UNT Theses and Dissertations - 105 Matching Results

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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

Migration Information Gathering by Mexican-origin Immigrants in the Pre-migration Phase

Description: U.S. immigration procedures are complex and may elude the average individual seeking admission to the United States. Understanding this, the current study investigates how information resources are used by potential migrants to learn about the migratory process. Using a mixed-methods approach, I interviewed 30 Mexican immigrants with unauthorized immigration experience about the process of gathering migration information in the pre-migration phase. Qualitative data were coded using seven themes generated from the primary research questions, including: Information Resources, Resources Used During Migration, Motivation for Migration, Method of Migration, Lack of Information/Misinformation, Types of Help and Types of Information. Findings suggest that the factors motivating migrants to come to the U.S. are combined in complex ways and lack of information about legal alternatives to unauthorized migration is an important factor influencing method of migration. Also, while access to new information resources is increasing, these resources are not being tapped for migration information.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Hudson, Cassie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Family in Alcohol Consumption Among Turkish Adolescents

Description: Alcohol consumption among adolescents is an important issue because of its link to many negative social and health problems, including depression, suicide, and aggression. Drawing from Hirschi’s social bonding theory and Agnew’s general strain theory, this study examines the effects of family relations on alcohol consumption among Turkish adolescents. Social bonding theory suggests that individuals with stronger social bonds are less likely to use alcohol than individuals with weaker social bonds. General strain theory, on the other hand, proposes that individuals with higher levels of strain due to financial difficulties and/or negative relationships are more likely to consume alcohol compared to individuals with lower levels of strain. In particular, this study proposes to examine how parental attachment, parental monitoring, time spent with family, parents’ religiosity, family economic strain, and negative life events in the family predict alcohol consumption among adolescents in Turkey. 2008 Youth in Europe (YIE) project data is used in the study. In general, the results indicate that social bonding and strain factors have significant effects on the adolescents’ alcohol consumption patterns. These findings will help to inform prevention programs aimed at reducing adolescent alcohol risk behaviors by explaining the importance of family relationships.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Gurbuz, Suheyl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating Semantic Internalization Among Users of an Online Review Platform

Description: The present study draws on recent sociological literature that argues that the study of cognition and culture can benefit from theories of embodied cognition. The concept of semantic internalization is introduced, which is conceptualized as the ability to perceive and articulate the topics that are of most concern to a community as they are manifested in social discourse. Semantic internalization is partly an application of emotional intelligence in the context of community-level discourse. Semantic internalization is measured through the application of Latent Semantic Analysis. Furthermore, it is investigated whether this ability is related to an individual’s social capital and habitus. The analysis is based on data collected from the online review platform yelp.com.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Zaras, Dimitrios
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Spiritual But Not Religious: Who Are They, and Who Is More Likely to Be One?

Description: The “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) are a rising social group in America in the past two decades, but social scientists and the general public know quite little about this group. Using the pooled 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 GSS data, this study examines who the SBNR are and who is more or less likely to be SBNR controlling for other variables. Descriptive analysis reveals that, compared to the general U.S. adult population, the SBNR group has slightly more males, is slightly younger, has fewer racial minorities, is better educated, and is slightly higher in social class. Additionally, more SBNR are from the Northeast and West than the general population, are slightly more urban, fewer are currently married, fewer have children, more have had homosexual sex, and more were religious Nones when they were 16 years old. Logistic regression analysis of the SBNR finds that, holding other variables constant, Americans who are more educated, live in Northeastern or Western regions, have homosexual sex, or had no religion at age 16 are more likely to be SBNR than their respective counterparts. Those who are racial minorities, live in the South or the Midwest, are currently married, or have children are less likely to be SBNR than their respective counterparts. Gender, age, social class, full-time work status, and metropolitanism of area do not make a significant difference. The implications of the findings for the research of religion and spirituality are discussed.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Gabhart, Elizabeth A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exotic Femininity: Prostitution Reviews and the Sexual Stereotyping of Asian Women

