UNT Theses and Dissertations - 18,439 Matching Results

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A Motivic Analysis and Performance Practices of "Akrodha" (1998) by Kevin Volans, including Comparative Analyses of "She Who Sleeps with a Small Blanket" (1985) and "Asanga" (1997)

Description: This dissertation presents an analysis of Akrodha (1998), a multiple percussion solo in two movements, composed by Kevin Volans. The analysis is focused on the motivic content and subsequent iterations written within the tempos that provide the structural form of the piece. The structural tempos are supported by the presence of various motifs that serve as the tempos' characteristic traits, thereby giving the tempos more tangibility. As the work develops, these motifs reappear either as note-for-note reiterations or as variations that still maintain the unique qualities of the motifs. For comparison, similar analyses of Mr. Volans' other multiple percussion solos, She Who Sleeps with a Small Blanket (1985) and Asanga (1997), are also presented to further explore Mr. Volans' use of motifs as they relate to structural tempos. In addition, a comprehensive performance practice of Akrodha is presented based on a synthesis of considerations and methods from individuals involved in the piece's development and early performances. These include Dr. Volans himself, Jonny Axelsson (for whom Akrodha was written), and Robyn Schulkowsky (for whom She Who Sleeps with a Small Blanket and Asanga were written), as well as the author's personal experiences. This dissertation provides a deeper understanding of Akrodha for the scholar and provides performance guidance for the performer to enhance the ability to replicate the musical spirit of Kevin Volans' compositional intentions.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Feerst, Timothy A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Becoming Successful in Education: Beating the Odds, Despite a Background Entrenched in Poverty

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of three relationships on academic achievement in mathematics in students of poverty. The three factors that were examined included: teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer- student relationships. The driving question for the research was as follows: Do external factors such as teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer-student relationships lead to academic success for students of poverty? The study employed a non-experimental, quantitative approach and utilized longitudinal data from a national database High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS) used a sample of 944 public and private high schools across the USA. A total 0f 28,240 were represented in the survey. Of these 28,240 students, 2641 were used in this study as identified by parental income below the poverty threshold. The outcome of the study indicated that there was little or no correlation between the three relationships and mathematics achievement (academic success). Correlations between the dependent variable (math achievement) and the independent variables even though some were statistically significant their weights had no concrete significance. The study recommends that several initiatives can be instated in schools to support and enhance academic achievement in students of poverty.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Thompson, Pauline A
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Protests in China: Why and Which Chinese People Go to the Street?

Description: This research seeks to answer why and which Chinese people go to the street to protest. I argue that different sectors of Chinese society differ from each other regarding their tendencies to participate in protest. In addition to their grievances, the incentives to participate in protest and their capacities to overcome the collective action problem all needed to be taken into account. Using individual level data along with ordinary binary logistic regression and multilevel logistic regression models, I first compare the protest participation of workers and peasants and find that workers are more likely than peasants to participate in protests in the context of contemporary China. I further disaggregate the working class into four subtypes according to the ownership of the enterprises they work for. I find that workers of township and village enterprises are more likely than workers of state-owned enterprises to engage in protest activities, while there is no significant difference between the workers of domestic privately owned enterprises and the workers of foreign-owned enterprises regarding their protest participation. Finally, I find that migrant workers, which refers to peasants who move to urban areas in search of jobs, are less likely than urban registered workers to participate in protests.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Chen, Yen-Hsin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining Help-Seeking Intentions of Chinese Individuals: A Path Analysis

Description: Utilizing the theory of planned behavior, I examined the variables that affect Chinese individuals' help-seeking intention. A total of 251 Chinese individuals participated in this study. Results showed that the variables in the theory of planned behavior accounted for 16% of the variance in help-seeking intention. Specifically, attitude (r = .22, p < .001) and perceived behavioral control (r = .22, p < .001) were found to be significant predictors of help-seeking intention. Based on these results, mental health professionals can design outreach interventions, such as psychoeducational programs, to improve Chinese individuals' help-seeking attitude and perceived behavioral control in an attempt to increase mental health service utilization. Additionally, counselors can discuss with clients' their attitude and perceived behavioral control regarding seeking counseling in an attempt to assist clients in being committed to the counseling process.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Yee, Terence
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding Antecedents and Outcomes of Co-Creation in Service Innovation Setting

