UNT Theses and Dissertations - 26 Matching Results

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The Affects of Religiosity on Anomie

Description: This study explores the relationship between religion and anomie. The theoretical framework of Durkheim and Merton was used to suggest the hypothetical relationship between the two variables: as religiosity increases, anomie decreases. A secondary analysis was conducted using the 1991 General Social Survey (GSS). The GSS is one of the largest annual surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. There were 1517 adult respondents composing the 1991 cross-national sample. Questions measuring both the belief and action dimensions of religion were used to measure respondents' level of religiosity. Questions from the Srole Scale of Anomia were used to measure respondents' level of anomia. Durkheim's theory that religion functions to integrate individuals into the larger society and therefore diminish levels of anomie was not supported with this data. While the lack of significant findings did not support the theory, neither did it disprove it. The hypothetical inverse relationship between class and anomie was supported with this data. Another hypothetical relationship, that of the most religious, women experience less anomie than men, was also not supported due to the lack of a significant relationship among the primary variables. Continued use of comprehensive and large scale surveys such as the General Social Survey is crucial. This research suggests the need for further testing of these hypotheses using more elaborate measures.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Wilson, Dwain R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

AIDS and Aging: Are the Eldery Becoming the New At-Risk Population?

Description: This dissertation breaks new ground. It examines the perceptions of older adults towards AIDS prevention. Using the National Health Interview Survey, 1988: AIDS Knowledge and Attitudes Supplement, a modified Health Belief Model is developed. Despite the low number of older adults 55+ with AIDS, some extenuating circumstances increase their risk of AIDS contraction. Older adults have lower levels of knowledge about AIDS, weaker immune systems and receive more blood transfusions. Societal influences include educational neglect at the hands of physicians, healthcare workers and social service personnel. The first stage of the dissertation involved establishing older adults as an at-risk population through an extensive literature review. Next, the data was described utilizing frequencies, correlations and factor analysis. Frequencies clearly indicated that older adults in the data set had low levels of AIDS knowledge and did not view themselves at risk for AIDS contraction. Correlations between the variables were minimal. A modified Health Belief Model was developed and tested. Multiple regression determined that minimal variation in the two dependent variables, "Perceived Effectiveness of Effective Methods to Prevent AIDS Contraction" and "Perceived Effectiveness of Ineffective Methods to Prevent AIDS Contraction" was accounted for by the independent variables. Although F ratios allowed rejection of the two null hypotheses, beta weights were low. Adjusted R^2's accounted for only 21% and 16% respectively of the variation in the dependent variables. Finally, discrepancies in the model were determined and recommendations made for further research. Most health belief models concentrate on individual social-psychological variables. Due to AIDS' societal consequences, it is proposed that societal providers of education: physicians, social service workers and healthcare personnel need to be included in the model. Recommendations were made for additional research into sexual behavior of older adults and exploration of available training of physicians, healthcare and social service professionals. Finally, recommendations were ...
Date: August 1994
Creator: Allen, Annette Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bureaucracy and the Mexican American Elderly: Utilization of Formal and Informal Social Services

Description: Using the National Survey of Hispanic Elderly People, 1988, this study examines the support system of the Mexican American elderly and their utilization of formal social services. Two major research questions were addressed: 1) How does the Mexican American family provide assistance to their elderly family members? and 2) How does the bureaucratic structure affect the Mexican American elderly's access and utilization of formal social services?
Date: December 1995
Creator: Dietz, Tracy L. (Tracy Lynn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Case Study of Social Transformation in Medical Care at the Community Level

Description: This descriptive case study of the transformation in medical care at the community level was carried out with a triangulation approach. Data from documents and surveys using both semi-structured and unstructured interviews were gathered to evaluate and explain how medical care delivery changed from a primarily public system to one predominantly private.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Lensing, Willene (Willene Crowell)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contraceptive Choice among American Teenage Women: a Test of Two Models Based on the Dryfoos Strategy

