It is commonly assumed that when confronted with an imminent hazard that people will react rationally, and prepare for, or at least attempt to avoid, danger from pending disasters. However, this conventional wisdom is not as evident as it appears. People prepare for, react to, or take social action to avoid hazards when they perceive the risk of danger to be threatening enough to warrant action, providing one has the will, insight and resources to do so. However, not all people perceive risks similarly. Risk is perceived differently by different people which affects risk perception and responses to hazards. This dissertation explores the relationships between American Indian worldviews, risk perceptions and disaster planning. To carry out this research 28 American Indians were interviewed. The sample consists of 14 American Indians residing in a rural are on the northern plains and 14 urban American Indians. The results only partially support that worldview is linked to risk perception and subsequent disaster planning. Other factors found to relate to risk perception and disaster planning for this non-representative sample of American Indians include various forms of social vulnerability.
This study examines the mediating effect of social bonding on delinquent behavior among Kurdish teens. Major influences to the study of self concept and delinquency based on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are reviewed. The data was collected from a sample of 100 Kurdish teens attending a Gülen affiliated school (Private Çaglayan Murat Anatolian Science High School in Şanlıurfa, Turkey) and 100 Kurdish teens attending a public (non- Gülen) school (The Public High School in Diyarbakır, Turkey). There are two dependent variables for this research project: Involvement in major delinquency and involvement in minor delinquency. The components of social bonding attachment, involvement, commitment, and belief were used as independent variables. Participants’ age ranged between 16 to 18 years. I hypothesize that the relation between the social bonding elements and delinquency should be stronger in the case of Kurdish adolescents who are more attached to conventional Turkish society. Results from binary logistic regression analyses indicate that in the absence of bonding, Kurdish teenagers tend to engage in major and minor delinquent activities. For further exploration and results, the Gülen Movement was examined as an independent variable. Findings suggest a strong relationship between the Gülen Movement and Kurdish adolescents’ probability of involvement in either major or minor delinquent activities. Finally, several directions for future research on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are recommended and some implications are drawn for deterring Kurdish adolescents from becoming involved in delinquent actions.
This study was an examination of businesses that became big businesses in the United States during the time period between the years of 1861 and 1890, a period of time frequently referred to as the “big business era.” The purpose of the study was to identify actions taken by businesses that enabled them to become and remain big businesses. A secondary purpose of the study was to show that these actions were explained by theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber. The results of the study showed that businesses which took specific actions were able to become and remain big businesses and these actions were explained by the theories of Marx and Weber. The results of the study demonstrate the ability of classical sociological theory to explain macro-level social change.
This analysis of secondary data collected from family members of nursing home residents in North Texas (n = 422) used a mixed methods approach to determine if there is a difference in perspectives on quality care among family members of Alzheimer’s/Dementia Special Care Unit (ADSCU) residents compared to those of non-ADSCU residents. Descriptive content analysis was used identify and condense responses to an open-ended question into four meaningful categories of qualities of care. An independent t-test was employed to determine if there was a difference between family members of ADSCU residents and family members of non-ADSCU residents regarding their rating of their loved-ones’ nursing home on the important qualities of care they identified from the open-ended question. Closed-ended questions were organized into indices of these qualities of care, and ordinary least square regression was employed to determine if there were significant differences between perceptions of family members of ADSCU residents and those of non-ADSCU residents regarding care their loved-ones are receiving on these qualities of care, controlling for frequency of visit.
The primary objective of this research was to explore the impact of possible social factors on non-institutionalized adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States who exhibited severe mental illness (SMI). A holistic sociological model was developed to explain SMI by incorporating elements of social learning theory, social disorganization theory, and gender socialization theory with social demographic factors. Based on the holistic sociological model, the following factors were investigated: demographic aspects of age, education, income and gender; gender socialization; influence of neighborhood area; social network influence based on communication and interaction among peers and family members; and socially deviant behaviors such as frequently smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs specifically marijuana. The impact of these factors on SMI was examined. A sample of 206 respondents drawn from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 was assessed. These respondents had answered all the questions related to SMI; social deviant behaviors; neighborhood environment; and communications among peers, family members and friends; and the other studied factors. Ordinary linear regression with interaction terms was employed as a statistical tool to assess the impact of social determinants on SMI. Being female, living a disorganized neighborhood, and frequent and high levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol had a significant influence on SMI. This reevaluation and reexamination of the role of gender socialization path, socially deviant behaviors like smoking and drinking, and community construction on SMI provided additional insights. This research is one of the first to develop a more holistic sociological model on SMI and explored the previously untested interactive relationships. The limitations of this study suggest the need to test a potential recursive research model and explore additional bi-directional associations.
The existing research on Latino familialism draws a distinction between the attitudes associated with familialism and familialism-based action. Because attitudes tend to be more stable when considering variables such as immigration generation status, etc., social science researchers tend to employ measures based on attitudinal aspects of familialism, rather than action or behavior. Because of this preference, there is a lack of studies that examine familialism-based action and behaviors. This dissertation consists of three unique studies that examine actions and behaviors associated with familialism, while taking into account the methodological concerns expressed by previous researchers. The first study uses nationally representative U.S. data to compare the differences in the frequency of contact with various family members, among black non-Hispanics, Hispanics, and white non-Hispanics. The central finding of this study is that Hispanics maintain more frequent contact with family than white non-Hispanics, but there is no difference between Hispanics and black non-Hispanics, with the exception of contact with fathers. The second study, which employs qualitative data collected from a metropolitan area in the Southwest U.S., examines the locus of educational aspirations and expectations among a sample of Hispanics and white non-Hispanics. Among other things, this study finds that Hispanic females were more likely than other participants to make statements that suggest the aspirations or expectations of significant others were a strong influence in the decision to attend college. This study further argues that this tendency is related to the acquiescent nature of traditional Hispanic gender norms associated with the familial concept of marianismo. Using nationally representative U.S. data, the final study finds that, other things being equal, Hispanic college students are more likely than non-Hispanic students to attend a college or university that is within fifty miles of their permanent residence. The study further finds that this tendency mediates the gap between ...