Description: This dissertation uses service-dominant logic to understand customer value creation in service innovation context. Although co-creation became an interesting phenomenon among marketing scholars, the underlying mechanisms of co-creation process are still vague. To fill the gaps in the literature, we draw from S-D logic to understand antecedents and outcome of co-creation to service innovation context. The results of this study show that most of the hypotheses are supported, thus finding support for the overall model of value co-creation.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Rokonuzzaman, Md
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing Media Usage of Binary and Non-Binary Transgender Individuals when Discovering and Describing Gender Identity

Description: This study was conducted through in-depth interviews to examine potential differences between binary-aligned transgender individuals and non-binary individuals in regards to media usage when learning about, articulating, and explaining their gender identity. Results showed numerous differences between transgender people with binary-aligned and non-binary gender identifications in regards to social media preferences and differences in perceived media importance and effects. Additional information was found in regards to the age at which gender identity is articulated and the importance of individuality in comparison to one's gender identity.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Laljer, David B
Partner: UNT Libraries

Structure Evolution and Nano-Mechanical Behavior of Bulk Metallic Glasses and Multi-Principal Element Alloys

Description: Bulk metallic glasses and multi-principal element alloys represent relatively new classes of multi-component engineering materials designed for satisfying multiple functionalities simultaneously. Correlating the microstructure with mechanical behavior (at the microstructural length-scales) in these materials is key to understanding their performance. In this study, the structure evolution and nano-mechanical behavior of these two classes of materials was investigated with the objective of fundamental scientific understanding of their properties. The structure evolution, high temperature nano-mechanical behavior, and creep of two Zr-based alloys was studied: Zr41.2Ti13.8Cu12.5Ni10.0Be22 (Vitreloy1) and Zr52.5Ti5Cu17.9Ni14.6All0 (Vitreloy105). Devitrification was found to proceed via the formation of a metastable icosahedral phase with five-fold symmetry. The deformation mechanism changes from inhomogeneous or serrated flow to homogenous flow near 0.9Tg, where Tg is the glass transition temperature. The creep activation energy for Vitreloy1 and Vitreloy105 were 144 kJ/mol and 125 kJ/mol, respectively in the range of room temperature to 0.75Tg. The apparent activation energy increased drastically to 192 kJ/mol for Vitreloy1 and 215 kJ/mol for Vitreloy105 in the range of 0.9Tg to Tg, indicating a change in creep mechanism. Structure evolution in catalytic amorphous alloys, Pt57.5Cu14.7Ni5.3P22.5 and Pd43Cu27Ni10P20, was studied using 3D atom probe tomography and elemental segregation between different phases and the interface characteristics were identified. The structure evolution of three multi-principal element alloys were investigated namely CoCrNi, CoCrFeMnNi, and Al0.1CoCrFeNi. All three alloys formed a single-phase FCC structure in as-cast, cold worked and recrystallized state. No secondary phases precipitated after prolonged heat treatment or mechanical working. The multi-principal element alloys showed less strain gradient plasticity compared to pure metals like Ni during nano-indentation. This was attributed to the highly distorted lattice which resulted in lesser density of geometrically necessary dislocations (GNDs). Dislocation nucleation was studied by low load indentation along with the evaluation of activation volume and activation energy. This was ...
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Mridha, Sanghita
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Simscape™ Modeling for Piezoelectric Sensor Based Energy Harvester