Description: Teenage pregnancy rates in the U.S. are among the highest in the world for industrialized countries. The generally accepted reason is not that American teenagers are more sexually active but that they contracept less than do teenagers in other industrialized countries. This dissertation reports on a study that was undertaken for two purposes. One purpose was to develop and test two models of contraceptive choice among American teenagers: a "likelihood-of-use" model to predict the likelihood of sexually active teenagers' using contraception, and a "medical-or-nonmedical" model to predict whether teenagers who use contraception are likely to use medical or nonmedical methods. The second purpose was to explore the level of support for the two models among black and white teenagers separately. The theoretical underpinning of the models is value-expectancy theory. The models' exogenous variables are based on the prevailing strategy for preventing teenage pregnancy among American teenagers, a strategy initially advocated by Joy G. Dryfoos. The strategy involves the use of access-to-contraception programs, educational programs, and life options programs. The data used in the study were on 449 subjects drawn from the 1979 National Survey of Young Women, a probability-sample survey of women in the U.S. aged 15-19. The subjects were those survey respondents who were black or white, sexually active, never married, and never pregnant. The statistical technique used in the study was logistic regression. Test results supported three of four hypotheses constituting the medical-or-nonmedical model and two of seven hypotheses constituting the likelihood-of-use model. The results for each model offered support for using two of the three programs constituting the prevailing pregnancy-prevention strategy: access-to-contraception programs and educational programs. Exploration of the level of support for each of the two models among black and white teenagers indicated that support for each model differed between the two groups of teenagers.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Crow, Thomas Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Distribution of Environmental Contaminants: a Socio-Historical Study of Selected Neighborhoods in Dallas County, Texas

Description: This research expands on recent sociological studies which maintain that environmental contaminants in America are disproportionately placed in neighborhoods inhabited by minorities and the poor. Prior studies have focused on the predictor variables which identify areas of contamination near residential neighborhoods, yet fail to explore the socio-political and historical factors which contribute to these phenomena. The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory 1990 database, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's Annual Report of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Program for 1992, and the U.S. Census Bureau's 1990 Census Data for Dallas County were utilized in pinpointing industries violating toxic release standards. Socio-historical data was obtained from government and historical records and reports, books, and newspaper clippings on Dallas County. Maps and data were obtained from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the cities of Dallas and Garland. Chapter I discusses the synergetic forces of capitalism, urban growth, uneven development, and settlement patterns resulting in the distribution of environmental contaminants. Chapter II reviews the literature and presents evidence that race and class are strong predictors of where environmental contaminants are located. Chapter III outlines the data and methods employed. Chapter IV traces the historical development of Dallas County. Chapter V details those political, economic, and social factors contributing to the convergence of people and contaminants within three selected neighborhoods. The forces which historically relegate minorities, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, and the poor to less desirable jobs, cheaper housing, and land costs are also explored. Cheap land and labor attract industry which, in turn, attracts more laborers. Chapter VI, the summary and conclusions, utilizes the socio-spatial approach in examining urban infrastructure development (i.e. roads and railways) which also reduces adjacent land costs making housing more affordable for minorities and the poor. This study concludes that because of historical development and ...
Date: December 1997
Creator: Cutrer, Jennifer G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Age, Sex, and Class Stratification and the Use of Health Care Services among Older Adults in the United Kingdom

Description: As the population ages, providing health services for the growing number of older people will become an increasingly difficult problem. In countries where the health services are provided by the government, these problems are involved with complicated issues of finance and ethics. This is the case of the National Health Service, the government institution providing health care for the citizens of the United Kingdom. Knowing what social factors influence health care usage can be a link to match usage and funding. Literature has shown that health care utilization can be predicted by social factors, as well as the medical model, and from this orientation social variables were drawn from the 1994 General Household Survey. Social factors were analyzed to determine relationships that exist between certain types of health care use and these factors. Age, sex, and class, the three main factors shown in literature to affect usage, were then analyzed to determine if services are allocated on the basis of these factors or the basis of need from illness and disability. Results of the study show that of the predisposing variables, age, sex, and class, are associated with most types of health care use. From the enabling variables, both source of income and visits from friends and relatives are associated with most types of health care. Of the illness determinants, disability, limiting illness, restricted activity days and eyesight difficulty were all related to health care use. When intervening control variables were introduced, the intervening control variables of difficulty with activities of daily living and difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living had an explanatory effect on the use of home help, district nursing, consultations with a general practitioner at home, consultations with a general practitioner at a surgery or health clinic, and inpatient stays. These services were offered more according ...
Date: December 1999
Creator: Carter, Holly R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Socio-Structural, Economic, and Race Considerations on Rates of Property Crime in the United States, 1958-1993

