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Community Gardening: a Novel Intervention for Bhutanese Refugees Living in the USA

Description: Since 2008, the United States (USA) has resettled thousands of Bhutanese refugees, providing brief financial support and pathways to citizenship. Despite the efforts of governing bodies and voluntary agencies which facilitate resettlement, many refugees struggle with adapting to the vastly different lifestyle, economy, language and social structures. In particular, effectively addressing psychological needs of this population is a challenge for service providers operating within an expensive health care system based on Western constructs of mental health. In response to this challenge, refugee resettlement agencies throughout the country use community gardens to promote psychological healing, self-sufficiency, community engagement, and a return of human dignity. Though success of these programs is being shared in the media, there has yet to be empirical data examining their impact. The current study tested whether Bhutanese refugee engagement in a community garden impacts symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and somatic complaints. The study also investigated whether community gardening is associated with perceptions of social support and adjustment to life in the United States. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 50 adult Bhutanese refugees in Fort Worth, Texas. Gardening was significantly related to increased social support overall, a key factor in overall functionality within communal cultures; and specifically perceived tangible support was increased. A significant effect of gardening was also found for adjustment. Although a significant effect was not found for psychological and somatic symptoms, there is still evidence of effects on somatic complaints. Varying results from quantitative and qualitative data warrant further investigation into the nuanced work of clinical research and advocacy with refugee populations.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gerber, Monica M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Taking It to the Streets: the History of Gay Pride Parades in Dallas, Texas: 1972-1986

Description: This thesis describes the organization of two waves of pride parades in the city of Dallas, Texas. Using more than 40 sources, this work details how LGBT organizers have used pride parades to create a more established place for the LGBT community in greater Dallas culture. This works adds to the study of LGBT history by focusing on an understudied region, the South; as well as focusing on an important symbolic event in LGBT communities, pride parades.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Edelbrock, Kyle
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis

Description: Before 1984, nearly 975 of teachers entered the teaching profession after graduating from a traditional university-based program. However, beginning in the mid-1980s, alternative routes leading to teacher certification began to emerge in the United States. As of 2010, nearly one-third of all new teachers graduated from an alternative preparation program. As alternative certification (AC) routes approach 30 years since establishment, programs continue to evolve and increase in enrollment. This study focused on the changes that have come about in the maturation of alternative certification programs in Texas since legislation was passed in 1985. The purpose of the study was to delineate the evolution of AC programs using a historical approach, the study used both primary and secondary resources as research tools and employed the use of eight interviews and the literature review for the collection of data. The prediction of future teacher shortages, the need for diversity in the profession the political view to privatize education, and economic recessions were all motivating factors for establishing alternative teacher programs. In the beginning, graduation from AC programs were perceived as not authentic teachers and not as prepared for teaching as graduates from traditional programs. AC programs have become a legitimate and viable option for educator preparation programs as they offer greater flexibility, staff/instructor diversity, and multiple approaches to instruction. This data suggests that AC programs in Texas have emerged as a real and sustainable option to traditional certification programs leading to certification and licensure.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Etheredge, David K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Amarillo Globe-News: How Did Gene Howe and the Globe-News Help Guide Amarillo, Texas through the Dust Bowl and Great Depression?

Description: For many years newspapers were locally owned by editors and publishers. However, today many are run by corporations from out of state. As a result, many communities have lost the personal relationship between the family owned publication and the community. Gene Howe, who served as editor, publisher and columnist of the Amarillo Globe-News from 1926 until his death in 1952, believed the community was where the focus should be and the newspaper should do all that it can to help their readers. Despite the fact that Howe was not born in Amarillo, Texas, his passion and love for the city and its inhabitants compensated for it. During the Dust Bowl and Great Depression Howe and the Globe-News helped Amarillo survive the dust and economic storms that blew through the Texas Panhandle, an area that has not been written as much as other parts of Texas. Through his “Tactless Texan” column, which served as a pulpit to the community, to the various contests and promotions the newspaper sprang up, including the creation of Mother in Law Day, Gene Howe gave the newspaper another dimension little has been studied about, the role of the editor and publisher in guiding a community through a dramatic era. Understanding Howe’s ethos can allow others to examine the roles editors and newspapers play in communities throughout the country.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hasman, Gregory R. C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Best Medicine