Using the stress process model, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms among adolescent girls was investigated. This model posits that stress resulting from social location and related disruptive life events may indirectly affect health by eroding coping, mastery, or social support mechanisms. The effect of low income, minority status and pregnancy on coping processes in adolescent girls was hypothesized and tested. Communication with parents, involvement in activities, and success in school were examined as positive coping strategies. Smoking tobacco, heavy alcohol use, and drug use were examined as negative coping. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health were analyzed. After combining the available cases from the 2006, 2007, and 2008 datasets, selecting girls aged from 12 to 17 years, and removing missing cases; the sample consisted of a total of 22,854 adolescents. A series of binary logistic regression models were estimated. Findings included that coping strategies partially mediate the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms. In particular, success in school, smoking tobacco, and drug abuse played a mediating role. When coping was accounted for, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms was reduced and became only marginally significant. Implications of the study include a focus on policy that promotes early intervention assisting at-risk adolescents with the development of coping strategies that may help them adjust to unexpected life events, such as pregnancy.
The aim of this study was to examine to what extent Social Structure and Social Learning Theory (SSSL) explains delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. While Social Structure and Social Learning (SSSL) Theory have been examined quite frequently in the criminology and sociology literature, the present study is unique as it tests the theory in Turkey, a context with a mixed Islamic and Secular cultural structure. The data originates from a survey conducted in Istanbul in 2008 by the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA) under the auspices of their Youth in Europe project. The sample includes 2,445 Turkish high school students. The dependent variable includes a 13-item delinquency scale, and the independent variables consist of differential association, costs and rewards of differential reinforcement, definitions, imitation, differential location in the social structure, and differential social location of groups. The statistical analyses were conducted using a negative binomial regression approach. Results demonstrated that differential association (peer delinquency) is positively associated with delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. In addition, there is a significant and positive relationship between norms/beliefs that favor delinquency and delinquent behaviors. Moreover, parental reaction, a measure of differential reinforcement, has a negative impact on delinquency. Imitation variables, which include witnessing an argument and witnessing violence in the family, also appear as significant predictors for delinquency. Gender is the only social structure variable significantly related to delinquent behaviors. Furthermore, results indicated that social learning variables mediated the relationship between social structure and delinquent behaviors. Policy implications and suggestions for further studies are also provided at the end of the dissertation.
Organized crime and terrorism taking place in the Turkish provinces get more attention in the public agenda than other type of crimes. Although property crimes receive less attention, they pose a serious threat to public order and the social welfare of Turkish society. Academic researchers have also paid little attention to the analysis of property crimes at the macro level in Turkey. For these reasons, this study focused on the analysis of property crimes for three years period, 2005, 2006 and 2007 in Turkey, using a conceptual model of social disorganization. Provincial level data from Turkish governmental agencies were used. The findings of multivariate analyses showed that social disorganization approach, as measured in this study, provided a partial explanation of property crime rates in Turkey. Family disruption and urbanization had significant effects on property crime rate, while remaining exogenous elements of social disorganization (i.e., SES, population heterogeneity and residential mobility) did not have any expected effects. In mediation analysis, using faith-based engagement and political participation rates as mediators between the structural factors of social disorganization and property crime rate provided marginal support for the theory. Political participation rate partially mediated the relationship between property crime rate and urbanization rate, while faith-based engagement rate did not mediate the effects of social disorganization variables on property crime rate. These findings were consistent with the findings of research that has been completed in other nations, and made a unique contribution to the Turkish research on crime.
The dissertation examined family caregivers’ perceptions of wandering behavior after their loved one has been diagnosed with ADRD (Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias). Semi-structured in-depth face-to-face interviews of a convenience sample of 22 caregivers in the Dallas metropolitan area were conducted. Responses were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The use of qualitative methods facilitated the study of how caregivers of a loved one with ADRD understood and explained in their own voice the wandering behavior associated with the disease and how their views of the behavior informed the caregiving process. In particular, this research examined why some caregivers tend to recognize wandering behavior as significant early on while the ADRD patient is still living in the home (and community) and modifications can be made to keep him or her there despite the behavior, and why some caregivers do not. Findings indicated that caregivers were concerned about the general safety of their loved one. Precautions were taken within the home for conditions related to frailty, but were much less likely to be taken to address wandering behavior and its negative consequences. Three groups of caregivers emerged: (a) those who primarily reacted to their loved one’s problem behaviors including wandering, and intervened minimally; (b) those who were proactive, making modifications in their routines and environment to protect their loved one after a trigger event; and (c) those who had a mixed response, who did the best that they could with what they had. This last group of caregivers took on additional roles, modified their homes for safety, but environmental stressors and inadequate supports limited their interventions. Implications of the findings for aging in place and community, further research, policy-making, and practitioners are discussed.
This study examined how Korean co-ethnic churches serve as connections between Korean seniors and the agencies that offer social and health care services. The study developed from a pilot outreach program funded by the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging (NCTAAA) to inform Korean seniors about Medicare-related programs between February and May of 2011. The results of the pilot program suggested that the Korean-American church can be an effective place for program outreach. The dissertation project, working in partnership with the NCTAAA and 2-1-1 services, further explored the use of Korean churches as a vehicle to connect Korean seniors to Extra Help (EH) and Medicare Saving Programs (MSP) and 2-1-1 services, a toll-free number for information about non-emergency health and social services. Fifty-three pastors were contacted to participate in a telephone survey and a face-to-face, in-depth semi-structured interview. Thirty telephone surveys and 11 face-to-face interviews were conducted. Five of the 30 pastors agreed to host program outreach presentations for the EH, MSP, and 2-1-1 services in their churches. Host churches tended to be more likely highly structured, regularly scheduled programs (e.g., Senior College) for seniors already in place. A total of 405 Korean seniors participated in the program outreach sessions. Five seniors received the EH application information, and 17 MSP application forms were distributed. Additionally, 28 seniors were assisted by phone, not only with the targeted programs, but also with other benefits information. Together, these outcomes indicate that the co-ethnic church can be a vehicle to connect Korean seniors to services offered by outside agencies.