Description: Studies on prostitution have typically focused on the experiences, problems, and histories of prostitutes, rather than examining men who seek to purchase sex. Race has also been overlooked as a central factor in shaping the sex industry and the motivations of men who seek to purchase sex. This study utilizes online reviews of prostitutes to examine the way men who purchase sex discuss Asian prostitutes in comparison to White prostitutes. This paper traces the history of colonialism and ideas of the exotic Orient to modern stereotypes of Asian women. These stereotypes are then used to frame a quantitative and qualitative analysis of online reviews of prostitutes and compare the ways in which Asian prostitutes and white prostitutes are discussed. Further, the reviews are used to examine more broadly what services, traits, and behaviors are considered desirable by men who use prostitutes. The study finds that there are significant quantitative and qualitative differences in how men discuss Asian and White prostitutes within their reviews, and that these differences appear to be shaped by racially fetishizing stereotypes of Asian women. Prostitution also appears to reinforce male dominance and patriarchy in the form of masculine control and the feminine servicing of male sexual and emotional needs.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Dougherty, Devyn T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Family Structure and Marijuana Use Among Adolescents

Description: Family structure as a predictive variable of juvenile delinquency has been studied for the last hundred years. This relationship originated due to societal belief that divorce was detrimental to adolescents. Due to the changing societal roles in the United States, family structure has been changing. More children are growing up in non-intact families, such as single-parent households, households with stepparents, cohabitating families, and households without a parent present. To study the effect family structure has on juvenile delinquency, researchers have utilized social control theory, differential association, self-control theory and general strain theory to conceptualize variables to explain why family structure influences delinquent behavior. A review of previous literature on this topic indicates that living in intact households, which are households with two biological parents who are married, have, on average, the lowest rates of delinquency. This thesis investigates the relationship between family structure and lifetime marijuana use among eighth and tenth grade adolescents in the United States through the use of secondary data analysis of Monitoring the Future Study, 2012. The results provide support for the relationship between family structure and lifetime marijuana use.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Aguilar, Jamie M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Socioeconomic Status and Prosperity Belief in Guatemala

Description: A popular belief in the exploding Pentecostal movement in the global South is the idea that if an individual has enough faith, God will bless them with financial prosperity. Although historically Pentecostalism has been identified as a religion of the poor, this study examines recent arguments that the current Pentecostal movement in Guatemala is a religion of the socially mobile middle and elite classes. Data from the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life’s 2006 survey Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Guatemala is used to conduct a logistic regression, in order to measure the effects of socioeconomic status on adherence to prosperity belief. Results suggest that, contrary to the current literature on Guatemalan Pentecostalism, prosperity belief is not necessarily concentrated among the upwardly mobile middle and upper classes, but rather is widely diffused across social strata, and in particular, among those that have lower levels of education. These findings have implications for the study of Pentecostalism in Guatemala and in the global South in general.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Johnson, Lindsey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Female Adolescents and Death: a Qualitative Analysis

Description: The purpose of this research design is to explore the meaning of death for the female adolescent. A qualitative design was used as the method of research. Twelve participants were selected from a snowball sample ten females and two males. Four participants reported witnessing the death of an individual, five reported a moderated death experience in which they were not present but were told after the fact and three reported no significant experience with death. The study indicated relationships and cause of death as among the pre-conditions towards meaning development for the adolescent female. The two main themes derived from the pre-conditions are an understanding of the inevitability of death for themselves and the experience of death as qualia. Consequences to the experience of death include increased emotional tolerance under stress and a perceived increased maturity suggesting resilience in the adolescent female following a loss. Future areas of research are also addressed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jackson, Wendy L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The "Good" Mother: Ideology, Identity, and Performance

Description: The purpose of this study is to understand the power and influence of the institution of motherhood and how it is shaped by culture. More specifically this research explores the ideology that shapes our understanding of the good mother in the contemporary United States; how this ideology affects the way mothers view their identity; and how both the ideology and identity shape actions and performance. Twenty women were interviewed in North Texas and the results were: first, this group of mothers recognizes the ideology of the good mother, but does not accept all components of this ideology; next, the identity of mother is the primary identity for most of these women; and, last, performance is most greatly influenced by socio-economic status and the support system that mothers have in place.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Vigil, Jennifer M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Slogans and Opposition Political Culture: Online Discourse in Iran's Green Movement