Description: This work presents an investigation of a piezoelectric sensor based energy harvesting system, which collects energy from the surrounding environment. Increasing costs and scarcity of fossil fuels is a great concern today for supplying power to electronic devices. Furthermore, generating electricity by ordinary methods is a complicated process. Disposal of chemical batteries and cables is polluting the nature every day. Due to these reasons, research on energy harvesting from renewable resources has become mandatory in order to achieve improved methods and strategies of generating and storing electricity. Many low power devices being used in everyday life can be powered by harvesting energy from natural energy resources. Power overhead and power energy efficiency is of prime concern in electronic circuits. In this work, an energy harvester is modeled and simulated in Simscape™ for the functional analysis and comparison of achieved outcomes with previous work. Results demonstrate that the harvester produces power in the 0 μW to 100 μW range, which is an adequate amount to provide supply to low power devices. Power efficiency calculations also demonstrate that the implemented harvester is capable of generating and storing power for low power pervasive applications.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Dhayal, Vandana Sultan Singh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Applied Use of Video Modeling in Educational and Clinical Settings: A Survey of Autism Professionals

Description: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display deficits in communication and social interaction that can impact their ability to function in daily environments. To remediate these deficits, it is critical for professionals to use effective interventions. While there are many evidence-based practices (EBPs) identified for ASD (e.g., video modeling), the adoption of these EBPs may not occur automatically. Existing research suggests professionals have a generally favorable impression of video modeling. However, little research has examined opinions and applied use of video modeling, which was the purpose of the present study. Using survey methodology, data were collected from 510 professionals in various disciplines (e.g., special educators, speech-language pathologists [SLPs], and behavior analysts [BCBAs]). Data were analyzed primarily via factor analysis and multiple regression. Factor analysis was used to examine the underlying structure of the instrument, revealing two predominant factors: (1) interest in and (2) perceived accessibility of video modeling. Multiple regression was used to examine which demographic characteristics (e.g., age and years of experience) were associated with each factor. Results indicated that BCBAs and SLPs perceived video modeling as more accessible. In terms of interest, professionals who worked with preschool-aged students, who worked in a suburban location, and who had an extended family member with ASD showed higher interest in video modeling. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Caldwell, Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Catastrophe in Permanence: Benjamin's Natural History of Environmental Crisis

Description: Walter Benjamin warned in 1940 of a certain inconspicuous threat to political thinking, not least of all to materialism, that takes progress as an historical norm. Implicit in this conception is what he describes as an empty continuum of time along which the prevailing tradition chronicles its own mythic development and drains everyday life of genuine historical experience. The myth of progressive history advances insidiously today in consumeristic and technocratic attempts at reconciling cultural imagery with organic nature. In this dissertation, I pursue the contradictions of such images as they crystallize around the natural history of twenty-first century commodity society, where promises of ecological remediation, sustainable urban development, and climate change mitigation have yet to introduce a true crisis of historical experience to the ongoing environmental crisis of capitalism. A more radical way of seeing the cultural representation of nature would, I argue, penetrate its mythic determination by market forces and bear witness to the natural-historical ruins and traces that constitute, in Benjamin's terms, a single "catastrophe" where others perceive historical continuity. I argue that Benjamin's critique of progress is instructive to interpreting those utopian dreams, ablaze in consumer life and technological fantasy, that recent decades of growing environmental concern have channeled into the recovery of an experience of the natural world. His dialectics of nature and alienated history confront the wish-image of organic abundance with the transience of its appropriated expression in the commodity-form. Drawing together this confrontation with a varied literature on collective memory, nature, and the city, I suggest that our poverty of experience is more than simply a technical, economic, or even ecological problem, but rather follows from the commodification of history itself. The goal of this work is to reflect upon the potentiality of communal politics that subsist not in rushing headlong into a progressive ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Bower, Matthew S
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reconstructing Identity through Urban Community Agriculture: How Refugees Confront Displacement, Food Insecurity, and Othering through Community Farming