Description: This study investigates changes in rates of property crime in the United States from 1958 to 1993. Predictor variables include changes in rates of economic factors (inflation, technological/cyclical/frictional unemployment), arrest rates for property crimes disaggregated by race (ARPCDR), interaction of ARPCDR and technological unemployment, alcohol offenses, interaction of alcohol offenses and poverty, drug abuse violations, and interaction of drug abuse violations and poverty. Changes in poverty, population growth, and police presence are employed as control variables. The Beach-McKinnon Full Maximum- Likelihood EGLS AR1 Method (accompanied by residual analysis) is used to test seven hypotheses. Significant positive effects upon changes in aggregate property crime rates are found for five predictors: (a) inflation, (b) cyclical unemployment, (c) frictional unemployment, (d) the interaction of white arrest rates and technological unemployment, and (e) the interaction of rates of alcohol offenses and poverty. To explain changes in property crime rates, further research should decompose aggregate rates particularly those pertaining to the economy. Also, the relationship between the interaction of poverty and drug abuse violations, at the aggregate level, and changes in property crime rates should be clarified. This research has important policy implications related to the impact of social, economic, and educational issues on mainstream society and its criminal elements. Law makers should consider this type of research in all macro and micro-oriented policies.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Ralston, Roy W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Family Background and Structure of High Academic Achievers

Description: This study examines the influence of family background and structure on academic achievement. The research focuses on the 11th- and 12th-grade population in the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas, Denton. The study examines the variables in family background and family structure that contribute to the students' high academic achievement. Twelve hypotheses related to parents, home environment, family structure and interaction, family roles, and family values are proposed. The multivariate analysis shows that the variables being read to, reading independently, fathers' education, mothers' education, and ethnicity are significant in impacting academic achievement. The study underlines the fact that multiple factors in family structure and background have an influence on academic achievement.
Date: May 1997
Creator: McDaniel, Linda Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Four Types of Day Care and their Effects on the Well-Being of Children

Description: Data gathered from Tyler, Texas, the University of North Texas, and the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) were used to compare children from commercial, home, church, and university based day care with children not attending day care. The research group, comprised of children attending day care (N=142), were located using non-probability sampling; those not in day care (the control group) came from the NSFH (N=1775). Data from the research group were weighted to match the control group. The independent and control variables included the child's age, length of time in day care, intellectual functioning; the parent's marital status and social class; the day care's staff to child ratio and the staff's training. All data, except that pertaining to the facility itself, were gathered from the children's parents using a self-report questionnaire. The remaining data were gathered through personal interview by the researcher. The dependent variable was an index of emotional and behavioral problems reported for the child. Overall, children who attended day care had only slightly more problems reported than those who did had not attended day care. When each center was examined separately, the children in home centers had the greatest number of problems, followed by the commercial centers and university center, with children from the church centers scoring the lowest. In contrast to earlier research, intellectual functioning was not enhanced by the day care experience. While the staff's training had a statistically significant relationship to the children's well-being, no relationship was found for the staff to child ratio. Further research on the impact of other characteristics of each type of day care is recommended.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Davis, David C. (David Carlton)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The History of Alcoholism Treatment in the United States

Description: The treatment of alcoholism has had a unique historical development in the United States. This study provides a chronology of how the problem of alcoholism was defined and handled during various time periods in United States history. The process that evolved resulted in an abstinence based, comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of alcoholism as a primary disease based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. This treatment modality, that developed outside of established medicine, is currently used by the majority of treatment providers. Seven individuals who have been actively involved in alcoholism treatment were interviewed. In addition to archival research, biographies and autobiographies were examined to gain a broad perspective. Because alcoholism is both a collective and an individual problem an effort was made to include a microsociological frame of reference within a broad sociological view. Alcoholism, or inebriety, was first perceived as a legal and moral problem. By the end of the 19th century, inebriety was recognized as an illness differing from mental illness, and separate asylums were established for its treatment. Alcoholism is currently accepted and treated as a primary disease by the majority of social institutions, but the legal and moral implications remain. National Prohibition in the early part of the 20th century targeted alcohol instead of the alcoholic delaying any progress toward treatment which was made in the 19th century. The advent of Alcoholics Anonymous brought the first widely accepted hope for alcoholics. The treatment process that developed utilized the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous in a setting of shared recovery which has been difficult to quantify. In 1970 the allocation of federal funds for treatment and research brought the involvement of new disciplines creating both conflicts and possibilities. Alcoholism recovery has elucidated the connection of mind, body, and spirit.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Brent, Suzanne S. (Suzanne Stokes)
Partner: UNT Libraries

In Loco Parentis: How Social Connections Beyond Families Affect Children's Social Adjustment

