UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

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An Evaluation of Interactive Computer Training to Teach Discrete Trial and Naturalistic Instruction to Novice Therapists

Description: Effective and efficient training strategies are needed to provide training to novel therapists whom provide early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services to young children with autism. We evaluated the effects of interactive computer-based training (ICT) on novice therapists' implementation of two, common EIBI instructional techniques: discrete-trial instruction (DTI) and naturalistic instruction. Results demonstrated that ICT improved trainees' instructional fidelity during role-plays with a confederate for DTI instruction and also with a child with autism for both DTI and naturalistic instruction. As a result, the requirement for supervisor feedback on performance was minimized. In addition, results suggest that child language improved as a result of improved therapist performance.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Nielsen, Olivia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of Agreement among Respondents to Anecdotal Assessments and Correspondence between Anecdotal and Experimental Analysis Outcomes

Description: Study 1 evaluated agreement among five respondents using the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). Respondents provided ratings for 20 target behaviors exhibited by 10 individuals. At least 4/5 raters agreed on the primary maintaining variable in 80% of cases with the FAST, 70% of cases with the MAS, and 55% of cases with the QABF. Study 2 evaluated correspondence between results of anecdotal assessments and experimental functional analysis for 10 target behaviors selected from Study 1. Correspondence between the experimental functional analyses was 60% with the FAST and the MAS, 50% with the QABF.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Frusha, Caroline J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Particle Image Velocimetry Sensitivity Analysis Using Automatic Differentiation

Description: A particle image velocimetry (PIV) computer software is analyzed in this work by applying automatic differentiation on it. We create two artificial images that contained particles that where moved with a known velocity field over time. These artificial images were created with parameters that we would have on real PIV experiments. Then we applied a PIV software to find the velocity output vectors. As we mentioned before, we applied automatic differentiation through all the algorithm to track the derivatives of the output vectors regarding interesting parameters declared as inputs. By analyzing these derivatives we analyze the sensitivity of the output vectors to changes on each one of the parameters analyzed. One of the most important derivatives calculated in this project was the derivative of the output regarding the image intensity. In future work we plan to use this derivative combined with the intensity probability distribution of each image pixel, to find PIV uncertainties. If we achieve this goal we will find an uncertainty method that will save computational power and will give uncertainty values with computer accuracy.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Grullon Varela, Rodolfo Antonio
Partner: UNT Libraries

Universally Designed Playground Needs Assessment for Flag Pole Hill in White Rock Lake Park, Dallas, Texas

Description: There is limited anthropological research on inclusive play and universally designed playgrounds and this study aims to make some contribution in this field. This was a qualitative research study guided by anthropological theory and methods, conducted for For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) Foundation. FTLOTL is a non-profit organization located in Dallas, Texas, dedicated to White Rock Lake Park's maintenance. In 2014, FTLOTL became of the view that the park's current playgrounds lacked accessibility for differently-abled children. Therefore, FTLOTL decided to undertake a renovation project of Flag Pole Hill playground to incorporate inclusiveness and diversity in the playground design. The overarching objective of this exploratory, ethnographic needs assessment was to provide insights for an inclusive playground using universal design for families with special needs children. Fourteen parents, each with at least one child having physical, social, or intellectual disabilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Texas metroplex were interviewed. The interviews were semi structured, each lasting for about an hour and were digitally recorded. Later these audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and then coded using Dedoose. The coded data was synthesized into coherent themes and sub-themes and finally organized into formal research findings. Observations were made of existing universally designed as well as typical playgrounds in this region. All parents interviewed supported the playground initiative and gave suggestions for physical accessibility along with social inclusion. They expressed their frustrations and apprehensions about the usability of current playgrounds. They also shared their preferences for facilities, features, and equipment to support their children's physical and social needs as well as their own. There was a unanimous agreement that a universally designed playground would have recreational, therapeutic and emotional benefits for participants and would improve the quality of their family lives and build a more closely-knit community.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hasan, Hira
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of Pre-ictal and Non-Ictal EEG Activity: An EMOTIV and LabVIEW Approach