Description: The Best Medicine is an animated documentary that explores the true stories behind the live performances of stand-up comedians. The film juxtaposes live stand-up performances with candid interview footage combined with animation and illustration. Three subjects– Michael Burd, Casey Stoddard, and Jacob Kubon– discuss alcoholism, childhood abuse, and sexual anxiety, respectively. Their candid, intimate interviews reveal personal information, creating a new context with which to understand live stand-up comedy performance. This illustrates themes of finding humor in dark or painful circumstances and the cathartic nature writing and performance.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Lechler, Ron
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community Development at Heronswood Botanical Garden

Description: The overall main goal of this research is to assist with the planning and creation of an ethnobotanical addition at the Heronswood Garden, a botanical garden located in northwest Washington state recently purchased by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. Methods included a three month long ethnographic study of Heronswood Garden as an official intern, and conducting a needs assessment that primarily employed participant observation and semi-structured open-ended interviews with all garden employees. Information revealed through the research includes causal issues behind a lack of community participation at the garden, elaboration on the solutions to various issues facilitated by negotiating and combining the views and opinions of the garden’s employees, and author reflections on the needs assessment report and the project as a whole. This research connects itself with and utilizes the methodologies and theories from applied anthropology, environmental anthropology, and environmental science to provide contemporary perspective into the subject of preserving or preventing the loss of biodiversity, language diversity, and sociocultural diversity.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Cherry, Levi Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Analysis of State Funds on Student Achievement of Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Schools in Independent School Districts and Charter Schools in the State of Texas

Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the instructional outcomes in the independent school districts and charter schools in relation to the expenditure of public funds for instruction and total operating expenditures from the general fund. The study considered Texas elementary charter schools and independent school districts, whose school populations were identified as having greater than or equal to 50% of economically disadvantaged students, according to the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). The study made use of multiple regression and was an ex post facto cross-sectional analysis utilizing production function theory. The study’s outcomes reported the difference in student achievement between elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools were small to negligible for math and reading achievement. The study also reported, there is no statistically significant difference in per pupil expenditure of public funds between elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools. Furthermore, there is no statistically significant relationship between student achievement and per pupil expenditure of public funds on elementary schools in independent public school districts and charter schools.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Applewhite, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Descriptive Paleontology and Applied Ichthyoarchaeology of the Ponsipa Fauna

Description: The archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico has recently received an increased amount scholarly attention. In particular, understanding past trends in demographics, agricultural productivity, violence, and social networks have been primary goals of archaeological research. Understanding patterns in animal exploitation has, however, received far less attention due to a small yet growing regional zooarchaeological database. Through the identification of animal remains from a site called Ponsipa (occupied ca. A.D. 1300 to 1600), this thesis adds one large dataset to this growing database. In addition, this thesis expands on the pre-impoundment distribution of an endangered native freshwater fish species in the state of New Mexico called the blue sucker (Cycleptus elongatus). The blue sucker is a unique fish that is currently experiencing range reduction across all of its known North American distribution due to anthropogenic habitat fragmentation and degradation. Skeletal remains that were identified from Ponsipa represent the farthest known northern record of its occurrence in the state of New Mexico and highlight the extent of range restriction of the species in the area. The data concerning the historical biogeography of the blue sucker from Ponsipa have implications for the effective conservation and restoration of blue sucker located in the Rio Grande Basin.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Dombrosky, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Down and Out: a Novel

Description: A creative dissertation consisting of two parts: a novel and a critical preface. The critical preface, titled “Novel without Falsehood” deals directly with David Shields’s Reality Hunger, touching on issues of reality as it pertains to truth, writing, fiction, and contemporary culture. The novel is entitled Down and Out and follows the fortunes of a small town in Arkansas before, during, and after its sole source of employment ceases to exist.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Briseño, J. Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Estimation of Air Emissions During Production Phase from Active Oil and Gas Wells in the Barnett Shale Basin: 2010-2013

