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9-Lipoxygenase Oxylipin Pathway in Plant Response to Biotic Stress

Description: The activity of plant 9-lipoxygenases (LOXs) influences the outcome of Arabidopsis thaliana interaction with pathogen and insects. Evidence provided here indicates that in Arabidopsis, 9-LOXs facilitate infestation by Myzus persicae, commonly known as the green peach aphid (GPA), a sap-sucking insect, and infection by the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum. in comparison to the wild-type plant, lox5 mutants, which are deficient in a 9-lipoxygenase, GPA population was smaller and the insect spent less time feeding from sieve elements and xylem, thus resulting in reduced water content and fecundity of GPA. LOX5 expression is induced rapidly in roots of GPA-infested plants. This increase in LOX5 expression is paralleled by an increase in LOX5-synthesized oxylipins in the root and petiole exudates of GPA-infested plants. Micrografting experiments demonstrated that GPA population size was smaller on plants in which the roots were of the lox5 mutant genotype. Exogenous treatment of lox5 mutant roots with 9-hydroxyoctadecanoic acid restored water content and population size of GPA on lox5 mutants. Together, these results suggest that LOX5 genotype in roots is critical for facilitating insect infestation of Arabidopsis. in Arabidopsis, 9-LOX function is also required for facilitating infection by F. graminearum, which is a leading cause of Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease in wheat and other small grain crops. Loss of LOX1 and LOX5 function resulted in enhanced resistance to F. graminearum infection. Similarly in wheat, RNA interference mediated silencing of the 9-LOX homolog TaLpx1, resulted in enhanced resistance to F. graminearum. Experiments in Arabidopsis indicate that 9-LOXs promote susceptibility to this fungus by suppressing the activation of salicylic acid-mediated defense responses that are important for basal resistance to this fungus. the lox1 and lox5 mutants were also compromised for systemic acquired resistance (SAR), an inducible defense mechanism that is systemically activated throughout a plant in response to a ...
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Date: May 2012
Creator: Nalam, Vamsi J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

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

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

The Affect of Mobile Performance Support Devices on Anxiety and Self-Efficacy of Hospital Float Staff

Description: Floating describes the act of staff moving from one unit to another based on the needs of the patients in a hospital. Many staff who float to different units express negative feelings, including anxiety and lack in self-efficacy. However, floating is both an economical and efficient method to use staff across the hospital, especially with current staffing shortages in the United States. This study investigated how the use of mobile performance support devices may help reduce anxiety and increase self-efficacy for those staff who float to different units. with access to multiple resources available on the mobile device, Bandura's social learning theory and self-efficacy concept set the framework through modeling, observing, and imitating others in order to reproduce certain behaviors and tasks and believe in one's capability to perform. a quantitative study incorporating the retrospective pretest-posttest design was conducted using the population of float staff, including both nurses and respiratory therapists, from Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Both the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and General Self-Efficacy Scale, along with a basic demographic tool, were used to explore anxiety and self-efficacy in relation to the usage of mobile performance support devices. Findings can be used to impact the negative feelings of staff towards the idea of floating.
Date: May 2012
Creator: McKee, Megan Riley
Partner: UNT Libraries

After the Planes

Description: The dissertation consists of a critical preface and a novel. The preface analyzes what it terms “polyvocal” novels, or novels employing multiple points of view, as well as “layered storytelling,” or layers of textuality within novels, such as stories within stories. Specifically, the first part of the preface discusses polyvocality in twenty-first century American novels, while the second part explores layered storytelling in novels responding to World War II or the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The preface analyzes the advantages and difficulties connected to these techniques, as well as their aptitude for reflecting the fractured, disconnected, and subjective nature of the narratives we construct to interpret traumatic experiences. It also acknowledges the necessity—despite its inherent limitations—of using language to engage with this fragmentation and cope with its challenges. The preface uses numerous novels as examples and case studies, and it also explores these concepts and techniques in relation to the process of writing the novel After the Planes. After the Planes depicts multiple generations of a family who utilize storytelling as a means to work through grief, hurt, misunderstanding, and loss—whether from interpersonal conflicts or from war. Against her father’s wishes, a young woman moves in with her nearly-unknown grandfather, struggling to understand the rifts in her family and how they have shaped her own identity. She reads a book sent to her by her father, which turns out to be his story of growing up in the years following World War II. The book was intercepted and emended by her grandfather, who inserts his own commentary throughout, complicating her father’s hopes of reconciliation. The novel moves between two main narratives, one set primarily in 1951 and the other in the days and weeks immediately prior to September 11, 2001.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Boswell, Timothy
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Almost Astronauts”: Short Stories