The objective of this study is to investigate the variations in the type of trauma (post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified (DESNOS) resulting first from group membership, and second from variations in socioeconomic status, and last, from exposure to physical and psychological methods of interrogation due to imprisonment. I use a diverse sample of 202 child ex-detainees who served sentences in Israeli prisons and were 17 years of age or less at the time of arrest. Various regression techniques were utilized to determine the most parsimonious way to distinguish between the three groups in their trauma responses. The key finding in this study is that child refugee ex-detainees living in refugee camps, in general, did not report PTSD or DESNOS reactions compared to their counterparts. Continuing PTSD and DESNOS symptoms were more prevalent among the group of refugees living outside the camps. However, there is at least one finding that supported what I hypothesized: refugees living in camps were more likely to experience elevated levels of alterations in attention or consciousness (DESNOS2). For refugees in camps, the DESNOS absence tells us that the volatile childhood these children experienced was not associated with severe pathological reactions or heightened sensitization to trauma. In contrast, refugees living outside camps suffer from alterations in self-perception DESNOS4 symptomology, in addition, to elevated levels of complex trauma DESNOS and they qualified for the DESNOS diagnosis more than the other two groups of children. Refugees living outside camps were the only group subjected to interpersonal stressors.
Many college students have reported struggling with mental health problems while dealing with challenging demands of college. The initial theoretical framework for this research was Pearlin's stress process model (SPM). Building on the SPM, the three additional mediating variables of perceived control, meaninglessness, and financial worries were added to create a composite model for the research. Mental health outcomes in the model were measured by a comprehensive range of factors, which included: psychological distress, suicide, substance abuse, and anger. Data were collected from a non-probability convenience sample of 463 undergraduate students attending a large state supported university in the southwestern region of the United States. Among the social status variables measured, being married, female, and white were significant predictors of poor mental health in the sampled college students. Poor self-image, feeling of meaninglessness, and worrying about current and future finances were significant mediating variables. Poor mental health could make individuals overwhelmed and discouraged. This is a formula for failure in college. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the correlates of mental health problems among college students. A greater understanding means that families and college administrations will have better ideas about how to intervene to reduce the stress of students and to focus the available and often limited resources to help young adults in their college experience.
Although institutional care has started to be outmoded in the developed countries with development of different models of care, it still has a considerable place in the developing countries such as Turkey. This is because, changes in the demographic structure, extended family, and urban development of Turkey has brought about several aging problems leading older adults to end up in institutions. Loneliness was one of the significant reasons given in the Social Inquiry Survey of Applicants of Darulaceze Old-Age Institution and the basis for a micro level analysis in this study. Therefore, the main objective of the study was to determine the predictors of loneliness, including age, the state of living alone, functional independence, education, and gender. Analysis of the results indicated that these predictors have significant effects on the loneliness predominantly defined by social factors rather than medical factors. In addition, the meso and macro level analyses were employed to control the micro level analysis and see a general picture of institutional care. Thus, an academic example of diagnosing the main reasons behind the institutional care was presented to understand the context of aging in Turkey.
Nepal in recent times has witnessed a proliferation of community-based organization (CBOs). Established by local residents, CBOs are small level organizations that promote and defend the rights and interests of people especially that of minorities and the disadvantaged. One such minority group that CBOs greatly focus on are women. Despite dramatic increase in the number of CBOs in Nepal its impact on women is understudied. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the relationship between Nepalese women's participation in CBOs and their autonomy. Autonomy comprises of four different dimensions; physical mobility, financial autonomy, household decision-making, and reproductive autonomy. Modifying the conceptual framework used by Mahmud, Shah, and Becker in 2012, I hypothesize that women who participate in CBOs experience greater autonomy. Data from the 2008 Chitwan Valley Family Study is used for analysis. Using SPSS, separate logistic regressions are run to analyze the relationship between CBO membership and the dimensions of autonomy. The results support three of the four proposed major hypotheses. Nepalese women who participate in CBOs have greater autonomy in terms of physical mobility, financial autonomy, and household decision-making. No evidence was found to establish link between CBO membership and reproductive autonomy. The variables that are controlled for in the study include age, caste, religion, education, marital status, exposure to television, exposure to radio, and relationship with one's mother-in-law.
Diaspora philanthropy to India has grown rapidly over the past several decades. However, little is known about the motivations of Indians living in the U.S. to donate philanthropically to India. Extant studies have either focused on quantitative analysis of diaspora philanthropy or qualitative research on the receiving of diaspora philanthropy in India. The motivations and strategies of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. have not been explored, particularly, the informal mechanisms and strategies of making philanthropic donations to India and the obligations that underlie the practice of diaspora philanthropy remain neglected in the existing studies on diaspora philanthropy. My research addressed this gap in the existing literature on diaspora philanthropy by conducting qualitative face-to-face in-depth interviews with a snowball sample of 25 Indian engineers in San Diego, California. In my study, it was found that Indians preferred to channel funds for philanthropy in India through friends and family because of lack of trust in formal organizations and greater confidence in the activities of friends and family in India due to familiarity and better accountability. It was also found that Indians felt indebted to Indian society and the Indian nation-state for the free and subsidized education they had received in India, and therefore felt obligated to make philanthropic contributions to India in order to redeem the debt that they owe to India.
Hispanic youth living in the U.S. share a disproportionate burden of risk for HIV, other STIs, and teen pregnancies. They also tend to report lower rates of condom use and higher rates of inconsistent condom use than other racial/ethnic groups. Furthermore, immigrant Hispanic adolescents experience a unique burden of sexual risk compared to their non-immigrant counterparts. These negative sexual health outcomes can severely derail the overall health, social mobility, and life opportunities of these adolescents. Social researchers have tried to explain these sexual risk disparities using the concept of immigrant acculturation, which is broadly defined as the process of adopting the cultural values and beliefs of a host society. Immigrant acculturation has been shown to play a key role in shaping youth attitudes and behaviors, including sexual risk behaviors (see Lee & Hahm, 2010). Yet, studies have largely overlooked the contextual components of acculturation that have been proposed in theoretical literature, specifically characteristics of the immigrant's receiving community. Furthermore, studies have not adequately explored the influence of acculturation on two crucial measures of sexual risk: teen pregnancy norms and condom use. Therefore, the current dissertation consists of two unique studies that examine the influence of acculturation, at both the individual and neighborhood level, on Hispanic adolescent teen pregnancy norms and condom use over time. The aim is to fill these important gaps in the literature and expand on earlier explanations of the relationship between cultural, place, and long-term sexual health. Both studies use nationally-representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Overall, findings suggest an immigrant advantage for both teen pregnancy norms and condom use, although this advantage functions differently for males and females. Furthermore, the studies demonstrate the importance of including contextual measures of acculturation into studies related to Hispanic adolescent sexual health.