Description: This study explored the relationship between characteristics of children's families and their social adjustment and how extra-familial connections affect this relationship. According to human ecological theory, children who are in jeopardy through higher-risk family systems and other social forces were expected to be protected from sociocultural risks by social connections in such settings as school, church, kin groups, and neighborhood.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Davy, Rhett A. (Rhett Arawa)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Individual Resources, Social Environment, and Flood Victimization

Description: The study is a contextual analysis of flood victimization. Victimization is defined as the social, psychological, and physiological aftermath experienced by victims of a disaster. Disaster researchers concentrate on the victims' characteristics to explain the varying degrees of their victimization, providing only ambiguous results. Theorists such as Kreps, Wildavsky, and Douglas contend that the outcomes of disasters are contingent upon social structure. This analysis treats victimization as one such outcome. The condition and behavior of individuals can be explained by the presence of disaster and the conditions of social organization. A model explains victimization based on individual's attributes (individual resources), his social environment, and the disaster characteristics. This study uses the 1984 Mingo Creek Flood Victims Survey data to test the model. The data contain information measuring victimization. The survey data are linked with 1980 Census tract data. The tract data provide indicators of the social networks. This tract information, the contextual variables, taps the social conditions, including poverty, unemployment, geographic mobility, and family patterns. This study uses factor analysis to identify the dimensions of victimization. Regression tests the relationship between the contextual variables, the individual resource variables, the disaster characteristic variables, and victimization. The results of the analysis show that victimization is multidimensional with different types of variables being significant predictors for each dimension of victimization, one variable indicating the intensity of the disaster, the dollar value of damage victims experienced, is found to be a significant predictor of the psychological, physiological, and social disruption aspects of victimization. Variables measuring the family and unemployment patterns in the victims' census tract are significant predictors of the psychological and social disruption aspect of victimization. The findings provide general support for the proposed model of victimization. However, victimization is multidimensional with each dimension having a unique set of predictors. Based on the ...
Date: May 1990
Creator: Rossman, Edwin J. (Edwin John)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Spousal Expectations, Interaction, and Bonding on Marital Quality: a Study of Selected Factors Affecting Individuals' Self-Reported Evaluation of their Marriage

Description: This investigation explored the relationship between married individuals' self-reports of their expectations, interaction, spousal bonding, and marital quality. From two universities, two hundred and thirty-seven currently enrolled and married students volunteered to provide the information on these factors via a semistructured self-administered questionnaire. The typical respondent was a female between 31 and 35 years old who had been married 8 years to her first spouse, had one child at home; and was a senior in college. Of the ten independent variables examined three variables contributed the most to individuals' self-reported evaluation of their marital quality. These were the time spent each week with their spouse, satisfaction with the quality of time spent with their spouse, and when the greatest level of bonding experiences occurred. Five significant findings emerged from the study. First, respondents' greater satisfaction with the quality of time spent with their spouse was consistently the strongest predictor of higher marital quality. Second, respondents who bonded more with their spouse after marriage or equally before and after marriage reported higher marital quality than those who bonded more before marriage. Third, the amount of time spouses spent together influenced respondents' reported marital quality. Fourth, spousal bonding has a very strong influence on individuals' self-reported marital quality. The influence of spousal bonding upon marital quality has been neglected by marriage and family researchers. Finally, joint activities such as talking, eating and cooking at home, sex, activities shared with children, and church related activities were identified by respondents as consistently promoting both a higher quality level for the time spent with their spouse and with their spousal bonding. Future research on marital quality should use larger and more representative samples, involve personal interviews, use longitudinal data collection, and perform time series or path analysis.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Kettlitz, Robert E. (Robert Edward)
Partner: UNT Libraries

International Economic Dependency and Human Development in Third World Countries

Description: This study empirically tested the two competing development theories--modernization and dependency/world-system. Theoretical and methodological approaches suggested by these two paradigms offer opposing interpretations of the incorporation of the Third World countries into the world capitalist system. Therefore, they provide conflicting and, at times, confusing guidelines on the ways available to enhance the well-being of the general populations in these countries. To shed light on the subject matter, this study uses a few specific indicators of economic growth and human development by comparing the outcomes based on the two conflicting paradigms. The comparative process allows us to confirm the one theoretical approach that best explains human conditions in Third World settings. The study focuses on specific aspects of foreign domination--foreign investment, foreign trade, foreign debt, and the resulting disarticulated national economies. The main arguement, here, conveys the idea that as far as Third World countries are tied in an inescapable and unilaterally benefitial (to the core countries of course) economic and political relations, there will be no hope for any form of sustainable economic growth. Human well-being in Third World countries might very well depend on their ability to develop self-reliant economies with the least possible ties to the world capitalist system.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Javidan Darugar, Mohammad Reza
Partner: UNT Libraries

