about these instructional decisions. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe how four accomplished high school English teachers working on a single campus make instructional decisions about teaching a Shakespearean play. Specifically, research questions addressed teachers' decisions regarding the teaching of a Shakespearean play and various influences on those decisions (self-reports and inferences from the data). Case study methodology was used, including an inductive analysis of individual teacher interviews, classroom observations, focus group, instructional artifacts, and researcher's journal. The findings revealed that instructional activities described by these teachers addressed support for meaning-making during four stages of reading instruction: (a) before, during, and after; (b) before; (c) during; and (d) after. Comparison of these cases suggests that, although each teacher brings personal preferences and unique background knowledge to her instructional decisions, all make decisions to promote student engagement and student construction of meaning. Regarding influences on these teachers' decisions about teaching the Shakespearean play, four categories were identified: (a) response to students; (b) aspects of the text; (c) response to contextual constraints and supports; and (d) personal preferences and background experiences. Individual teacher differences are clearly a strong influence, even among this group of colleagues on the same campus. Also, two influences not reported explicitly by the teachers suggest a complex integration of these influences. One is their intuitive thinking, which deserves a closer investigation in future research. The other proposes that each teacher's decisions are ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Parris, Sheri Rene’
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accountability in Schools: a Study of High School Accountability Ratings and College Success

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings, college readiness indicators, and the percent of students who achieved first year college success. Correlation and multiple regression analyses were used to analyze the relationship between the variables. Data was analyzed for two-year and four-year postsecondary educational institutions which were divided by eight school district types. Regression analysis of the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings and the percent of students who achieved first year college success for four- year post secondary educational institutions revealed statistically significant results ranging from R2 =.179 to R2 = .220. Similar results were found for two-year post secondary educational institutions with statistically significant results ranging from R2 = .049 to R2 = .218. The results indicated negligible to small relationships between the variables. Regression results of the analysis for the relationship between college readiness indicators and the percent of students who achieved first year college success revealed statistically significant results for 2 - year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .077 to R2 = .596 and for 4 -year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .048 to R2 = .304. These results indicated small to moderate relationships between college readiness indicators and the percent of students who achieve first year college success.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Orsborn, Shannon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accreditation Facilitation Projects: Supporting High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care

Description: High-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) are linked to positive developmental outcomes for children. Systems have been created to define, measure and promote high-quality ECEC. National accreditation status is deemed the gold standard of a high-quality program, yet many centers are unable to achieve this without assistance. With the help of Accreditation Facilitation Projects (AFPs), many low-income centers are able to achieve accreditation. Centers collaborating with an AFP reap many benefits including financial support, ongoing training and mentoring, and guidance through the accreditation process. AFPs invest greatly in the centers they collaborate with and the longer the center takes to achieve accreditation, the more resources an AFP must expend. The purposes of this study were to understand if the educational level of center director, the total enrollment of a center, or the percentage of children receiving government subsidies could predict the time it takes for a center to complete the accreditation process while receiving assistance from an AFP, and to determine if there are differences in attitudes about program accreditation between center directors and early learning specialists who serve as accreditation mentors to the directors. Findings revealed that a) the higher educational level of program directors is associated with a quicker time to program accreditation, b) both the total enrollment of the center and the percentage of children receiving government subsidies do not predict time to accreditation, c) the number of total staff in a center is associated with a quicker time to accreditation, and d) there is no significant difference between the directors' attitudes and early learning specialists' attitudes toward accreditation and accreditation facilitation projects. AFPs looking to streamline their accreditation process and provide accountability to their stakeholders regarding their investments over time can use these findings to choose to collaborate with centers that have directors who have ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Reinke, Stephanie L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, and Anxiety Among Hispanic Undergraduates

Description: First generation college students face some unique challenges in the pursuit of higher education. Aside from academic stressors, there are stressors related to social and cultural transitions which may exacerbate pre-existing emotional or psychological distress. Research suggests that acculturation influences psychological well-being and development. The current study examined the relationships between acculturation, acculturative stress, socio-economic status, and symptoms of anxiety among first-generation college students of Hispanic origin. Participants (N = 125) included those who were first in their family to attend college and were primarily female, of traditional college age, and of Mexican heritage. All measures were self-report and were completed online. Overall, this study was inconclusive as most analyses were underpowered. The present study failed to support a relationship between style of acculturation and symptoms of anxiety, although, experiencing Anglo marginality was related to high levels of acculturative stress and anxiety. Finally, regression analysis revealed that acculturative stress, age, and Anglo marginalization were significant predictors of anxiety and accounted for 31% of variance in anxiety. Implications of the present study were discussed. Further study with adequate power is highly recommended.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Durón, Kelly M.
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

Acculturation and Feminist Endorsement on Control of Health and Health Behaviors in Hispanic Females