Description: The Barnett shale basin, the largest onshore gas field in the state of Texas, mainly produces natural gas. The basin’s oil and gas productions have dramatically increased over the past two decades with the enhancement via shale fracturing (fracking) technology. However, recent studies suggest that air emissions from shale fracking have significantly contributed to the growing air pollution problem in North Texas. In this study, air emissions from the Barnett shale basin during the production phase of the oil and gas activities (once the product is collected from the wells) are quantified. Oil and gas production data were acquired from the Texas Railroad Commission for the baseline years of 2010 through 2013. Methodology from prior studies on shale basins approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was employed in this study and the emission inventories from the production phase sources were quantified. Accordingly, the counties with the most gas operations in the basin, Tarrant, Johnson, Denton and Wise, were found to be the highest emitters of air pollutants. Tarrant County was responsible for the highest emitted NOx (42,566 tons) and CO (17,698 tons) in the basin, while Montague County released the maximum VOC emissions (87,601 tons) during the study period. Amongst the concerned emitted pollutants, VOC was the largest emitted pollutant during the study period (417,804 tons), followed by NOx (126,691 tons) and CO (47,884 tons). Significant Sources of air emissions include: storage tanks, wellhead compressor engines, and pneumatic devices. Storage tanks and pneumatic devices contributed to about 62% and 28% of the total VOC emissions, respectively. Whereas, wellhead compressor engines are primarily responsible for about 97% of the total NOx emissions. Finally, in Tarrant, Wise and Denton counties, the emissions increased during the study period due to increase in the oil and gas production, while Johnson County’s emission ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Dohde, Farhan A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the College Pathways of Asian American Community College Students and the Model Minority Myth

Description: Contrary to the model minority myth that portrays Asian Americans as academic all-stars over-represented in elite four-year institutions, half of all Asian American college students do in fact attend community colleges, and many experience myriad challenges. This exploratory study investigated the community college pathways of Asian American community college students, the role of family and culture in shaping expectations for higher education, and participants’ perceptions of the model minority myth and the degree to which this myth influenced their college experiences. Institutional practices and policies, or lack thereof, that support the success of this highly diverse population were also studied. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 28 students, who self-identified as Asian American and attended one of the three largest community college districts located in North Texas. The sample included 16 males and 12 females, whose ages ranged from 18 to 49 years old, with a mean age of 24. Data collection involved a demographic questionnaire and semi-structured individual interviews. The participants represented 13 different ethnicities, and nine were members of more than one ethnic or racial group. Ten participants were foreign-born citizens, and all of the participants had at least one foreign-born parent. Qualitative data provided description rich information that shed light on the expectations, experiences, and views of Asian American community college students, a virtually unstudied population. Consistent with current literature on Asian American college students, the findings suggest many Asian American community college students struggle with tremendous cultural and familial pressures for succeeding academically, and many described their experiences with racial microaggressions related to model minority stereotypes that they perceived their peers and instructors to have held. Recommendations for policy and practice designed to improve educational outcomes for Asian American community college students are addressed.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hamm, Amanda E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Grand Canyons: Authoritative Knowledge and Patient-Provider Connection

Description: In 2011, African Americans in Tarrant County, Texas experienced an infant mortality rate of 14.3 per 1,000 live births. The leading cause of infant mortality in Tarrant County is prematurity and maternal nutritional status. Both maternal under-nutrition and over-nutrition are known risk factors for premature birth. Improving maternal nutrition, by reducing rates of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and by increasing consumption of essential prenatal vitamins and nutrients, is a road to decreasing preterm birth in African Americans. This qualitative study, based on both anthropology and public health theory, of the nutrition behavior of a group of African American expectant mothers and the experience of their health care providers and co-facilitators had a goal to provide a foundation for future development of nutrition behavior research and education for this specific population. The main finding of this study was the substantial gap of lived experience and education between the patients and their providers and co-facilitators, which hinders delivery of care and the patients’ acquiescence to nutrition recommendations. The discrepancies between the authoritative knowledge of the providers and the bodily knowledge of expectant mothers were responsible for the ineffectiveness of nutrition recommendations.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Fowler, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ideal Learning Spaces: the Student Perspective

