UNT Theses and Dissertations - 8 Matching Results

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An Analysis of Job Satisfaction for Special Educators Who Instruct Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: How Working Conditions Impact Commitment.

Description: Teachers of students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) find that myriad concerns for effective teaching (e.g., salaries, increased paperwork, classroom management) challenge their ability to meet personal and professional needs. The push for certified teachers and limited training to work with students with special needs create stressors that can prohibit effective teaching in the workplace. Teacher moral drops and half of newly hired employees leave the profession. Equally important, student outcomes are affected. Demographic information, program practices, and commitment information from special education teachers across the country were examined in this study. These areas of study helped to determine the best indicators for teacher job satisfaction and barriers that threaten satisfactory working conditions. An online survey was designed to capture 29 areas to explore qualifications and working environments for these teachers. Of the 600 targeted teachers, 332 individuals participated in Likert-like scales to determine their degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction for working conditions, use of intervention strategies, and areas of commitment. Closed-ended and multiple-choice questions were used. Descriptive analyses and tables aided in understanding this study. The resulting factors indicated that, although some respondents pointed to job dissatisfaction within the subset of questions, participants who worked for more than 6 years were less likely to vacate their positions than teachers working for less than six years.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Adkins, Beverly
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of School Discipline with a Focus on Characteristics of Hispanic Adolescents with Learning Disabilities from a Low-Socioeconomic Area

Description: The research reported herein examined the emotional and behavioral characteristics of adolescent Hispanic students with and without learning disabilities from a middle school in north central Texas. The data were based on all students enrolled at the campus (N = 986), but focused on 55 students of Hispanic descent with learning disabilities and 55 students without. The data accrued for this study utilized a school discipline database. In addition, a 43-item behavioral rating scale was completed on each student of the more focused group. Methods of data analysis were derived from descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, and multiple regression measurements. The results indicate that Hispanic students with learning disabilities often exhibit more disruptive behaviors.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Garcia-Rodriguez, Gina D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Study of Advanced Placement and Learning Differenced Students: Comparing Internal Attribution and Correlation to Hopefulness.

Description: The goal of this research was to determine if there are significant differences in the attribution styles for positive and negative events between students of differing ability and the correlation of these attribution styles to hopefulness. The study examined twelfth grade advanced placement (AP N = 45) students and twelfth grade students with documented learning differences enrolled in college preparatory classes (CP-LD N = 14). Both groups of students came from high socioeconomic backgrounds. The students' internal attributions related to hopefulness were measured with the Hope Scale (Snyder, 1994) which assesses the constructs of agency (will), pathway (way), and produces an overall hopefulness score. Results indicate that AP and CP-LD students had similar measures of internal attribution for positive events, but significantly distinct measures of internal attribution for negative events. However, the AP students show no statistically significant difference from CP-LD students in their measures of agency, pathway, or overall hopefulness.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Hayden, Johanna
Partner: UNT Libraries

Stratified item selection and exposure control in unidimensional adaptive testing in the presence of two-dimensional data.

Description: It is not uncommon to use unidimensional item response theory (IRT) models to estimate ability in multidimensional data. Therefore it is important to understand the implications of summarizing multiple dimensions of ability into a single parameter estimate, especially if effects are confounded when applied to computerized adaptive testing (CAT). Previous studies have investigated the effects of different IRT models and ability estimators by manipulating the relationships between item and person parameters. However, in all cases, the maximum information criterion was used as the item selection method. Because maximum information is heavily influenced by the item discrimination parameter, investigating a-stratified item selection methods is tenable. The current Monte Carlo study compared maximum information, a-stratification, and a-stratification with b blocking item selection methods, alone, as well as in combination with the Sympson-Hetter exposure control strategy. The six testing conditions were conditioned on three levels of interdimensional item difficulty correlations and four levels of interdimensional examinee ability correlations. Measures of fidelity, estimation bias, error, and item usage were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the methods. Results showed either stratified item selection strategy is warranted if the goal is to obtain precise estimates of ability when using unidimensional CAT in the presence of two-dimensional data. If the goal also includes limiting bias of the estimate, Sympson-Hetter exposure control should be included. Results also confirmed that Sympson-Hetter is effective in optimizing item pool usage. Given these results, existing unidimensional CAT implementations might consider employing a stratified item selection routine plus Sympson-Hetter exposure control, rather than recalibrate the item pool under a multidimensional model.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Kalinowski, Kevin E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Maternal employment: Factors related to role strain.

Description: Past literature suggests that working mothers are at an increased risk for experiencing role strain compared to other employed adults. The current study investigated attitudes and beliefs of 783 working mothers of 15-month-old children using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Working mothers' levels of role strain was associated with perceived social support, attitudes toward maternal employment, job and parental role quality, financial stress, and depression. Negative attitudes toward maternal employment predicted maternal separation anxiety, while positive attitudes toward employment did not affect separation anxiety. These findings have implications for the importance of decreasing role strain in working mothers.
Date: August 2009
Creator: LoCascio, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Positive Behavioral Supports in Schools since the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 based on 2001 SLIIDEA Data

Description: Congress in 1997 recognized that there were some issues and concerns that had emerged surrounding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and sought to address these issues and concerns by mandating a national evaluation on the implementation and progress toward improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The Study of the State and Local Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was designed to address how the amendments of IDEA were being implemented by states, school districts, and schools. This mixed methods study examined the first year of data collected from the six-year Study of the State and Local Implementation of IDEA (SLIIDEA) and analyzing 20 case studies that used interviews of special education personnel and principals, conducted at the local school level. Data from the national survey were examined in light of findings from the case studies. The case studies brought out the varying opinions on implementation success at the local level. Further case studies for each year of the study would be helpful in determining the level of implementation locally and the significant insights of local school personnel on whether these initiatives have worked.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Miller, Cindy
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Participation in Advanced Placement And/or Dual Credit on Four-year Graduation Rates.

Description: Advanced Placement and dual credit programs are designed for high school students and are used to earn college credit and possibly gain college admissions advantages. The present research examined the impact of participation in one or both programs on four-year college graduation rates. Findings indicated significant differences between the programs as well as with students who did not participate in either program. Students in AP achieved the highest four-year graduation rate, followed by students in dual credit, both programs, and neither program. These findings indicate the need for further study to determine whether the programs substantially contribute to four-year graduation rates and what the implications are.
Date: December 2009
Creator: O'Keefe, Lynette Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Big Five Personality Characteristics of World of Warcraft Players

Description: This study is a comparative analysis of the personality characteristics of a sample of World of Warcraft players (n = 147) and a large normative sample (n = 20,993). The 120-item International Personality Item Pool, based on the five factor model, is used. Independent t-tests were conducted and statistical significance was found for some factors; however, the effect sizes were small, indicating a limited practical difference between the two groups.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Winter, Jessica L.
Partner: UNT Libraries