This study design was to identify and examine how disaster experience, self-efficacy, and demographic factors influence disaster preparedness in community-dwelling older adults. Current data indicates the United States is rapidly aging. Parallel to this significant increase among the elderly population, natural disasters are more prevalent. Consequently, older adults are affected adversely by these disasters and exposure to social vulnerabilities during the disaster cycle. For the purpose of this study, non-identifiable secondary data were analyzed. Sources of the data were the 2007 and 2008 National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveys. The sample focus of this study was adults 50 and older. Regression analyses identified important predictors of disaster preparedness in the survey respondents. Sample adults with previous disaster experience are two times more likely to be in a higher category for having an emergency plan than those respondents with no observable effects of self-efficacy and no previous disaster experience. The frequency of natural disasters in the United States has generated a renewed interest in disaster management, in particular, disaster preparedness. Nevertheless, the focal point of disaster preparedness is no longer the rudimentary stockpile of water, a first aid kit, and a battery operated radio. To advance the field of disaster management it is vital for gerontologist to approach disaster preparedness by differentiating between stockpiling supplies and social cognitive interventions that fundamentally alters preparedness behavior.
This study examined if domestic violence shelters in Texas are responding to the needs of older female victims of intimate partner violence. Data for this study was collected through online questionnaire surveys of 45% of Texas domestic violence shelters. Findings of this study indicated that less than 10% of Texas shelters are providing specialized programming for older victims of IPV. In Texas, the demographic growth of older adults has remained comparable to increased national trends. The state of Texas will face several policy implications and social issues related to an older population that is rapidly growing. This includes, the importance of addressing certain members of an aging population who continue to fall victim to domestic violence. Furthermore, an unchanged resource of safety for victims of IPV is domestic violence shelters. Therefore, this study challenges current domestic violence shelter policies to address this issue of a rapidly growing segment of the Texas population. This study found less than 10% of shelters in Texas, who participated in this study, were providing specialized programming and outreach for older victims. Important practical implications for domestic violence shelter programming in Texas is provided.
Drought is a complex subject that has varied definitions and perspectives. Although drought has historically been characterized as an environmental problem from both the meteorological and agricultural communities, it is not considered a sociological disaster despite its severe societal impacts. Utilizing the framework developed by Spector and Kitsuse (2011) and Stallings (1995), this research examines the process through which drought is defined as a social problem. An analysis of the data revealed drought was well covered in Africa, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand, yet very little coverage focused on the United States. There were less than 10 articles discussing drought and drought impacts in the United States. The workshops/meetings examined also were lacking in the attention to drought, although their overall theme was focused on hazards and resilience. Six sessions in over 16 years of meetings/workshops focused on the topic of drought, and one session was focused on the condition in Canada. The interviews uncovered five thematic areas demonstrating drought understanding and awareness: Use of outreach to get the message out; agricultures familiarity with drought; the role of drought in media; the variability of what drought is; and water conservation. Drought's claims-makers who are dedicated to providing outreach and education to impacted communities. Drought is often overlooked due to its slow onset and evolving development makes it difficult to determine when to engage in recovery efforts. Drought defined as a social problem also expands theoretical conversations regarding what events or issues should be included within the sociological disaster list of topics.
HIV/AIDS can affect individuals of any age. Efforts to educate those considered to be most at-risk, based on the age at which the most individuals are infected, are ongoing and public. Less work and mainstream education outreach, however, is being directed at an older population, who can be more likely to contract HIV, is more susceptible to the effects of HIV, and more likely to develop AIDS, than younger persons. Guided by the Health Belief Model theory, research was conducted to determine what, if any, relationship existed between age of an individual and the possibility that an HIV test will be sought. Factors of gender, education, ethnicity and marital status were included in analyses. the research indicated that as age increased, likelihood for getting an HIV test decreased. Overall, most individuals had not been tested for HIV. the implications of an aged and aging population with HIV include a need for coordinated service delivery, increased education and outreach.
This dissertation created a model to explore the effect of dominant group status on stigmatization of mental illness and on moral relativism and the interactive effect of dominant group status on stigmatization of mental illness through moral relativism. The model was conceptualized according to social dominance theory. Latent variables were created to measure moral relativism and stigmatization of mental illness. The latent measures were conceptualized according to current theories in the fields of moral relativism and stigmatization. During statistical analyses the latent measure for moral relativism was found to be unreliable. The study then became confirmatory-exploratory in nature by first comparing the fit indices of three alternate models with single-measure latent variables. The model that best fit the data was then used to conclude the exploratory research on the effect of group status on moral relativism and stigmatization of mental illness. The model was not supported by the data based on fit index and standardized residual scores.
The systemic model posits that informal social control directly reduces crime victimization and social networks indirectly reduce crime victimization through informal social control. While empirical testing of the systemic model advanced the theory, important analytical issues remain. First, social networks are inconsistently conceptualized and measured. Second, the conceptual relationship between social networks and informal social control remains unclear. This study addresses these issues by testing an alternative to the systemic model, including new constructs and hypotheses. The goal is to develop better indicators for the model and refine the theory, rethinking and deepening the existing theory about neighborhood effects on crime victimization. The data come from the 2002-2003 Seattle Neighborhoods and Crime Survey (N=2,200). Structural equation modeling (SEM), a multivariate statistical technique, was used to analyze these data. The SEM included five latent constructs (neighboring, neighborhood and non-neighborhood social networks, collective efficacy, and crime victimization) and six social structural variables (racially homogeneous neighborhood, resident tenure, household income, family disruption, male, and non-white ethnicity). One of my 9 hypotheses was supported; the remaining hypotheses were partly supported. The results support my argument that the systemic model is too simplistic, but the relationships among the variables are not exactly as I hypothesized. The results provide insight into the complexities of the systemic model and areas for future research.