Description: Classrooms, libraries, student unions, and university campuses shape students’ learning experiences. These physical learning spaces set the stage for college student engagement and academic performance. Most of the research about the role of physical spaces in learning lacks the student perspective. The goal of this study was to offer a student-centered vision of ideal learning spaces. Students are the learners for whom learning spaces are designed, and this thesis examines the way students of one summer class at Oklahoma Baptist University conceptualized and interacted with their learning spaces. Data collection included surveys of the students, a focus group with members of the class, participant observation in the classroom, and interviews with students and the professor. Students viewed physical spaces as the backdrop for human action and chose spaces that supported their learning styles and goals. Students described supportive spaces as warm, purposefully crafted spaces, and full of other people who were seriously pursuing the same goals. This thesis explores the ways students conceptualized and interacted with learning spaces as a network of support for their learning and provides recommendations for the design of learning spaces that facilitate this support.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Sidler, Elizabeth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Intervention of Human Modifications on Plant and Tree Species in the Landscape of the LBJ National Grasslands

Description: An analysis utilizing both ArcGIS and ethnographic interviews from private land owners and environmental professionals examined how man-made landscape changes affected plant and tree species in the LBJ National Grasslands in Wise County, Texas north of Decatur. From the late 1800s to the Dust Bowl Era the land was used for crop production and cattle grazing resulting in erosion and loss of soil nutrients. The research indicated by 2001 that cattle grazing and population increase resulted in land disturbance within the administrative boundary of the national grasslands. Participants expressed concern over the population increase and expansion of 5 to 10 acre ranchettes for cattle grazing common in modern times. Recommendations for the future included utilizing and expanding the resources already existing with environmental professionals to continue controlling erosion.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Lang, Brett M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime: an Overview of the Historical Approach to Probation in the State of Texas

Description: Adult probation evolved in the United States as a result of the suspended sentence concept. As a result of a lack of follow through when an individual obtained a suspended sentence, there was no “checks and balances” to monitor whether an individual completed the guidelines set forth. As time progressed, it became apparent a more cohesive and monitored system was needed. Thus, an energetic and motivated individual, John Augustus, started the concept of probation by taking it upon himself to assist in the rehabilitative process of individuals charged with criminal behavior. Subsequent to his death, the concept of probation was embraced by his advocates who lobbied legislatively in order to enact probation laws that would oversee the success of probationers. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the counties in the state of Texas took it upon themselves to enact their own system of monitoring of probationers. Over time the states have guided their probation concepts from evidence based research. Juvenile probation in the United States didn’t gain a solid foundation until the end of the 19th century with the development of the first juvenile court in Illinois. It took this country time to understand that juveniles were different than adults mentally; therefore, there would need to be a separation of juveniles from adults from being subjected to the same punishments as adults. The approach in dealing with juveniles was more grounded in treatment rather than in punishment. In the state of Texas, the focus for juvenile probation was based on different approaches based on the areas within the state. The juvenile system has gone through the due process era to its current state of the evidence based research. This thesis will provide the reader an overview of the history of the development of probation in the United States and in ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Reichstein, Sheldon Philip
Partner: UNT Libraries

Levanten La Mano Si Me Entienden: Receptive Bilinguals’ Linguistic and Cultural Perceptions in Secondary Spanish Classes

Description: Receptive bilinguals have been in a dilemma of knowing just enough Spanish to write and aurally comprehend the curriculum at the beginning-intermediate levels of a Spanish language course. This dichotomy in classrooms with mixed-ability learners has created a need to reconsider placement and pedagogical structures tailored for these students in foreign language courses. Thus, this descriptive study examined the perceptions of receptive bilinguals, drawn from two secondary Spanish courses regarding receptive bilinguals’ language use, personal Spanish language abilities and confidence, personal beliefs about the language, and contentment with the course. For this study, 31 participants were selected from two public high schools in a suburb of a large metropolitan area in north Texas. Two surveys, a listening assessment and an online questionnaire, were administered at the end of the academic year. The Likert questionnaire items were analyzed using SPSS software, while open-ended questions were coded for recurrent themes. Analyses revealed four major findings. First, with regard to influence on language use, participants’ grandparents created the most interaction with the Spanish language when compared with the other family groups. In addition, Spanish influence through television, literature, radio, and music contributed to students’ early childhood Spanish learning. Second, as to language preference, although participants perceived English to be the language with which they were most at ease, they were also confident in their Spanish conversational abilities. Third, with respect to perceptions of language abilities, Spanish 2Pre-AP students noticed an increased ability in listening, speaking, and writing the language. In both courses, students’ receptive ability was one of the highest abilities. Receptive bilinguals reflected a sense of pride and passion for the language. They desired to improve their language through their own self-motivation as a way to connect with family. Fourth, and finally, in reporting on course contentment, participants expressed overall contentment with ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Baker, Adelita Gonzales
Partner: UNT Libraries