Description: In this study I investigate the Iranian Green Movement supporters' use of slogans as political discourse on the Persian-language opposition website www.kaleme.com. Data was collected from the website's Kaleme section in the form of 22 articles and 3,500 user comments. A coding scheme was constructed to measure the presence of categories and themes in the site's comments section. Findings support the propositions of narrative theorists (e.g. Franzosi, 1998; Benford, 1993) that frequent use of slogans in the comments may reflect a unique cultural element of Persian-language political discourse and reinforce the Green Movement's narrative of opposition to the government.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Ryan, Trent
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Structural Determinants of Americans' Justice Perceptions Toward Inequality in the U.S.

Description: In accordance with structural theory and distributive justice theory, this study investigates if Americans' personal encounters with the opportunity structure and their existing reward conditions will influence their perceptions toward distribution outcomes in the U.S. I argue that higher-status individuals possessing various "attributes of structural privilege" will exhibit less support for regulating income inequality in society than lower-status individuals. Upward mobility should also be negatively related to support for restoring greater equality in allocation outcomes. However, the effect of mobility on justice perceptions should vary by class status, since class has been known to be a reliable predictor of these attitudes. The study employed a sample of 438 American adults from the GSS 2000 dataset, and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was applied in the analyses of the data. Two of the three above hypotheses received partial confirmation, that is, there were class, race, and gender differences in distributive justice perceptions. Class also interacted significantly with occupational mobility in altering distributive justice perceptions.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Ong, Corinne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factors Influencing Psychological Empowerment of Nurse Aides in Nursing Homes

Description: The purpose of this study is to identify predictors of psychological empowerment among nurse aides in nursing homes. Five structural factors (information exchange, decentralization of resources, co-worker support, supervisor support, and availability of training) and four control factors (age, sex, level of education, and race) are analyzed using multivariate linear regression to examine their effects on psychological empowerment. Two of the five structural factors, decentralization of resources and supervisor support, are shown to positively influence psychological empowerment. Nursing home managers can consider developing and implementing procedures that decentralize resources and demonstrate supervisor support in order to increase psychological empowerment. Based on the findings of this study theory and practice might benefit from additional study of decentralization of resources and supervisor support.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Steinberg, Jonathan J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relative Effectiveness of Anti-poverty Nonprofit Organizations in Assisting a Below Poverty Population in Dallas County and Tarrant County: Recipients of Faith-based and Non Faith-based Organizations

Description: Recent orders from the executive branch of the United States’ government have encouraged participation from faith-based organizations in providing human services because they are more effective in aiding impoverished citizens. This study examined the effectiveness of faith-based and non faith-based anti-poverty nonprofit organizations to find if one organization type is more effective in providing social services. the data for this study were collected through a survey-questionnaire which was administered to a convenience sample of 82 participants seeking assistance from four different nonprofit organizations (two faith-based and two non faith-based) in Dallas County and Tarrant County. the results from this study indicated that when controlling for demographic and socio-economic variables, recipients from faith-based organizations were less likely to report that they at least received services desired as compared to those who visited a non faith-based organization. Therefore, non faith-based organizations were better at meeting the needs of respondents than faith-based organizations.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gregory, Callie
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploration of Altruistic Behavior of Substance-Abuse Facilities According to Their Ownership Status