In this study, pro-environmental behaviors are investigated by studying if one's primary information sources about environmental issues either from their social network or the media influence this behavior. Data was collected from the 2002 Detroit Area Study with a total of 267 respondents. Three indexes were constructed to separately measure all seven pro-environment behavioral items, five conservation behavioral items, and two consumption behavioral items. A complex sample model was utilized in these analyses. Findings suggest that information sources are correlated to self-reported environmental behavior. As predicted, the people whose primary information source was social network were more likely to obtain higher scores on all three separate indexes than those individuals who primarily received information about environmental issues from the media.
The main objective of this study is to provide an in-depth analysis the association between a set of social structural factors and the certain types of social movement events in Turkey. The changing nature and significance of social movements over time and space makes this study necessary to understand and explain new trends related to the parameters that constitute a backdrop for social movements. Social movements are a very common mechanism used by groups of people who decide to take action against an unfair socio-political system, usually an authoritarian government or dictatorship. This kind of reactions, seen in history before, gives birth to a more multidimensional understanding of the relationship between society and state policies. Understanding social movements depends on understanding our own societies, and the social environment in which they are developed. An effective way of understanding this type of social movements is to recognize the perceived concerns of discontented groups in relation to cultural, ideological, economic, and political institutions and values. Social movement events included in the study refers to collective activities organized by two or more people with the purpose of protesting public policies or of increasing public awareness about certain social issues related to human rights and freedoms, environment, feminism, etc. All these types of events are chased by police forces, and their concerns, statements, and activities are recorded.
The United States of America is a country composed of various ethnicities. This country is considered to be a multi-cultural society. There are various cultural traditions values, norms and superstitious practices within each ethnic group. Attitudes toward end of life care are complex and vary differently across each ethnic group. This study explored factors that explained African Americans' disproportionate use of hospice. Access to hospice care was address, experience with hospice was explored, and recommendations were provided. This study conducted non-experimental research. The design of this exploratory study was quantitative in nature. A survey approach was utilized to collect data that was statistically analyzed. The important concept was African American disproportionate use of hospice. The variable willingness to use was employed to try to explain African Americans' disproportionate use of hospice. The independent variables African Americans who mistrust formal healthcare providers and knowledge about hospice services were operationalized using multiple indicators. The independent variable experience with hospice services did not use a scale. The research findings supported all three study hypotheses. This research results recommend that an important focus of the future be to counsel persons on the availability of hospice as an option for end-of-life care. Well-structured programs of training in cultural awareness and cultural competence throughout the ranks of the health care system must be instituted. Such an effort will pay dividends in reducing cultural mistrust and push closer to eliminating health disparities between minority groups and the rest of society.
Decentralized renewable energy procurement has gained traction in recent years for its potential to alleviate rural energy poverty and environmental degradation in developing countries. Hence, this study investigates if deploying renewable energy can mitigate rural energy poverty in developing countries as often claimed. Because any energy regime cannot be initiated or sustained without the conviction of local political leaders, the study also evaluates the extent to which government investments in the development of renewable energy technologies and the energy sector, affect the environmental quality (i.e. greenhouse gas emissions) of developing countries. Energetic theory and environmental inequality constitute the key conceptual premises guiding this study. Ordinary least squares regression is utilized to analyze the relationship between key variables. The results reveal that as of 2010, use of renewable energy can indeed support rural electrification. Higher GNI per capita and use of conventional fuels are also positively related to rural electrification, all else equal. As for environmental degradation in 2005 and 2008, R&D investments actually tend to increase GHG emissions; procuring energy from either renewable or non-renewable sources is however, found to be environmentally detrimental, net of all other variables. Finally, some evidence is found for the role of aid funds and multilateral debt in abating GHG emissions.
The present study draws on recent sociological literature that argues that the study of cognition and culture can benefit from theories of embodied cognition. The concept of semantic internalization is introduced, which is conceptualized as the ability to perceive and articulate the topics that are of most concern to a community as they are manifested in social discourse. Semantic internalization is partly an application of emotional intelligence in the context of community-level discourse. Semantic internalization is measured through the application of Latent Semantic Analysis. Furthermore, it is investigated whether this ability is related to an individual’s social capital and habitus. The analysis is based on data collected from the online review platform yelp.com.
The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of Texas Adult Protective Services (APS) case managers (CM) in regard to their relationships with the law enforcement community and area courts. The sample consisted of 138 Texas APS CMs. The survey measured respondents' perceived strengths and weaknesses of their relationships with both the law enforcement community and with area courts. Items also included respondents' interest in receiving additional training and their perceptions of level of job-readiness of newly hired APS CMs. Data were analyzed quantitatively using SAS. Findings of the survey revealed high ratings of perceived teamwork on the part of the CM are associated with high relationship ratings with both area courts and law enforcement. Findings also revealed that high ratings of perceived autonomy on the part of the CM are associated with lower relationship ratings with law enforcement personnel but not with area courts.
This thesis examines the extent to which Ibn Khaldun can legitimately be considered a founding father of sociology. To pursue this research, Khaldun's theoretical framework will be compared with four Western scholars: Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Giambattista Vico, and Ludwig Gumplowicz. This paper begins with an Introduction (Chapter I), followed by a general overview of Khaldun's work (Chapter II). Next, Khaldun's work is compared to that of Auguste Comte (Chapter III), Emile Durkheim (Chapter IV), Ludwig Gumplowicz (Chapter V) and Giambattista Vico (Chapter VI). In each of these chapters, Khaldun is compared and contrasted to the other social theorist, illustrating their similarities and considering their differences. Finally, in Chapter VII, I put forth conclusions that consider the extent to which Khaldun can validly be considered a founding father of sociology.