Marital Status and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Health Outcomes

Description: Substantial evidence demonstrates that marriage is associated with better health outcomes and lower mortality risk. Some evidence suggests that there are gender and race/ethnicity differences between the marriage-health benefits association. However, previous studies on marriage and health have mainly focused on non-Hispanic White-Black differences. Limited information is available regarding the roles of Hispanics. The present study examined marital status, gender, and the differences between non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics, in health outcomes. A retrospective cohort analysis of 24,119 Hispanic, NH White, and NH Black adults admitted to a large hospital was conducted. A total of 16,661 patients identified as either married or single was included in the final analyses. Consistent with the broader literature, marriage was associated with beneficial hospital utilization outcomes. With respect to differences in these benefits, results suggest that married patients, Hispanic patients, and women, were less likely to experience in-hospital mortality. Similar effects were observed in aggregated length of stay with married Hispanic women hospitalized nearly 2 days less than their single counterparts (6.83 days and 8.66 days, respectively). These findings support existing literature that marriage is associated with health benefits, add to the emerging research of a Hispanic survival advantage, and broaden the understanding of marriage and health in terms of differences by racial/ethnicity.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Villarreal, Cesar
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Miss Kathy"

Description: Miss Kathy is a documentary film that tells the story of Kathy Griffin-Grinan, a lead recovery coach for prostitution and human trafficking with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Her non-profit organization —We’ve Been There, Done That – works in conjunction with law-enforcement to offer the survivors of prostitution a chance at rehabilitation. With endless enthusiasm, she mentors survivors as they struggle to escape a destructive lifestyle. This film also explores the relationship between human trafficking and prostitution, while addressing issues of victimization and exploitation.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Alexander, Jeffrey, 1982-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Social Support

Description: Despite a substantially greater risk factor profile, Hispanics in the United States (US) consistently demonstrate better health outcomes compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts, an epidemiologic phenomenon termed the Hispanic Mortality Paradox. Emerging hypotheses suggest cultural values regarding relational interconnectedness and social support may help to explain these surprising health outcomes. The present study sought to inform these hypotheses via two aims: the first was to examine racial/ethnic differences in perceived social support, and the second was to examine the relationship between acculturation and perceived social support among Hispanic college students. Non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic college students (N = 330) completed an online survey for course credit. Contrary to expectations, no racial/ethnic differences in perceived social support were observed, nor was an association between acculturation and perceived social support evident among the sampled Hispanic students. The limited sample size, homogeneity in social support levels across groups, and the restricted range of age and acculturation may have obscured relationships that may exist outside the college environment. Future work should consider a more heterogeneous sampling strategy to better assess these associations.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Goans, Christian R. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship of Peer Leadership Employment to Academic Outcomes in Texas Institutions of Higher Education

Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship of participation and involvement in an undergraduate student success program to academic success and persistence among students in three programs sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB): the G-Force Collegiate Work-Study Mentorship Program, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) for Higher Education (AHE) program, and the THECB work-study program. The sample was identified using data from the THECB during the 2009-2013 academic years. Compared to THECB work-study students, significantly more AHE and G-Force students persisted toward graduation while engaged in the program (p < .001). ANOVA indicated that AHE students had a higher average GPA compared to G-Force and THECB work-study students, controlled for gender, race/ethnicity, pre-program GPA, and length of time in the position. Regression analyses found no statistically significant relationship between program associations and persistence towards graduation or GPA. Results suggest that although participation in a peer leadership programs such as AHE and G-Force encourage greater academic achievement and persistence, there is no direct relation to the achievement of these outcome variables. Implications of the study suggest the need for a deeper analysis into elements of peer leadership programs that contribute to student success, an expanded analysis of outcomes across a wider range of demographic variables, and an exploration of peer leadership programs across campuses for comparison of persistence and GPA outcomes.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Buggs, Michelle L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Restoration Techniques for Northern Bobwhites