Description: Ethnic and religious conflict, and the deepening of capitalism have led to global diaspora at unprecedented levels. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that as of 2015, 1 in every 122 persons worldwide were either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. The U.S. currently admits the largest number of refugees worldwide. However, policies fail to reflect the multitude of elements that constitute successful resettlement. Moreover, many refugees come from farming backgrounds and are forced to migrate to a landless urban environment, where their skill sets may not be utilized and farm land is not available. I argue that existing resettlement processes are embedded in logics and practices that alienate humans from nature and from each other through competition, isolation, and placeless environments. Through an exploration in concepts of urban agriculture, place-making, identity, and otherness, and illuminating the experiences of resettled refugees involved in a community gardening project in Fort Worth, Texas, show how the urban refugee garden provides the individual a space to narrate an identity, and to resist industrial agriculture and labor outside their industry. Exploring best practices in resettlement should be a priority to governments, politicians, and communities involved in the process and highlight the reasons to advocate these types of resettlement alternatives.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Griffin, Marinda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of an Outcome Measure for Use in Psychology Training Clinics

Description: The ability to monitor client change in psychotherapy over time is vital to quality assurance in service delivery as well as the continuing improvement of psychotherapy research. Unfortunately, there is not currently a comprehensive, affordable, and easily utilized outcome measure for psychotherapy specifically normed and standardized for use in psychology training clinics. The current study took the first steps in creating such an outcome measure. Following development of an item bank, factor analysis and item-response theory analyses were applied to data gathered from a stratified sample of university (n = 101) and community (n = 261) participants. The factor structure did not support a phase model conceptualization, but did reveal a structure consistent with the theoretical framework of the research domain criteria (RDoC). Suggestions for next steps in the measure development process are provided and implications discussed.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Davis, Elizabeth C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design, Modeling, and Experiment of a Piezoelectric Pressure Sensor based on a Thickness-Shear Mode Crystal Resonator

Description: This thesis presents the design, modeling, and experiment of a novel pressure sensor using a dual-mode AT-cut quartz crystal resonator with beat frequency analysis based temperature compensation technique. The proposed sensor can measure pressure and temperature simultaneously by a single AT-cut quartz resonator. Apart from AT-cut quartz crystal, a newly developed Langasite (LGS) crystal resonator is also considered in the proposed pressure sensor design, since LGS can operate in a higher temperature environment than AT-cut quartz crystal. The pressure sensor is designed using CAD (computer aided design) software and CAE software - COMSOL Multiphysics. Finite element analysis (FEA) of the pressure sensor is performed to analyze the stress- strain of the sensor's mechanical structure. A 3D printing prototype of the sensor is fabricated and the proposed sensing principle is verified using a force-frequency analysis apparatus. Next to the 3D printing model verification, the pressure sensor with stainless steel housing has been fabricated with inbuilt crystal oscillator circuit. The oscillator circuit is used to excite the piezo crystal resonator at its fundamental vibrational mode and give the frequency as an output signal. Based on the FEA and experimental results, it has been concluded that the maximum pressure that the sensor can measure is 45 (psi). The pressure test results performed on the stainless steel product shows a highly linear relationship between the input (pressure) and the output (frequency).
Date: May 2017
Creator: Pham, Thanh Tuong
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recidivism among Determinately Sentenced Juvenile Homicide Offenders in Texas

Description: Juvenile homicide offenders pose a significant risk to society considering the severity of the crime, yet this population of delinquents receives little attention in terms of recidivism research. This study examined the recidivism outcomes of a group of 256 determinately sentenced homicide offenders in Texas. Each of these juveniles had be confined to and subsequently release from the Texas Youth Commission, and were followed for three years following release. The aim of this research study was to distinguish recidivists from non-recidivists across demographic, delinquent history, and risk factor measures. These same measures were then used to predict recidivism among the entire sample. Overall, the measures of race, gender, and previous delinquent adjudications emerged significant. First, Black youth were significantly more likely to recidivate than both Hispanic and White youth. Additionally, recidivism among males was significantly greater than non-recidivism among males. In contrast, there were fewer females in recidivist group than the non-recidivist group. Finally, youth with a greater number of previous delinquent adjudications were significantly more likely to recidivate, and the risk of recidivism increased as the number of previous adjudications increased. These findings are consistent with previous literature and indicate that these factors are prevalent in analyzing the recidivist behavior of determinately sentenced juvenile homicide offenders.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Vaughn, Sydney
Partner: UNT Libraries