Old Age Support and the Well-Being of the Elderly in the People's Republic of China

Description: One of the major issues concerning old age security is the adequacy of support systems for the aged population. Population aging and economic development in the People's Republic of China have raised the question about the ability of the family to take care of the elderly. Using the latest data collected by the Research Center on Aging in China of a national representative sample of the aged population, this study develops a model to examine the effectiveness of family support for the elderly during the current socio-economic transition of the society. The model also examines the adequacy and effectiveness of state welfare systems on the aged population and the effect of select socio-demographic factors on the well-being of the elderly in China. The investigation into the social, economic, and health aspects of the life of the elderly provides the background knowledge for understanding the support systems for the elderly in China. The multivariate analyses of the effects of the elderly support systems within the framework of shared functions of the primary groups, and the bureaucracy in achieving social goals, identify the important effects of the economic conditions of the family and the state income maintenance programs on the sense of well-being of the elderly. The findings lead to the conclusion that the cooperation of the family and the state is necessary to provide a secure life for an aged population. The patterns and trends of old age support in China are found to be constrained by the interplay of various social forces, among which the effect of politicalization of the social and economic conditions of the elderly is crucial. Policy recommendations include public assistance to the family, encouragement of the local effort, and national legislation on old age security.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Pei, Xiaomei
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predicting the Retirement Intentions of Professional Workers

Description: While research focusing on the retirement intentions of individuals within the general population has been undertaken, only two empirical studies have examined the retirement intentions of professional workers. This study expands the small, existing body of literature focusing on this topic by presenting eighteen hypotheses, grouped into five categories of factors, and testing them with the National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Knapp, James L. (James Lyndon)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Racial Residential Segregation: Tracking Three Decades in a Single City

Description: This study evaluated the relative association of socioeconomic, minority group and housing characteristics of census tracts with the racial composition of residential areas within one southwestern city between 1950 and 1980. The unit of analysis was the census tract; the data were taken from the U.S. Census of Population and Housing 1950-1980 for the Fort Worth, Texas SMSAs. The Index of Dissimilarity compared racial segregation in the Fort Worth urbanized area for blacks with all others (1950-1980) and for Spanish and non-black minorities with all others (1960-1980). The data show little change in the extent of residential segregation over 30 years. The multiple regression showed that the degree of segregation in census tracts became increasingly predictable based on past minority concentration in the same neighborhood. Lagged social status and minority group variables significantly predicted the percent of the population that was black or Spanish in census tracts ten years later. Beta weights for percent black or percent Spanish were always the strongest in each tract regression and largely determined the level of segregation that existed in tracts ten years later. This paper asserts that social status characteristics must approach more equal levels between minority and majority groups before integrated neighborhoods can reasonably be expected. Yet many of these variables are still highly associated with black and Spanish areas. Rising income and improved housing in black census tracts give some basis for believing that in time these variables will narrow sufficiently to give more choice in residential housing. Although Spanish tracts are only about 65% as segregated as black census tracts and although the association of the variables with Spanish residential areas are never as strong as with black census tracts, still, with increased Spanish immigration in recent years and the downward trend found in social status factors within areas of ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: Clark, Marjorie, 1921-
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Structural Equation Analysis of Intergenerational Differences in Attitudes toward Individual Modernity in the United Arab Emirates: Implications for Cross-Cultural Research

Description: It has been widely believed that modernity is a byproduct of a nuclear family system, a highly urbanized society, and a secular way of life. As such, developing countries are characterized as modern insofar as their social and cultural structures are able to correspond to these criteria. To examine the validity of these propositions, data on two randomly-selected generations--daughters and mothers in the United Arab Emirates--were generated.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Al-Ghazy, Faris M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Testing a Model of Internalized Anomie

Description: A new theoretical model of human behavior was presented and tested in this research. Structural equation modeling (LISREL) was used to test the notion that living in an anomic family system would produce an internalized sense of normlessness or "egonomie" that precedes the development of problematic behavior for the individual.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Glass, John E. (John Edward)
Partner: UNT Libraries