Description: Isolated populations of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) have declined causing many quail managers to attempt population restoration by releasing captive-reared bobwhites or translocating wild bobwhites. I evaluated three restoration techniques: (1) release of captive-reared bobwhites, (2) translocation of bobwhites from high densities to low densities, and (3) release of captive-reared and translocated bobwhites acclimated on site prior to release. These results show that captive-reared birds have reduced survival and fewer nesting attempts when compared to translocated birds and that acclimation time was not a factor. I hypothesized that high mortality rates were caused by captive-reared birds exhibiting different predator avoidance behavior than wild birds. Captive-reared and wild-trapped bobwhites were subjected to independent predator simulations and their responses were recorded on high definition video. Threat recognition time, reaction type, and reaction time was recorded for comparative analysis. Pen-reared birds recognized the simulated raptorial and terrestrial predator threats quicker than wild-trapped birds, but reaction times were not different among groups. However, the type of reaction was different among groups where pen-reared birds typically flushed immediately upon recognizing either simulated predator as compared to wild-trapped birds which typically ran or held when subjected to the raptorial threat and showed little to no observable reaction to the terrestrial threat. These results reveal a potential loss of a holding trait in pen-reared birds, resulting in a quicker revealing of their position in the presence of a threat, thereby increasing their risk of predation.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Newman, William L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Restorative Environmental Justice for the Prison Industrial Complex: a Transformative Feminist Theory of Justice

Description: This dissertation provides a feminist restorative model of environmental justice that addresses the injustices found within UNICOR’s e-waste recycling operations. A feminist restorative environmental justice challenges the presupposition that grassroots efforts, law and policy, medical and scientific research, and theoretical pursuits (alone or in conjunction) are sufficient to address the emotional and relational harm of environmental injustices. To eliminate environmental harms, this model uses collaborative dialogue for interested parties to prevent environmental harm. To encourage participation, a feminist restorative model accepts many forms of knowledge and truth as ‘legitimate’ and offers an opportunity for women to share how their personal experiences of love, violence, and caring differ from men and other women and connect to larger social practices. This method of environmental justice offers opportunities for repair, reparation and reintegration that can transform perspectives on criminality, dangerous practices and structures in the PIC, and all persons who share in a restorative encounter.
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Date: May 2015
Creator: Conrad, Sarah M.
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

Structure, Composition, and Regeneration of Cross Timbers Forest Fragments in Different Land Use Contexts

Description: Throughout its current range, the Cross Timbers forest ecosystem is vulnerable to land-use change. In this study, we examined the surrounding land use matrix on the vegetation structure, composition and regeneration of six Cross Timbers forest fragments in Denton County, Texas (north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex). Two fragments adjacent to agricultural land, two to residential neighborhoods, and two formally protected forest sites were selected. In summer 2015, five 100 m2 plots were randomly established in each fragment at least 200 meters from the edge. In each plot, all live and dead trees ≥ 3 cm diameter were identified and their height and diameter at breast height (DBH at 1.3 m aboveground) measured. Evidence of dumping (presence of trash) was recorded as an index of human frequentation. Differences in vegetation structure among the forest fragments were found. Most notably, fragments adjacent to agriculture contained 25% to 50% fewer trees per hectare than all other sites (Kruskal-Wallis, p < 0.02), especially trees <10 cm DBH. However, residential fragments had fewer trees that were ≥15 cm DBH compared to the other fragments, indicating that these are the youngest of the forest patches surveyed. Trash was observed in 60% of plots surveyed at residential forest sites, showing high levels of human frequentation compared to the protected and agricultural forest sites. Agricultural sites contained the lowest number of recorded tree species and were most similar to each other, sharing 91% of species. These findings indicate that surrounding land use affects forest structure and composition, consequently affecting valuable ecosystem services including wildlife habitat, aesthetics and recreation.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Dunn, Ingrid
Partner: UNT Libraries