Description: In the past few years, the study of electrical activity in the brain and its interactions with the body has become popular among researchers. One of the hottest topics related to brain activity is the epileptic seizure prediction. Currently, there are several techniques on how to predict a seizure; however, most of the techniques found in research papers are just mathematical models and not system implementations. The seizure prediction approach proposed in this thesis paper is achieved using the EMOTIV Epoc+ headset, MATLAB, and LabVIEW as the analog and digital signal processing devices. In addition, this thesis project incorporates the use of the Hilbert Huang transform (HHT) method to obtain intrinsic mode functions (IMF) and instantaneous frequency components of the transform. From the IMFs, features as variation coefficient (VC) and fluctuation indexes (FI) are extracted to feed a support vector machine that classifies the EEG data as pre-ictal and non-ictal EEGs. Outstanding patterns in non-ictal and pre-ictal are observed and demonstrated by significant differences between both types of EEG signals. In other words, a classification of EEG signals according to a category can be achieved proving that an epileptic seizure prediction technology has a future in engineering and biotechnology fields.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Medina, Oscar F
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creating a Verbal Community for Describing Emotional Responses within a Contingency Lens: The Effects of a Brief Training Workshop

Description: Observing emotional responses is recognized as a valuable clinical skill in a variety of professions, including applied behavior analysis. Emotional responses can flag possible contingencies thereby guiding a behavior analyst to better select valid measures, goals, and procedures. Additionally, emotional responses can be goals in and of themselves. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a workshop on the observation and description of emotional responses by behavior analysts-in-training. The procedures included instructions, modeling, practice, discussion and feedback. The workshop included a blend of trainer presentation and interteaching strategies. The effects of the workshop were evaluated using a single-subject A-B design with multiple probe measures across four students. During probe assessments participants watched short video clips of family interactions and wrote a descriptive narrative in response to several questions. This created a permanent record for quantitative evaluation and analysis. The study resulted in an increase in the number of descriptions of emotional responses among all participants. The participants also increased responses tying the emotional response to external environmental events more often in the post-workshop assessment than the pre-workshop assessment. Results are discussed within the context of training applied behavior analysts, the analysis of verbal behavior, and the role of emotions in clinical practice.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Garden, Regan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Social Psychology of Social Media Reactions to Terrorism

Description: Columnists and social media users commonly stated that terrorist attacks resonate differently in the world and they speculated on some potential reasons such as familiarity, number of victims, and the difference in expectations of a country to be a stage for a terrorist attack to explain this difference. An academic perspective, more specifically a sociological one, is needed to bring light to this debate. In this study, I aimed to understand the discourse after terrorist attacks and to find out if there is a difference between reactions to terrorist attack based on where they happened. This paper embraces a text mining approach to uncover what topics are discussed after four cases of terrorist attacks and to reveal if there is a discrepancy in reactions towards terrorist attacks based on the country they happened. The study consists of two parts. In the first part, the determinants of the public interest and support and how public interest differentiates between different cases of terror attacks is explored. In the second part, topic sentiment analysis is conducted to reveal the nature of the discourse on terrorism. Using the insights from social identity theory, realistic conflict theory and integrated threat theory, I argued that social group categorization in the context of terrorism takes place in a dichotomous manner as Western and Non-Western. This argument, social self-identities being based on ‘West vs. the Rest' mentality in the context of terrorism, is supported by the statistical evidence and the topic model. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Demirhan, Emirhan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Strength of a Witness: Empowerment and Resiliency in the Aftermath of Atrocity

Description: Victims and witnesses that testify before an international criminal tribunal such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) willingly subject themselves to scrutiny and bare their wounds before the world. Does this experience cause these vulnerable individuals undue psychological harm, re-traumatization, or worse? Existing literature indicates this may be the case, however using a new dataset I find the opposite to be true. Witnesses at the ICTY report feeling more positive than negative after their experiences on the stand. As the first systematic study on witness mental wellbeing, these findings contradict expectations found in previous research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: McKay, Melissa
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Population on Wrongful Convictions