Description: Using the 2009 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), this paper uses logistic regressions to explore the effect of facility ownership on a facility’s show of altruism. Facility’s show of altruism is operationalized as a facility offering free treatment to all its clients, free treatment to some of its clients, or a facility offering a sliding fee scale to its client base in order to absorb some of the cost of treatment based on a potential client's income. Region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation are added as covariates in order to gauge whether the potential relationship between facility ownership and a facility’s show of altruism is genuine. Results indicate that private, for-profit ownership status of a facility is associated with a lower likelihood that a substance-abuse treatment facility would engage in altruistic behavior. However, receipt of public funds acts as a mediating variable, in that, its inclusion raises the likelihood that a private, for-profit facility would engage in shows of altruism. Furthermore, it appears that religious-affiliation increases the likelihood that a facility would display altruism by providing free treatment, to some of its clients, or to all, but less likely to display altruism by employing a sliding fee scale. Overall, inclusion of region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation all produce statistically significant results, along with facility ownership. This suggests that there are a variety of variables, apart from facility ownership alone, that might be influential over a facility's show of altruism.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Galanova, Yekaterina (Katherine) Yur'Yevna
Partner: UNT Libraries

Race Differences in Religiosity, Social Support, and Quality of Life among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas/ Ft. Worth, TX

Description: This study examines race differences and the relationship between religiosity/ spirituality and social support on quality of life (QOL) among people living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX. The data were obtained from the Project VOICES research study conducted by the Center of Psychosocial Health Research at University of North Texas in 2003. This study explores the hypotheses that religiosity/spirituality and social support positively influences quality of life among people living with HIV/AIDS. The current study uses a diverse, gender-balanced sample consisting of African Americans (n = 156), aged 20-68, 47% male, 52% female and 1% transgendered) and Non-African Americans (n = 131), aged 19-65, 50% male, 46% female and 3% transgendered) (Caucasian, Latino, & others) to evaluate the relationship among variables of interest. Multiple regression analyses revealed that social support was a significant factor explaining quality of life (QOL) for African Americans when controlling for medical variables but did not for non-African Americans. Religiosity/spirituality was not found to be significant in this study. The implications of the findings are discussed.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Henderson, Kenya Y. Kemp
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Capital and Delinquency among Turkish Juveniles

Description: This study examined the relationship between aspects of social capital and self-reported delinquency among Turkish juveniles by using a secondary dataset, which is a part of the European Youth Survey. The survey was conducted among tenth graders in 2007 in Bağcılar, Istanbul. The dependent variable of this study, delinquency, was divided into two groups, minor and major, according to the stipulations of the Turkish Penal Code. Social capital was measured by assessing adolescents’ reports of their direct interactions with their parents, peers and community. In order to predict the likelihood of major and minor delinquency independently, two different subsets (N: 1879 and 1837, respectively) of the data set were used. The findings of the multivariate analyses suggest that a low level of social capital contributed significantly to Turkish juveniles’ engagement in major and minor delinquent activities. Among the social capital items, adolescents’ affiliation with delinquent peers had the strongest correlation with both dependent variables.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Cubukcu, Suat
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Social Networks and Media on Pro-Environment Behaviors

Description: In this study, pro-environmental behaviors are investigated by studying if one's primary information sources about environmental issues either from their social network or the media influence this behavior. Data was collected from the 2002 Detroit Area Study with a total of 267 respondents. Three indexes were constructed to separately measure all seven pro-environment behavioral items, five conservation behavioral items, and two consumption behavioral items. A complex sample model was utilized in these analyses. Findings suggest that information sources are correlated to self-reported environmental behavior. As predicted, the people whose primary information source was social network were more likely to obtain higher scores on all three separate indexes than those individuals who primarily received information about environmental issues from the media.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Schuett, Jessica Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factors Associated with Risky Sexual Behavior Among Homeless Youth

Description: Homeless youth face numerous risks. Data on 602 homeless youth from the Midwest Homeless and Runaway Study and binary logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with their participation in risky sexual behaviors. Specifically, the effects of abuse/neglect and three potential moderating resiliency indicators, namely self-esteem, parental warmth, and parental monitoring, on having sex before adulthood and thinking about trading sex for food or shelter were examined. While none of the three resiliency indicators had the hypothesized moderating effects, controlling for abuse/neglect and various sociodemographic characteristics, parental monitoring had a direct, negative effect on having sex before adulthood, and self-esteem and parental warmth had direct, negative effects on thinking about trading sex for food or shelter. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Cooksey, Christy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Origins of Sociology: Continuities and Divergences Between Ibn Khaldun, Giambattista Vico, August Comte, Ludwig Gumplowicz, and Emile Durkheim