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

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

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

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

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

Analysis of Roger-ducasse’s Pastorale Pour Orgue

Description: Pastorale pour Orgue (1909) is Jean Jules Aimable Roger-Ducasse’s only solo organ composition, which demonstrates skillful use of organ colors and demands a virtuoso technique for performance. Writing Pastorale in 1909, Roger-Ducasse synthesized compositional styles and techniques of two very different compositional approaches – impressionism and classicism. This study examines the stylistic characteristics of Pastorale by Roger-Ducasse as examples of both of these influences. the synthesis in Pastorale is primarily evident in the combination of classical forms and generic references with impressionist harmony and color. Thus, examining these musical elements provides hitherto unexplored insights into Pastorale as a master solo organ work of the early twentieth century. the dissertation is divided into four chapters. the first chapter presents the purpose, the significance, and the state of research of the piece. in the second chapter, I examine the traits of classicism through genre, form, thematic variation and other classicist elements of the composition. the third chapter presents the traits of impressionism including harmonic parallelism, extended chords, pedal points, ostinatos, and whole-tone scales. in the fourth chapter, I summarize the study and make a suggestion for further research of the piece.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Kim, Jung-Won
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of Sources Affecting Ambient Particulate Matter in Brownsville, Texas

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

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

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

Analyzing Visitors’ Discourse, Attitudes, Perceptions, and Knowledge Acquisition in an Art Museum Tour After Using a 3D Virtual Environment

Description: The main purpose of this mixed methods research was to explore and analyze visitors’ overall experience while they attended a museum exhibition, and examine how this experience was affected by previously using a virtual 3dimensional representation of the museum itself. The research measured knowledge acquisition in a virtual museum, and compared this knowledge acquired between a virtual museum versus a real one, employing a series of questionnaires, unobtrusive observations, surveys, personal and group interviews related to the exhibition and the artist. A group of twenty-seven undergraduate students in their first semester at the College of Architecture and Design of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico participated in the research, and were divided in two groups, one of which used a 3D virtual representation previous to the museum visit. Results show that participants who experienced the virtual museum concurred that using it was a positive experience that prepared them to go to the real museum because they knew already what they were going to find. Most of the participants who experienced the virtual museum exhibited an increased activity during their museum visit, either agreeing, being more participative, concurring and showing acceptance, asking questions, or even giving their opinion and analysis, disagreeing with the guide and showing passive rejection. Also participants from this group showed an increase on their correct answers to the knowledge acquisition questionnaires, going from 27% answers responded correctly in the pre-test, to 67% of correct answers after the virtual museum usage. The research attempted to show that experiencing a virtual museum can be similar to the experience in physical museum visits, not only engaging participants to go to the museum, but sometimes even offering a more functional way to deliver content. Results of this research evidence that using a virtual museum creates a positive impact in ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: D’ Alba, Adriana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Are They Ready? a Multi-case Study of Traditional and Innovative Texas Teacher’s Perceptions of 21St Century Skills in Teaching and Learning

Description: The 21st century is now in the second decade and the need for 21st century skills is discussed at all levels of education as necessary for student success in the future. Federal, state, and districts are addressing this need and have written technology plans to address 21st century skills needed. the purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the knowledge of 21st century educational technology. the data includes seven recorded interviews from two separate research projects covering two models of education as teachers discuss teaching, learning, and technology. the data studied determines how educational technology perceived in the school environments has been integrated into the classrooms. the initial scripting of video interviews from two research projects began the analysis of data. Particular themes emerged in response to questions established by the two separate research projects focused on classroom, school, and district environmental arrangements that examined; teaching responsibilities and practices; student learning opportunities; and how technology is woven throughout instruction. Further exploration of themes stemmed from analysis conducted with the qualitative software program, NVivo 9. the themes discussed in this paper relate to instructor perceptions of teaching, learning, classroom procedures, and the role technology plays in each. Also noted are the factors beyond the teacher’s responsibility and set rules that include the school environment, district expectations, and supported teaching strategies for the schools. the teachers expressed their view that technology is an important support for learning and that they used technology to accomplish many of the tasks related to supporting teaching and learning. As perceived by the teachers, a major component that surfaced as a result of the analysis was children’s technology use was most drastically influenced by the expectations of the instructional leader to develop and the need to foster 21st century learning strategies such as critical thinking skills, ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Royal, Joy
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Auditors’ Information Search and Documentation: Does Knowledge of the Client Preference Or PCAOB Accountability Pressure Matter?