Description: With criminal cases continuing to be exonerated across the United States, research must be done on the subject to advance current practices to reduce its occurrence in the future. This study combines county population data with the National Registry of Exonerations to analyze the contributing factors to wrongful convictions and the possible effect of population on their frequency. The objective of this study was to identify specific policy changes based on the five contributing factors to wrongful convictions that could be applied to population specific areas. The results yielded multiple patterns that are discussed thoroughly. These findings allowed the introduction of policy changes and proposals for future research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Whittington, Kari
Partner: UNT Libraries

Banks and Bankers in Denton County, Texas, 1846-1940

Description: This thesis investigates the importance banks, and bankers had with the development of the Denton County Texas from the 1870s until the beginning of the Second World War. Specifically, their role in the formation of both private and public infrastructure as well as the facilitation towards a more diverse economy. Key elements of bank development are outlined in the study including private, national, and state bank operations.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Page, Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

High Driver Turnover among Large Long-Haul Motor Carriers: Causes and Consequences

Description: My thesis provides evidence supporting a theory asserting that the high level of competition that exists between motor carriers operating within long-haul trucking is the most significant factor contributing to the continuously high driver turnover rates affecting the entire logistics industry. I explore how long-haul truck drivers internalize the conflict between their identity and the aggressively competitive environment within which they work. Social science authors, industry reports, and truck driver feedback from my own ethnographic study are analyzed for contexts in order to explore the current operating definition of success for motor carriers in both monetary and human terms.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Ferrell, Christopher Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Analysis of Digital and Paper Restaurant Menus Based on Customer Perception and Nutritional Labeling

Description: The restaurant industry is a highly customer-driven field. Therefore, it is imperative that restaurateurs consider customer expectations with regard to restaurant menus. The purpose of this experimental study is to examine the effects of menu format (i.e., paper or digital) and amount of nutritional information (i.e., extensive, brief, or none) on customer perceptions of the effectiveness, perceived ease of use, and information quality of the menu. Furthermore, this research intends to test the effect of these three menu attributes on the outcomes of value and satisfaction in order to assess the competitive advantage of one format over the other. The Cognitive Appraisal and Information Processing Theories provide structure to the proposed conceptual framework and give credence to the findings. This study also fills gaps in the present research by not only ameliorating weaknesses of extant studies, but also by examining several different aspects of restaurant menus simultaneously within a single study.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Moody, Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Giving Voice to Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient and Provider Investigation

Description: With the advent of the telephonic and technological healthcare revolution, pharmaceutical corporations seek to improve patient compliance and quality of life by contracting with services providers. As an employee of one such provider, working for more than three years on a medication for the neurologically degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, this investigation utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In order to improve and diversify the clinical services provided to patients, I was contracted as a consultant. I interviewed phone and PRN nurses, developed and released a PRN survey, and interviewed patients living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. The combined experiences and expertise of the three groups who participated would serve to inform and develop new programs and services for patients with differing disease states. The research resulted in a re-imagining of the social networking theory of health, as well as the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, to serve the evolving tele-health and technologically based healthcare workplace.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cutler, Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries

Coping Strategy as Mediator between Parental Attachment and the Parent-Child Relationship

Description: Previous research has shown that adult attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance are associated with both coping strategy use and the parent-child relationship. Additionally, research has shown that coping strategy is associated with aspects of the parent-child relationship. The current study aimed to further examine associations between parental romantic attachment, coping strategy use, and the parent-child relationship. It was hypothesized that coping strategy use would mediate the relationship between parental romantic attachment and aspects of the parent-child relationship. Participants included 86 heterosexual couples (N = 176 parents) from the Family and Kid Connection project archival dataset. Instruments included a demographic questionnaire, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, a brief measure of coping, and the Attachment and Relational Frustration Subscales of the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire. An actor-partner independence model was proposed and tested via multilevel modeling. Higher levels of parental attachment anxiety predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Father's attachment avoidance also predicted poorer father-child relationships. Higher levels of both parental attachment dimensions predicted greater use of avoidant emotional coping. Finally, greater use of avoidant emotional coping predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Results partially supported proposed mediational hypotheses. Two mediational paths were supported by results: an actor-actor path in which fathers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between fathers' romantic attachment avoidance and father-child attachment, and an actor-actor path in which mothers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between mothers' romantic attachment anxiety and mother-child attachment.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Baxter, Lauren N
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Walling Family of Nineteenth-Century Texas: An Examination of Movement and Opportunity on the Texas Frontier