Public Research Universities as Gendered Organizations: Institutional Rewards and the Faculty Salary Gap

Description: Gendered organizational conditions create the context for persisting differences between men and women in the workplace. Within, higher education, this manifests as a salary gap between male and female faculty members. The academic capitalistic policy environment creates the conditions for increasing competition for external funding, especially in the areas of research and science and engineering. The change in the academic climate may sustain or intensify the gendering of universities as organizations. Universities with the highest level of research activity were chosen for this study and formed the 130 public institution sample. This study used fixed effects panel regression analysis to explore the relationship between the faculty gender salary gap and institutional emphasis on research as well as science and engineering. In addition, the relationship between institutional emphasis and the faculty gender salary gap was explored over time with the inclusion of a time trend and temporal interaction terms. Results showed that the higher the percentage of female faculty members, the greater the faculty gender salary gap for assistant professors. In addition, science and engineering emphasis over time had a significant impact on the professor salary gap with a decreasing effect both at the mean and one standard deviation above the mean, but with an increasing effect on the salary gap for institutions one standard deviation below the mean. When taking action to increase gender equity, it is important for universities to recognize that the faculty gender salary gap occurs in an organizational context impacted by institutional-level conditions.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Johnson, Jessica Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sexual Identity and Social Anxiety in Emerging Adulthood

Description: Elevated social anxiety (SA) is linked to issues with emotional distress, substance use, and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Notwithstanding concerns of how sexuality has been defined in the extant literature, emerging evidence suggests that the prevalence of SA and related challenges may be disproportionately present among sexual minorities, including lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGBs). This trend may be especially relevant within the developmental context of emerging adulthood, an important period for development of sexual identity, and a time when individuals are already predisposed to heightened feelings of SA. The present study examined the relationship between sexual orientation (measured using sexual identity, sexual attraction, and past romantic and sexual behavior) and social anxiety (related to social interaction and social performance) among emerging adults. minority sexual identities [Welch's F(5,48.08) = 5.56, p = .002, ηp2 = .02.], same-sex attraction [Welch's F(4,108.06) = 11.27, p < .001, ηp2 = .04], and same-sex romantic [Welch's F(5,85.91) = 6.88, p < .001, ηp2 = .03] and sexual experiences[F(5,61.95) = 8.88, p < .001, ηp2 = .04], particularly among those who indicated attraction to multiple sexes. Findings support research that indicates that sexual minority adults experience higher levels of SA than majority (i.e., heterosexual, opposite-sex oriented) adults, and that assessment of sexuality may reflect number of sexual minorities identified. Future directions including intersections of race/ethnicity and gender are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Akibar, Alvin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Application of High Entropy Alloys in Stent Implants

Description: High entropy alloys (HEAs) are alloys with five or more principal elements. Due to these distinct concept of alloying, the HEA exhibits unique and superior properties. The outstanding properties of HEA includes higher strength/hardness, superior wear resistance, high temperature stability, higher fatigue life, good corrosion and oxidation resistance. Such characteristics of HEA has been significant interest leading to researches on these emerging field. Even though many works are done to understand the characteristic of these HEAs, very few works are made on how the HEAs can be applied for commercial uses. This work discusses the application of High entropy alloys in biomedical applications. The coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States kills more than 350,000 persons/year and it costs $108.9 billion for the nation each year in spite of significant advancements in medical care and public awareness. A cardiovascular disease affects heart or blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) or both by blocking the blood flow. As a surgical interventions, stent implants are deployed to cure or ameliorate the disease. However, the high failure rate of stents has lead researchers to give special attention towards analyzing stent structure, materials and characteristics. Many works related to alternate material and/or design are carried out in recent time. This paper discusses the feasibility of CoCrFeNiMn and Al0.1CoCrFeNi HEAs in stent implant application. This work is based on the speculation that CoCrFeNiMn and Al0.1CoCrFeNi HEAs are biocompatible material. These HEAs are characterized to determine the microstructure and mechanical properties. Computational modeling and analysis were carried out on stent implant by applying CoCrFeNiMn and Al0.1CoCrFeNi HEAs as material to understand the structural behavior.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Alagarsamy, Karthik
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Orchestral Clarinetist's Guide to Selected Second Clarinet Excerpts