Studies on prostitution have typically focused on the experiences, problems, and histories of prostitutes, rather than examining men who seek to purchase sex. Race has also been overlooked as a central factor in shaping the sex industry and the motivations of men who seek to purchase sex. This study utilizes online reviews of prostitutes to examine the way men who purchase sex discuss Asian prostitutes in comparison to White prostitutes. This paper traces the history of colonialism and ideas of the exotic Orient to modern stereotypes of Asian women. These stereotypes are then used to frame a quantitative and qualitative analysis of online reviews of prostitutes and compare the ways in which Asian prostitutes and white prostitutes are discussed. Further, the reviews are used to examine more broadly what services, traits, and behaviors are considered desirable by men who use prostitutes. The study finds that there are significant quantitative and qualitative differences in how men discuss Asian and White prostitutes within their reviews, and that these differences appear to be shaped by racially fetishizing stereotypes of Asian women. Prostitution also appears to reinforce male dominance and patriarchy in the form of masculine control and the feminine servicing of male sexual and emotional needs.
Every day, individuals commit acts which are considered immoral, unethical, even criminal, often to gain material advantage. Many people consider cheating on taxes, cheating on tests, claiming false benefits, or avoiding transport fare to be wrong, but they do them anyway. While some of these acts may not be formally illegal, they are, at best, considered morally dubious and is labeled “everyday crime.” Anomie theory holds that individuals make decisions based on socialized values, which separately may be contradictory but together, balances each other out, producing behavior considered “normal” by society. When one holds an imbalanced set of values, decisions made on that set may produce deviant behavior, such as everyday crime. RD theory holds that individuals who perceive their own deprivation, relative to someone else, will feel frustration and injustice, and may attempt to ameliorate that feeling with deviant behavior. Data from the 2006 World Values Survey were analyzed using logistic regression, testing both constructs concurrently. An individual was 1.55 times more likely to justify everyday crime for each calculated unit of anomie; and 1.10 times more likely for each calculated unit of RD. It was concluded from this study that anomie and relative deprivation were both associated with the tendency towards everyday crime.
Marijuana is the most prevalent illicit drug used in the world and among Turkish juveniles. Although studies have examined marijuana use among Turkish juveniles, none has tested Hirschi's social bonding theory, one of the most frequently tested and applied criminological theories in the United States and other Western and developed countries. This study investigated the empirical validity and generalizability of Hirschi's theory to juveniles' marijuana use in Turkey, a non-Western and developing country. Data on 2,740 Turkish tenth grade students from the 2006 Youth in Europe survey were used. Results from binary logistic regression analyses were generally consistent with the propositions of Hirschi's theory and the findings of previous empirical studies. Regarding the attachment component of the theory, Turkish juveniles who lived in two-parent families and those who were closely monitored by their parents were less likely to have tried marijuana. In addition, teens who were strongly attached to their school and religion were also less likely to have used the drug. As for the commitment component, language grade was negatively associated with marijuana use. None of the involvement items had significant effects on marijuana use in the predicted direction. Participation in club sports had a positive effect on marijuana use. Belief items, such as acceptance of societal norms, values, and rules, had the predicted inhibiting effects on teens' marijuana use. Of the six sociodemographic/controls included in the analyses, only gender had a significant effect; male students were more likely to have tried marijuana than the female peers. Policy implications of the results for adolescents, parents, and schools are discussed.
Using the 2009 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), this paper uses logistic regressions to explore the effect of facility ownership on a facility’s show of altruism. Facility’s show of altruism is operationalized as a facility offering free treatment to all its clients, free treatment to some of its clients, or a facility offering a sliding fee scale to its client base in order to absorb some of the cost of treatment based on a potential client's income. Region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation are added as covariates in order to gauge whether the potential relationship between facility ownership and a facility’s show of altruism is genuine. Results indicate that private, for-profit ownership status of a facility is associated with a lower likelihood that a substance-abuse treatment facility would engage in altruistic behavior. However, receipt of public funds acts as a mediating variable, in that, its inclusion raises the likelihood that a private, for-profit facility would engage in shows of altruism. Furthermore, it appears that religious-affiliation increases the likelihood that a facility would display altruism by providing free treatment, to some of its clients, or to all, but less likely to display altruism by employing a sliding fee scale. Overall, inclusion of region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation all produce statistically significant results, along with facility ownership. This suggests that there are a variety of variables, apart from facility ownership alone, that might be influential over a facility's show of altruism.
Extant literature has documented well that people seek health information via the internet as patients and consumers. Much less, however, is known about interaction and creation behaviors in the development of new online health information and knowledge. More specifically, generalizable sociodemographic data on who engages in this online health behavior via social media is lacking in the sociological literature. The term “social e-health” is introduced to emphasize the difference between seeking behaviors and interaction and creation behaviors. A 2010 dataset of a large nationally representative and randomly sampled telephone survey made freely available from the Pew Research Center is used to examine social e-health behavior according to respondents’ sociodemographics. The dependent variable of social e-health behavior is measured by 13 survey questions from the survey. Gender, race, ethnicity, age, education, and income are used as independent variables. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the odds of engagement in social e-health behavior based on the sociodemographic predictors. The social determinants of health and digital divide frameworks are used to help explain why socioeconomic variances exist in social e-health behavior. The findings of the current study suggest that predictable sociodemographic patterns along the dimensions of gender, race, age, education, and income exist for those who report engaging in social e-health behavior. This study is important because it underscores the fact that engagement in social e-health behavior is differentially distributed in the general U.S. population according to patterned sociodemographics.
This study assessed falls efficacy and confidence-related changes among participants attending the a Matters of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader (AMOB/VLL) falls prevention program for older adults, based on their residential location. Data were examined from 431 older Texans enrolled in AMOB/VLL during a two-year period, and assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Results indicate that participants significantly increased falls efficacy, reduced activity interference due to their health, and decreased the number of days limited from usual activity. Regression models show that participants, despite entering the program with lower reported health status, reported greater rates of positive change for falls efficacy and health interference compared with their baseline pre-intervention counterparts. Overall program attendance and attendance at major sessions showed the greatest influence. Findings contribute to the understanding of cognitive restructuring and strengthening variations with falls prevention program outcomes.