Description: The Walling Family of Nineteenth-Century Texas recounts the actions of the first four generations of the John Walling family. Through a heavily quantitative study, the study focuses on the patterns of movement, service, and seizing opportunity demonstrated by the family as they took full advantage of the benefits of frontier expansion in the Old South and particularly Texas. In doing so, it chronicles the role of a relatively unknown family in many of the most defining events of the nineteenth-century Texas experience such as the Texas Revolution, Mexican War, Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Close of the Frontier. Based on extensive research in census, tax, election, land, military, family paper, newspaper, and existing genealogical records; the study documents the contributions of family members to the settlement of more than forty counties while, at the same time, noting its less positive behaviors such as its open hostility to American Indians, and significant slave ownership. This study seeks to extend the work of other quantitative studies that looked at movement and political influence in the Old South, Texas, and specific communities to the microcosm of a single extended family. As a result, it should be of use to those wanting a greater understanding of how events in nineteenth-century Texas shaped, and were shaped by, families outside the political and social elite.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Cure, Stephen Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Feedback Timing when Teaching a New Task to Children with Autism

Description: The purpose of this experiment was to investigate Tosti's proposal about the timing of feedback. The study examined whether it is better to correct immediately after the error occurs or whether it is better to wait until immediately before the next opportunity to respond. In addition, it aimed to determine whether corrections delivered at different times produced different learner affects. Four children with autism were taught to label two sets of pictures under the two different conditions. Results showed that the timing of the feedback yields similar results in regards to number of correct responses and total trial count. However, in regards to time spent in teaching and learner affect, correcting errors before the next opportunity to respond showed to be the more efficient procedure and produced more favorable affect.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cochrane, Angela
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploratory User Research for a Website that Provides Resources for Educators of American Indian Students in Higher Education

Description: Several studies have indicated that American Indian students in the United States higher education system confront unique challenges that derive from a legacy of colonialism and assimilationist policies (Huff 1997). Several scholars, American Indian and non-Native alike, have explored the effects of this history upon students in higher education (Brayboy 2004; Guillory and Wolverton 2008; Waterman and Lindley 2013). Very few, however, have explored the role of the educators of American Indian students, and most of the literature focuses on K-12 educational settings (McCarty and Lee 2014; Yong and Hoffman 2014). This thesis examines exploratory user research conducted to generate a foundational understanding of educators of American Indian students in higher education. Utilizing methods from design anthropology and user experience, semi-structured interviews and think-aloud sessions were conducted, almost exclusively virtually, for 17 participants. This research was conducted for a client, Fire & Associates, as part of the applied thesis process. Findings revealed a complex web of needs for educators of American Indian students in higher education related to teaching diverse students, the use of media and technology in the classroom, and the process of networking among other educators. The research culminated in content and design implications for the Fire & Associates website as well as suggestions for further research based on best practices in the field of user experience.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Roth, Heather S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Using Relational Responding to Examine the Acquisition of Mindfulness and Meditation Material: An Analogue Study

Description: Mindfulness meditation is a growing area of interest for both mental health professionals and the general public alike. Beneficial outcomes are associated with these practices, although the variety of measurement techniques makes research difficult to interpret. Definitions of these constructs are varied, and anecdotal accounts point to the idea that many people hold misconceptions about mindfulness and meditation, even when meanings are made clear. Still, no formal research has been published on misconceptions of mindfulness – or, if they exist, how such misinformation affects acquisition of related skills. Furthermore, mindfulness has been incorporated into therapeutic modalities without much consideration for context, including the client's learning history. The current analogue study examined how the presentation of mindfulness meditations (i.e., inaccurate rationale/meditation and accurate rationale/meditation) affects an individual's practice. Specifically, self-reported mindfulness and meditation skills, mood questionnaires, a matching-to-sample task, and qualitative measurements were used to assess acquisition. Although primary hypotheses did not yield significant findings, results from both preliminary and exploratory analyses demonstrate significant findings with regard to teaching, learning, and measurement related to mindfulness meditation. The results, future directions, and limitations are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Lester, Ethan G
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adolescents' Social Networking Use and Its Relationship to Attachment and Mental Health