Description: Auditors regularly make judgments regarding whether a client’s chosen accounting policy is appropriate and in accordance with generally accepted accounting Principles (GAAP). However, to form this judgment, auditors must either possess adequate topic-specific knowledge or must gain such knowledge through information search. This search is subject to numerous biases, including a bias toward confirmation of a client’s preference. It is important to further our understanding of bias in auditors’ information search to identify its causes and effects. Furthering our understanding is necessary to provide a basis for recommending and evaluating a potential debiaser, such as accountability. the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) annually inspects the audit files of selected engagements, which introduces a new form of accountability within the auditing profession. This new form of accountability has come at great cost, however, there is little empirical evidence regarding its effects on auditors’ processes. As such, it is important to understand whether the presence of accountability from the PCAOB is effective in modifying auditors’ search behaviors to diminish confirmation bias. Using an online experiment, I manipulate client preference (unknown vs. known) and PCAOB accountability pressure (low vs. high) and measure search type (information –focus or decision-focus), search depth (shallow or deep) and documentation quality. I investigate whether auditors’ information search behaviors differ based on knowledge of client’s preference and in the presence of accountability from an expected PCAOB inspection. I also investigate whether differences in auditors’ information search behaviors influence documentation quality, which is the outcome of greatest concern to the PCAOB. I hypothesize and find a client preference effect on information search type such that auditors with knowledge of the client preference consider guidance associated with the client’s preference longer than those without knowledge of the client’s preference. Contrary to expectations, PCAOB accountability pressure does not influence information search ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Olvera, Renee M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Baseband Noise Suppression in Ofdm Using Kalman Filter

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

Bearing Strength of Cold Formed Steel Bolted Connections in Trusses

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

The Beauty of Nature As a Foundation for Environmental Ethics: China and the West

Description: My dissertation aims at constructing an environmental ethics theory based on environmental aesthetics in order to advocate and promote environmentally sustainable practices, policies, and lifestyles. I attempt to construct an integrated environmental aesthetics in order to inspire people’s feelings of love towards nature and motivate them to protect it. In order to achieve this goal, I first examine the philosophical understanding and aesthetic appreciation of nature from philosophical traditions of China, which have an impact on the general public’s attitude towards nature. in chapter one of my dissertation, I point out that nature is viewed as an organic system which is always in a self-generating process of production and reproduction of life. the metaphysical foundation for this perspective of nature is ch’i. Therefore the aesthetic appreciation of nature in China is also the aesthetic appreciation of ch’i. with regard to the concept of ch’i, I focus on the following three questions: (1) what are the objective and aesthetic features of ch’i? (2) How do the Chinese appreciate aesthetic features of ch’i? (3) Why the objective features of ch’i are regarded as the objects of aesthetic appreciation? I argue that the Chinese appreciate the aesthetic features of ch’i by using intellectual intuition and that empathy is the reason why the objective features of ch’i are considered to be aesthetic features. in Chapter 2, I explain in detail the two aesthetic categories for aesthetic appreciation of nature in two major philosophical schools in China: emptiness and creativity. in Chapter 3, I examine the philosophical foundations for aesthetic appreciation of nature in the West. I first investigate the influence of traditional Western philosophy on the perceptions of nature. I argue that traditional Western philosophical thinking doesn’t support aesthetic appreciation of nature. I point out that aesthetic appreciation of nature started from eighteenth century ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gao, Shan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Blogging and Tweens: Communication Portal to Reading Selection and Engagement

Description: The ethnographic study utilized the research techniques of observations, content analysis, and semi-structured interviews with tween participants (i.e., 9 through 13 year-old youth) during an 8-week literary blog project. Twenty-six participants created individual blog pages within a member-only classroom blog site that allowed for online communication between members. the blog project incorporated social networking applications with which youth frequently engage. the research questions ensured data regarding what facets participants found appealing and motivating during the project was collected. the questions allowed for determining if participants utilized peer blogs for reading material selection or repurposed the blogs to discuss other topics. Components of self-determination theory and engagement theory underlay the project design and aided in identifying motivational aspects of the data. Frequency tables outlined the identified patterns and structures of participants’ online activity. Participants found the ability to change the colors of their blog backgrounds and to design their individual blogs and the giving and receiving of feedback to be the two most appealing features of the project. Participants chose books from peer suggestions in the online world but also selected materials from recommendations they received in face-to-face interactions with their peers, their teacher, and the school librarian. Little evidence of repurposing the blog for social topics was observed. Participants engaged in discussions predominantly based around the books they were currently reading or had read. Implications for incorporating social networking applications within the classroom environment are discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Sharber, Shelli K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Bridging the Gap Between Access and Success: a Study of the Impact of an Access and Success Program on Academic Outcomes of Low-income College Freshmen