The purpose of this exploratory study was to operationalize the responses from a sample of the community dwelling older population from Denton County, Texas on disaster preparedness education given by Denton County Health Department (DCHD) personnel. The goals and objectives were drawn from the Texas Public Health and Medical Emergency Management 5-Year Strategic Plan 2012-2016. It was hypothesized that after the disaster preparedness education was received, then comprehension, retention, and application of the information would increase and the goals set forth by the DCHD would be reached. Thirteen sites were used to educate the 224 participants between August 2011 and April 2012. The data were received using a pre-test survey before the training, a post-test immediately after the training, and a follow-up survey call approximately 30 days later. Using Cronbach's alpha, logistic regression and regression analysis through SAS, the data revealed that all DCHD goals were met by this training method and outcome which include the sample population increasing comprehension, retention, and action on the information learned.
This research is a qualitative study that explores the gender role ideology of Black and White men between the ages of 18-30. The study found that both groups are moving toward egalitarianism on different pathways. The pathways illustrate the effect of racial identity on gender role ideology. White respondents had a progressive egalitarianism which stemmed from ideas reflected individualism, secularization, and the identification with the grand narrative of the United States. Their respondents also reflected postmodern ideas. Overall their ideas reflect larger White racial identity and shows an overlap between the progressive understanding of modernity and with postmodernist ideas of non-deterministic definitions. Black respondents had a collaborative egalitarianism which stemmed from historical racial and economic deprivation. Subsequently, Blacks gender role ideology illustrates collaboration and communal interdependence between of Black men and women, and the Black church. Blacks tended to view things from a social perspective that was often reactionary. Overall, their ideas reflected the larger Black racial identity which emphasizes collaboration between men and women and a reliance on community based institutions like the Black church.
Homeless youth face numerous risks. Data on 602 homeless youth from the Midwest Homeless and Runaway Study and binary logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with their participation in risky sexual behaviors. Specifically, the effects of abuse/neglect and three potential moderating resiliency indicators, namely self-esteem, parental warmth, and parental monitoring, on having sex before adulthood and thinking about trading sex for food or shelter were examined. While none of the three resiliency indicators had the hypothesized moderating effects, controlling for abuse/neglect and various sociodemographic characteristics, parental monitoring had a direct, negative effect on having sex before adulthood, and self-esteem and parental warmth had direct, negative effects on thinking about trading sex for food or shelter. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.
The purpose of this study is to identify predictors of psychological empowerment among nurse aides in nursing homes. Five structural factors (information exchange, decentralization of resources, co-worker support, supervisor support, and availability of training) and four control factors (age, sex, level of education, and race) are analyzed using multivariate linear regression to examine their effects on psychological empowerment. Two of the five structural factors, decentralization of resources and supervisor support, are shown to positively influence psychological empowerment. Nursing home managers can consider developing and implementing procedures that decentralize resources and demonstrate supervisor support in order to increase psychological empowerment. Based on the findings of this study theory and practice might benefit from additional study of decentralization of resources and supervisor support.
Family structure as a predictive variable of juvenile delinquency has been studied for the last hundred years. This relationship originated due to societal belief that divorce was detrimental to adolescents. Due to the changing societal roles in the United States, family structure has been changing. More children are growing up in non-intact families, such as single-parent households, households with stepparents, cohabitating families, and households without a parent present. To study the effect family structure has on juvenile delinquency, researchers have utilized social control theory, differential association, self-control theory and general strain theory to conceptualize variables to explain why family structure influences delinquent behavior. A review of previous literature on this topic indicates that living in intact households, which are households with two biological parents who are married, have, on average, the lowest rates of delinquency. This thesis investigates the relationship between family structure and lifetime marijuana use among eighth and tenth grade adolescents in the United States through the use of secondary data analysis of Monitoring the Future Study, 2012. The results provide support for the relationship between family structure and lifetime marijuana use.
The purpose of this research design is to explore the meaning of death for the female adolescent. A qualitative design was used as the method of research. Twelve participants were selected from a snowball sample ten females and two males. Four participants reported witnessing the death of an individual, five reported a moderated death experience in which they were not present but were told after the fact and three reported no significant experience with death. The study indicated relationships and cause of death as among the pre-conditions towards meaning development for the adolescent female. The two main themes derived from the pre-conditions are an understanding of the inevitability of death for themselves and the experience of death as qualia. Consequences to the experience of death include increased emotional tolerance under stress and a perceived increased maturity suggesting resilience in the adolescent female following a loss. Future areas of research are also addressed.
This dissertation examines the relationship between social structural factors and violent crime rates in Turkey. The relationship between social structural characteristics and violent crime is worth exploring in areas that have attracted little academic attention, such as violent crime in Turkey. In order to understand and prevent the occurrence of crime, researchers have long investigated possible factors related to crime. Examining how crime varies across different regions can help us to understand underlying reasons for violent crime, which is considered one of the enduring problems in society. The findings of this research, to some extent, support the assumptions of social disorganization theory regarding the distribution of violent crime. Both the findings of multivariate and bivariate analysis indicated that poverty, unemployment, and family disruptions may have a positive effect on the distribution of violent crime in the cities of Turkey. The analysis of the effects of the social structure variables through the mediating variables, such as religious institutions, libraries and voluntary associations on the number of violent crimes and violent criminals, to some extent, support the tenets of social disorganization theory. However, all mediating variables cannot mediate all the indirect effects of social structural covariates. In brief, none of their indirect impacts on the social structural variables on the outcome variable was significant via mediating variables.
The effect of frequency of nursing home contact on family perceptions of quality care is the focus of this research. A family member characteristic, such as geographic distance from the nursing home, affects his or her frequency of contact with the nursing home. Frequency of contact, in turn, affects family perceptions of the care his or her loved one receives in the nursing home. The theoretical framework for this study is based on Allport's intergroup contact theory, which posits that when four contact conditions - institutional support, equal status, common goals, and intergroup cooperation - are present in an intergroup situation, a reduction in anxiety between groups is likely to occur. Regression analysis tested the stated hypotheses using survey data collected from 275 family members of residents in 10 Dallas-Ft. Worth area nursing homes. This study is among the first to quantify family geographic distance, finding that family geographic distance is a significant negative predictor of nursing home contact. Additionally, results build on Allport's theory by extending its' usefulness to nursing home organizations in two distinct ways. First, findings support Allport's premise that contact alone between groups - i.e., family members and nursing home staff - is insufficient for increasing or decreasing family perceptions of nursing home care. Second, three of the four contact conditions included in Allport's theory were statistically supported by the data. In sum, findings of this research provide nursing homes with an empirically tested model for improving family perceptions of quality nursing home care.