Description: Orchestral excerpt books have become a staple in instrumental study for those pursuing a career in the orchestra. Many of these books, especially those for clarinet, are catered towards the popular and prolific clarinet solos found in principal clarinet parts. However, there is a lack of quality resources geared towards those pursuing second clarinet positions. Former materials might be outdated or are filled with inconsistencies or mistakes. The purpose of this document is to provide a resource and guide for select second clarinet orchestral excerpts. In this guide, certain aspects of playing second clarinet will be discussed as a whole and as it pertains to selected excerpts. The excerpts included in this document are: Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, Mendelssohn The Hebrides and Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ravel Daphis et Chloé and Rapsodie Espagnole, and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Lapinski, Robert M
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Causative Genes on Neuropsychological Functioning in Familial Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease: A Meta-Analysis

Description: Mutations of three genes encoding amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin-1 (PSEN1), and presenilin-2 (PSEN2) have been shown to reliably result in familial early-onset Alzheimer's disease (FAD); a rare, but catastrophic, subtype of Alzheimer's disease (AD) marked by symptom emergence before age 65 as well as accelerated cognitive deterioration. The current study represents the first known meta-analysis on the association of APP, PSEN1 or PSEN2 on neurocognitive variables. A total of 278 FAD mutation-carriers (FAD-MC) and 284 cognitively healthy non-mutation-carriers (NC) across 10 independent investigations meeting inclusion criteria were chosen for the current meta-analysis (random effects design). Findings revealed an overarching trend of poorer performance by FAD-MC individuals compared to NC individuals across the majority of cognitive domains identified. Significant differences in effect sizes suggested FAD-MC individuals exhibited worse performance on measures of attention, explicit memory, fluency, primary memory, verbal, and visuospatial functioning. Findings indicative of differential sensitivity to cognitive domain impairments across FAD-MC and NC groups inform neuropsychological descriptions of individuals in preclinical phases of FAD.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Smotherman, Jesse M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Misrecognized and Misplaced: Race Performed in African American Literature, 1900-2015

Description: In my dissertation, I explore the ways in which racial identity is made complex through various onlookers' misrecognition of race. This issue is particularly important considering the current state of race relations in the United States, as my project offers a literary perspective and account of the way black authors have discussed racial identity formation from the turn of the century through the start of the twenty-first century. I highlight many variations of misrecognition and racial performance as a response to America's obsession with race.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Taylor Juko, Tana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reinforcing Variability Produces Stereotypic Behavior

Description: Behaving in novel ways is essential to the development of the types of complex performances described by the term creativity, problem solving, and perseverance. Some research suggests that response variability is an operant and a critical component of novel behavior. However, other account of novel behavior may be more parsimonious. Topographical variability has rarely been examined, nor has operant variability with organisms with baselines featuring stereotypic responding. This study examined the effects of a variability-specifying contingency on the cumulative novel responses of undergraduate students. Using the PORTL apparatus, participants interacted with a ball with a single hand. When the variability-specifying contingency was in effect, novel topographies were reinforced. When a reinforce every response condition was implemented, the participants did not emit any novel responses. When variability-specifying contingencies were in effect, novel responses were rarely followed by subsequent novel responses. They were mostly followed by repeated emission of the same topography, or by other previously emitted topographies. Novel responding did not persist long, although the variability-specifying contingency remained in effect and the potential for novel responding was great. The variability-specifying contingency often resulted in stereotypic response chains. Each of these findings call into the question the assertion that variability is an operant and suggests other possible explanations for the observed novelty.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Kieta, Andrew
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Improving Staff Tutoring in a Special Education Class Through Active Listening Skills