Description: In response to the increasing cost of college, colleges and universities are leveraging financial aid and academic support services to implement access and success programs intended to help financially disadvantaged students afford and persist through a baccalaureate degree program. This research is a study of the efficacy of one such program at a large research university in the southwestern region of the United States. The study sample included low-income program participants in four cohorts of freshmen enrolling for the first time in college from fall 2007 (Cohort 1) to fall 2010 (Cohort 4) and a comparison group of almost 400 low-income freshmen who enrolled for the first time in college in fall 2006 (the year prior to program implementation) for a sample total of over 2150 students. Approximately 64% were female, 36 % were males, over 60% were African American and Hispanic, and over 75% were first generation college students. Logistic regression was used to measure probability and odds of their academic success and retention in the first year of college utilizing gender, ethnicity, parental degree attainment, and program participation as the independent variables. The logistic regression models illustrated that participation in the program netted a consistently positive and significant impact on academic success across all cohorts, increasing the odds ratio for academic success no less than three times in favor of program participants vis-à-vis the comparison group. The statistical models illustrated that the program netted a slight positive impact on the odds of retention, particularly for African American students. Therefore, the principle implication that might be drawn from this study is that by strategically leveraging financial aid and academic support services, access and success programs can facilitate higher rates of academic success and retention for financially disadvantaged college students.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Collins, Sarah R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Naturalist Playwright

Description: This study explores Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s use of the dramatic form to challenge Herbert Spencer’s social Darwinism by offering feminist adaptations of Darwin’s theories of natural and sexual selection. As she does in her career-defining manifesto, Women & Economics (1898), Gilman in her lesser-known plays deploys her own brand of reform Darwinism to serve the feminist cause. Despite her absence in histories of modern drama, Gilman actively participated in the establishment and development of this literary, historical, and cultural movement. After situating Gilman in the context of nineteenth-century naturalist theater, this thesis examines two short dramatic dialogues she published in 1890, “The Quarrel,” and “Dame Nature Interviewed,” as well as two full-length plays, Interrupted (1909) and the Balsam Fir (1910). These plays demonstrate Gilman’s efforts to use the dramatic form in her early plays to “rehearse” for Women & Economics, and in her later drama, to “stage” the theories she presents in that book.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Tolle, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Childhood Bereavement and Parents’ Relationship With Children

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

Children with Autism in Taiwan and the United States: Parental Stress, Parent-child Relationships, and the Reliability of a Child Development Inventory

Description: Autism is one of the fastest growing childhood disorders in the world, and the families that have children with autism experience frustration and stress due to many practical problems. with the increase in the prevalence of autism, it is urgent to raise awareness of autism and to provide services and support for children with autism and their parents to improve the parent-child relationship and moderate the parental stress. with regard to families with children diagnosed as autistic, the purposes of this study are to: (a) examine the group differences in parental stress and parent-child relationship between Taiwan and the United States based on racial and cultural differences; (b) identify factors, if any, that influence the parental stress and parent-children relationship; (c) investigate if there are differences in the results of child development when children are diagnosed with autism in these two countries; (d) establish the Battelle Development Inventory-II in Mandarin Chinese version for use of evaluation with development delays in Taiwan. Findings revealed that: (a) the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II), is highly reliable with a great value of internal consistency in the use with parents and children with autism in Taiwan; (b) there is no significant difference in child development and parent-child relationship based on geographic region (Taiwan and the United States); (c) parents of children with autism in the United States overall have a more positive parent-child relationship and parenting attitude than parents of children with autism in Taiwan; (d) Children with autism who have a positive relationship with their parents have a higher pass rate on the evaluation of child development; (e) fathers reported higher pass rate on BDI-II than mothers in one of the standard deviations of over BDI-II performance; (f) parent-child relationships are positively correlated with parental stress; (g) parents who received services and ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Ma, Phoenix S.
Partner: UNT Libraries