Description: Adolescents spend much of their time using the internet and electronic media. Since its inception, the use of online social networking (OSN) sites by adolescents continues to grow. With the proliferation of OSN, it is critical to examine how this activity affects psychological development, but better measurement tools are needed. As researchers struggle to keep up with this rapidly growing field, many gaps remain in the literature investigating the interrelations between adolescent's OSN use and mental health outcomes. Research examining the relationship between OSN and mental health outcomes, specifically depression and anxiety, has produced mixed results suggesting that other factors influence this association. A large research literature documents associations between attachment and mental health. Given that attachment also affects interpersonal communication, several studies have investigated links between attachment and OSN use in adult and college populations. Results indicated that even though attachment to father was independently related to anxiety and depression symptoms, it was not a significant moderator for mental health and OSN. Attachment to mother was a significant moderator for anxiety and depression and several OSN subscales. Based on this information, a greater focus on youth's interpersonal connection and social skills both online and offline may be beneficial when treating adolescents experiencing anxiety or depression.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Woolford, Brittany
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Story of Pathfinders [Family Pathfinders]: Investigating the Impact, Experiences, and Context of Re-Entry Mentoring

Description: The United States has the largest population of imprisoned persons in the world. The vast majority of these individuals eventually leave prison and re-enter society, facing a number of challenges in the process. Those who are unable to successfully re-enter society run the risk of recidivating back into the prison system. Mentoring has the potential to promote successful re-entry and help offenders to get their lives back on track. Pathfinders of Tarrant County is a unique organization. Its historical position as one of the foremost "welfare to work" programs gives it unique insight into the economic struggles of at-risk individuals and families, and its existing relationships with mentors and other community organizations gives it a rich pool of resources to draw from. By helping to connect participants with community resources, Pathfinders removes quite a bit of the complexity from seeking help at a time when vulnerable people need it most. This thesis presents an overview of how Pathfinders conducts mentoring and its unique brand of social service advocacy, including the unique and not-so unique challenges that a re-entry population may have to offer.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hanich, Kristen Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Simulink Based Modeling of a Multi Global Navigation Satellite System

Description: The objective of this thesis is to design a model for a multi global navigation satellite system using Simulink. It explains a design procedure which includes the models for transmitter and receiver for two different navigation systems. To overcome the problem, where less number of satellites are visible to determine location degrades the performance of any positioning system significantly, this research has done to make use of multi GNSS satellite signals in one navigation receiver.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mukka, Nagaraju
Partner: UNT Libraries

Musical Ekphrasis in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes

Description: Musical ekphrasis was occurring in the twentieth century in different centers around the world, Cuba: Andalusia, Spain; and Harlem, New York, simultaneously. The writers at the heart of this movement used poetry about music as a means to celebrate the cultures of the marginalized people in their lands, los negros, los gitanos, and African-Americans. The purpose of this study is to define musical ekphrasis and identify it in the works of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes. Also explored are the common characteristics in ekphrastic poetry by the three poets and the common themes found in their ekphrastic poetry, as well as common influences. Each author is considered in the context of his surroundings and his respective culture, and how that influenced his musical tastes as well as his writing style.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Divett, Andrew Brennan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Can Observing Behavior Predict Performance in Conditional Discriminations?

Description: Prompts are implemented often in training procedures, to include conditional discriminations, and this can lead to prompt dependency. The current study extends a prior study that suggested that the effectiveness of supplementary visual stimuli displaying the sample and comparison was dependent on the timing in relation to the selection task, presented as a prompt or feedback, in a match-to-sample procedure. The current research examines if the differences in that effectiveness were due to differences in observing behavior in those two conditions. Measures of observing behavior were determined by making access to the individual visual stimuli contingent on clicking on the visual stimulus and keeping the cursor located on the stimulus. Participants viewed the sample comparison much less than the comparison stimulus in both the prompt and feedback conditions. Latency to select the comparison stimulus was much shorter for the prompt condition suggesting that the participants might have interacted differently with the selection task in the two conditions.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Marchini, Kevin Julian
Partner: UNT Libraries