Description: Hispanic women are the fastest growing population in the United States. Thus, it is important to explore health disparities that affect this population and better understand potential causes. Several explanations have been proposed for disparities that exist including turning to cultural alternatives rather than conventional medicine, low numbers of health insurance enrollments among Hispanics, and acculturation. However, little attention has been given to explanations that take into account the unique experiences of Hispanic women. The present study explored these experiences through investigation of endorsement of feminist attitudes (e.g., gender role adherence and beliefs that men and women should be treated equally in society) and level of acculturation. Undergraduate Hispanic women (18-24 years of age, M = 20.25, SD = 1.51) at the University of North Texas completed measures including the Multidimensional Health Questionnaire, the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II, and the Liberal Feminist Attitude and Ideology Scale. Although results indicate that acculturation was not significant in the sample, feminist endorsement was found to be positively correlated with health-esteem, health-efficacy, and internal-health locus of control. Limitations and recommended directions for future research are explored.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Garner, Ashley Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accuracy and Efficiency in Computational Chemistry: The Correlation Consistent Composite Approach

Description: One of the central concerns of computational chemistry is that of efficiency (i.e. the development of methodologies which will yield increased accuracy of prediction without requiring additional computational resources – RAM, disk space, computing time). Though the equations of quantum mechanics are known, the solutions to these equations often require a great deal of computing power. This dissertation primarily concerns the theme of improved computational efficiency (i.e. the achievement of greater accuracy with reduced computational cost). Improvements in the efficiency of computational chemistry are explored first in terms of the correlation consistent composite approach (ccCA). The ccCA methodology was modified and this enhanced ccCA methodology was tested against the diverse G3/05 set of 454 energetic properties. As computational efficiency improves, molecules of increasing size may be studied and this dissertation explored the issues (differential correlation and size extensivity effects) associated with obtaining chemically accurate (within 1 kcal mol-1) enthalpies of formation for hydrocarbon molecules of escalating size. Two applied projects are also described; these projects concerned the theoretical prediction of a novel rare gas compound, FKrOH, and the mechanism of human glutathione synthetase’s (hGS) negative cooperativity. The final work examined the prospect for the parameterization of the modified embedded atom method (MEAM) potential using first principles calculations of dimer and trimer energies of nickel and carbon systems. This method of parameterization holds promise for increasing the accuracy of simulations for bulk properties within the field of materials science.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Wilson, Brent R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accuracy and Interpretability Testing of Text Mining Methods

Description: Extracting meaningful information from large collections of text data is problematic because of the sheer size of the database. However, automated analytic methods capable of processing such data have emerged. These methods, collectively called text mining first began to appear in 1988. A number of additional text mining methods quickly developed in independent research silos with each based on unique mathematical algorithms. How good each of these methods are at analyzing text is unclear. Method development typically evolves from some research silo centric requirement with the success of the method measured by a custom requirement-based metric. Results of the new method are then compared to another method that was similarly developed. The proposed research introduces an experimentally designed testing method to text mining that eliminates research silo bias and simultaneously evaluates methods from all of the major context-region text mining method families. The proposed research method follows a random block factorial design with two treatments consisting of three and five levels (RBF-35) with repeated measures. Contribution of the research is threefold. First, the users perceived a difference in the effectiveness of the various methods. Second, while still not clear, there are characteristics with in the text collection that affect the algorithms ability to extract meaningful results. Third, this research develops an experimental design process for testing the algorithms that is adaptable into other areas of software development and algorithm testing. This design eliminates the bias based practices historically employed by algorithm developers.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Ashton, Triss A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accuracy of Partner Perception and Relationship Satisfaction: Investigating Masturbatory Habits

Description: An individual's perceptions of various aspects of one's romantic relationship (irrespective of whether or not the perceptions align with reality) often play a critical role in romantic relationship satisfaction. Research has demonstrated that the accuracy of an individual's perception of his or her partner is generally positively related to the individual's romantic relationship satisfaction. However, when perceiving negative or conflictual messages from a partner, an individual's accuracy of perception is negatively associated with his or her romantic relationship satisfaction. Researchers have suggested that poor accuracy in perceiving negative messages might diffuse the negative intention in a way that is less impactful to the relationship. The present study was designed to investigate accuracy in the perception of sexual topics, specifically masturbatory habits. A sample of 93 married couples (186 individuals) responded to questions about (a) their own masturbatory behaviors and (b) their perception of their partners' masturbatory behaviors to determine the accuracy of each partner's perception of his or her partner. The association between accuracy and romantic and sexual relationship satisfaction was explored, along with one potential moderating variable: attitudes toward masturbation. Perceived reason for masturbating, perceived target of arousal during masturbation, and partner's actual reason for masturbating all positively predicted an individual's relationship satisfaction. Partner's actual openness about masturbatory behaviors moderated the association between accuracy of partner perception of openness about masturbation and both relationship and sexual satisfaction. When partners were more open about masturbation, accuracy was a stronger positive predictor of relationship and sexual satisfaction than when partners were less open about masturbation. Results, limitations, areas for future research, and clinical implications are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ramos, Marciana Julia
Partner: UNT Libraries