Description: According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2015, Texas special education programs were rated among the lowest in the nation. School districts in the state have a substantial need for effective and efficient staff training. In this study, researchers implemented TAPS: A Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach Packet to teach active listener qualities to staff members in a life skills special education classroom. A multiple baseline across staff members was used to evaluate the effects of the TAPS training on the presence and absence of the staff members' active listener qualities during a pre-test, a post-test, and probes. The staff members that underwent TAPS training acquired all of the active listener qualities as a function of the TAPS training, and the effects of the training maintained during probe sessions. Additionally, TAPS training appeared to improve staff members' scores on the Whimbey Analytical Skills Inventory (WASI) Test and anecdotally improved the quality of staff and student tutoring interactions. Several areas of potential research and improvement are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Neri-Hernandez, Lucero
Partner: UNT Libraries

Integrative Technology-Enhanced Physical Education: An Exploratory Study with Elementary School Students

Description: Wearable technology has made a positive impact in the consumer industry with its focus on adult fitness. Devices and applications are pervasive, inexpensive and are in high demand. Our nation struggles with obesity and health concerns related to poor fitness. However, the research on such technology has been more focused on adults. Therefore, the need to investigate wearable technology for fitness improvement with children is essential. Children lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles through TV watching, technology-use and a reduction in physical activities. Further, our society is exposed to quick food loaded with calories. These factors contribute to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. The need to educate students early, on their ability to monitor their fitness, is the focus of this research. This dissertation investigated the impact of an integrated technology-enhanced physical education model with 127 fifth grade students over an 11-week period. A detailed analysis, looking at theoretical perspectives across multiple data collections was conducted. This study answered the questions, 1. To what extent can students improve their performance with technology-enhanced physical education? 2. To what extent can students learn to self-monitor their performance levels? How do affective components impact teaching and learning with a technology-enhanced physical education model? Results showed that technology-enhanced physical education does improve performance measures, does improve students' ability to self-regulate and positively impacts student and teachers' affective states. However long term results were inconclusive, stimulating multiple, potential opportunities for continued research.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Barbee, Stephanie Sparkman
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Defensiveness and Social Desirability on the Reporting of Personality Traits

Description: Psychological assessment relies on accurate and forthright reporting to determine valid clinical presentations. However, it has long been recognized that examinees may be motivated to present a "better picture" through Positive Impression Management (PIM). Within the PIM domain, two distinct motivations (i.e., defensiveness and social desirability) emerge that have not been clearly differentiated in empirical literature. This thesis addressed the research gap for detecting PIM distortion of personality pathology, utilizing the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). In this investigation, 106 psychiatric inpatients were recruited from the adult Co-Occurring Disorders and Trauma Programs at University Behavioral Health. Using a mixed within- and between-subjects design, participants engaged in simulation via scenarios to be considered for a highly valued rehabilitation program (defensiveness) or employment (social desirability). As expected, inpatients showed elevated levels of problematic personality traits when reporting genuinely, but suppressed them under PIM conditions. These findings highlight that the PID-5, like all multiscale inventories, is highly vulnerable to intentional PIM distortion. Interestingly, respondents in the social desirability condition generally engaged in more total denial than those in the defensiveness condition. Empirically- and theoretically-based validity scales were developed to identify simulators and differentiate between conditions. Besides PIM, higher levels of experienced stigma were associated with more personality pathology, particularly the domain of Detachment. In addition, ancillary analyses showed strong convergence of the PID-5 with its hierarchical trait model to the DSM-IV categorical model. Continued research to detect PIM distortion, and more importantly to differentiate between PIM motivations, is essential for accurate clinical assessment of personality disorder traits and effective treatment planning.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Williams, Margot Maryanne
Partner: UNT Libraries