The purpose of this study is to understand the power and influence of the institution of motherhood and how it is shaped by culture. More specifically this research explores the ideology that shapes our understanding of the good mother in the contemporary United States; how this ideology affects the way mothers view their identity; and how both the ideology and identity shape actions and performance. Twenty women were interviewed in North Texas and the results were: first, this group of mothers recognizes the ideology of the good mother, but does not accept all components of this ideology; next, the identity of mother is the primary identity for most of these women; and, last, performance is most greatly influenced by socio-economic status and the support system that mothers have in place.
This research project aims to clarify the factors that impact successful aging in Assisted Living facilities (ALFs) in Denton County, Texas. We hypothesize that social disengagement decreases physical and mental components of quality of life. This exploratory research project employed standardized questionnaires to assess residents in the following domains; HRQOL, social engagement status, level of cognition, depression, and the level of functioning. This study collected data from 75 participants living in five ALFs. The average of Physical Component Scale (PCS) and Mental Component Scale (MCS) was 35.33, and 53.62 respectively. None of the participants had five or more social contacts out of facilities, and two-third of them had two or less social contacts. On average, those participants who were more socially engaged had higher score of MCS compared with disengaged counterparts. The level of physical function significantly affects social engagement, when people with more disabilities are more likely to be socially disengaged. Social engagement and depression significantly impact MCS, when depression is a mediating factor between social engagement and mental component of quality of life. Considering the expansion in aging population in the United States within the next three decades, the demand for high quality long-term care will skyrocket consequently. This study reveals that external social engagement can sustain HRQOL of residents in assisted living facilities.
In order to better understand variations of health behaviors between US-born and foreign-born elderly Asian Americans (65+) in the United States, the research aims to explore relationships among health outcomes, healthcare utilization, and sociodemographic characteristics. Data from the National Health Interview Survey 1998-2012 is used to construct structural equation models for the US born group and for the foreign born group. The results found that there is a reciprocal relationship between health outcomes and healthcare utilization in both groups. Use of healthcare services can positively affect health outcomes, while better health outcomes reduce the need for healthcare utilization. In addition, some sociodemographic characteristics, such as age, sex, and marital status have a direct effect on health outcomes, but some others, such as education, family size and combined family income, have an indirect effect on health outcomes via healthcare utilization. The region of residency has both direct and indirect effects on health outcomes. Regarding the effects of predictors on health outcomes, US-born elderly Asians usually receive more health advantages from using institutional health services than foreign-born elderly Asians. Practitioners, social gerontologists, and policy makers should be cautious about assuming that there is a positive impact of increased healthcare utilization on health outcomes in elderly Asian Americans.
This secondary research study uses data from two convenience samples of homeless persons in Central Arkansas collected during 2004 and 2011 Point in Time Counts. The prevalence of predictors of homelessness are compared across years, and also compared by age (<50 and > 50) controlling for year of survey. The number of older adults increased significantly between 2004 and 2011 surveys, and reporting serious mental illness and veteran status significantly decreased from 2004 to 2011. Age differences were noted in 2004 with older adults more likely to report serious mental illness in comparison to younger adults. Older adults were also more likely to report veteran status in comparison to younger adults during both the 2004 and 2011 surveys. The predictors of homelessness -- including serious health problems, substance abuse, race, age, and developmental disabilities-- remained fairly consistent from 2004 to 2011 and across "age groups". In addition to Point in Time data, qualitative surveys and interviews of providers were performed for their observations of the older homeless population. Providers indicated their belief that the older homeless population is increasing. Providers suggested possible challenges and reasons for the increase among older adults who are homeless. In central Arkansas, service providers feel the current economy, programs, and agencies that provide homeless services and funding sources are adequate at this time as evidenced by no increase in numbers. Due to new funding, improvement has occurred with the veteran population through VA programs. Even though this research did not find any change in gender, the providers feel that for future homeless, trends in gender (women in poverty), as well as older adults becoming homeless for the first time, should be watched in addition to other predictive factors such as the economy, increase in substance abuse, and physical and mental health concerns.
The purpose of this dissertation was to understand how genetics, socioeconomic status (SES), and lifestyle factors influence the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy in an adult population in Dallas County. Two hundred fifty-three older adults participated in this study as the sample. Crosstabulation and binary logistic regression were utilized to analyze the data. Results indicated a disparity among participants' test scores, visual health status, and perceptions of their visual impairment and highlighted the fact that many seniors are not educated about age-related retinal disorders. Furthermore, variables reaching statistical significance were consistent with the literature included race/ethnicity, age, having a family history of both AMD and diabetes, frequency of eye exams, and level of education. The results not consistent with the literature as affecting visual health included health insurance, access to health care, body weight, and smoking status. Recommendations for future study included applied research focusing on determining risk factors, raising awareness, educating, and providing early detection of these diseases among low to middle income Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic older adults.
This study investigates the effects of postmodern factors on the relationship between maternal distress and children's delinquency. It seeks to understand the factors associated with distress levels of mothers whose children exhibit delinquency in order to potentially decrease the cost associated with mental health problems especially in mothers. Another goal of this study is to contribute to the sociological analysis of mental health problems which seem to be the reserved domain of the discipline of psychology and related subfields. The data came from the third wave of the 3-city study with N = 1835. The ages of the children range from 5 to 18 years old. The analysis of the data using regression analysis suggests children's delinquency significantly affects maternal distress in mothers. The study also indicates postmodernity factors did not moderate the association between maternal distress and children's delinquency. However, postmodern factors have significant, separate, and direct effects on maternal distress. For example, employment and religion have positive influences on maternal distress. The research points toward weakness in the postmodern perspective. It also underlines the importance of a sociological approach to the assessment and treatment of distress problems among mothers with low-income. Agencies working with low-income families should integrate the sociological approach in their intervention programs. Additionally, the study uncovers possible problems with assessment criteria used by these agencies to determine eligibility for assistance among low-income families such as education levels; and consequently calls for further investigation.
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