Description: This thesis examines the extent to which Ibn Khaldun can legitimately be considered a founding father of sociology. To pursue this research, Khaldun's theoretical framework will be compared with four Western scholars: Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Giambattista Vico, and Ludwig Gumplowicz. This paper begins with an Introduction (Chapter I), followed by a general overview of Khaldun's work (Chapter II). Next, Khaldun's work is compared to that of Auguste Comte (Chapter III), Emile Durkheim (Chapter IV), Ludwig Gumplowicz (Chapter V) and Giambattista Vico (Chapter VI). In each of these chapters, Khaldun is compared and contrasted to the other social theorist, illustrating their similarities and considering their differences. Finally, in Chapter VII, I put forth conclusions that consider the extent to which Khaldun can validly be considered a founding father of sociology.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Soyer, Mehmet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Routine Leisure Activities and Adolescent Marijuana Use: Moderating Effects of Family Structure

Description: How adolescents spend their time is a crucial predictor of their engagement in delinquency. Activities with peers away from direct supervision of adults are of concern as more opportunities and motivation to use marijuana exist in such situations. However, adolescents may vary in their propensity to use marijuana when faced the opportunity. Especially adolescents living with a single parent may have a higher propensity compared to those from two-parent households to use marijuana due to reduced parental monitoring and increased peer attachment. This thesis investigates the moderating effects of family structure on the routine leisure activities and adolescent marijuana use relationship, using data from Monitoring the Future Study 2007, 12th Grade Survey. The results provide partial support for the moderating effects.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Aksu, Gokhan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Social Support on Risky Sexual Behavior in Homeless Adolescent Youth.

Description: This study examines the relationship between social support and youth's high-risk behaviors. The data were obtained from the Midwest Homeless and Runaway Adolescent Project (MHRAP) in 1996. In the Midwestern United States, this study examines the hypothesis that youth with high social support will have low sexual risk behaviors. The study found that youths who had someone to turn to, a greater number of close friends, and someone they could count on were less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. The implications of the findings are discussed.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Ford, Alison Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Racial Stereotypes and Racial Assimilation in a Multiracial Society

Description: Interest in a multiracial society has increased in recent years and including on racism and prejudice and in the propensity to stereotype out-groups. Theories on racism help explain the dominant group's prejudice toward subordinate groups. Yet they only explain why dominant group members stereotype subordinates or if the dominant group's propensity to stereotype is different from that of subordinate groups. Recent assimilation theories suggest that some minorities are assimilating with Whites but Blacks are not undergoing assimilation. Classic assimilation theory suggests that when a subordinate group assimilates with the dominant group then they will also take on the dominant group's values and beliefs, including their prejudices and propensities to stereotype. The use of racial stereotypes in support of the assimilation of a minority group has not been tested. Results from the LSAF national survey provide support for Asians to be assimilating with Whites. However, Hispanics do not appear to be taking on Whites' propensity to stereotype, contradicting the prediction that Hispanics are assimilating with Whites.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Youngblood, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Opinions of University Students about the Current Situation of the Headscarf Dispute in Turkey

Description: This study examined the opinions of university students about the current situation of the headscarf dispute on the wearing of headscarves in Turkey. The influence of gender, the level of secularism, socioeconomic status and encounter with women wearing headscarves on opinions about the wearing of headscarves were analyzed in this study. The sample of this study was composed of 400 university students among whom there were 240 female and 160 male students. Moreover, the sample comprised university students from 50 universities from Turkey. The results indicated that the level of secularism and encounter with women wearing headscarves were distinguished as two determining factors of the diverse opinions of the university students on the topic. No association was found between the perceptions of university students about the issue and the independent variables of gender and socioeconomic status.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Aydemir, Dilek
Partner: UNT Libraries