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The Affects of Religiosity on Anomie

Description: This study explores the relationship between religion and anomie. The theoretical framework of Durkheim and Merton was used to suggest the hypothetical relationship between the two variables: as religiosity increases, anomie decreases. A secondary analysis was conducted using the 1991 General Social Survey (GSS). The GSS is one of the largest annual surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. There were 1517 adult respondents composing the 1991 cross-national sample. Questions measuring both the belief and action dimensions of religion were used to measure respondents' level of religiosity. Questions from the Srole Scale of Anomia were used to measure respondents' level of anomia. Durkheim's theory that religion functions to integrate individuals into the larger society and therefore diminish levels of anomie was not supported with this data. While the lack of significant findings did not support the theory, neither did it disprove it. The hypothetical inverse relationship between class and anomie was supported with this data. Another hypothetical relationship, that of the most religious, women experience less anomie than men, was also not supported due to the lack of a significant relationship among the primary variables. Continued use of comprehensive and large scale surveys such as the General Social Survey is crucial. This research suggests the need for further testing of these hypotheses using more elaborate measures.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Wilson, Dwain R.

An Application of Marxian and Weberian Theories of Capitalism: the Emergence of Big Businesses in the United States, 1861 to 1890

Description: This study was an examination of businesses that became big businesses in the United States during the time period between the years of 1861 and 1890, a period of time frequently referred to as the “big business era.” The purpose of the study was to identify actions taken by businesses that enabled them to become and remain big businesses. A secondary purpose of the study was to show that these actions were explained by theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber. The results of the study showed that businesses which took specific actions were able to become and remain big businesses and these actions were explained by the theories of Marx and Weber. The results of the study demonstrate the ability of classical sociological theory to explain macro-level social change.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Magness, Penny J.

Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups

Description: The primary objective of this research was to explore the impact of possible social factors on non-institutionalized adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States who exhibited severe mental illness (SMI). A holistic sociological model was developed to explain SMI by incorporating elements of social learning theory, social disorganization theory, and gender socialization theory with social demographic factors. Based on the holistic sociological model, the following factors were investigated: demographic aspects of age, education, income and gender; gender socialization; influence of neighborhood area; social network influence based on communication and interaction among peers and family members; and socially deviant behaviors such as frequently smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs specifically marijuana. The impact of these factors on SMI was examined. A sample of 206 respondents drawn from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 was assessed. These respondents had answered all the questions related to SMI; social deviant behaviors; neighborhood environment; and communications among peers, family members and friends; and the other studied factors. Ordinary linear regression with interaction terms was employed as a statistical tool to assess the impact of social determinants on SMI. Being female, living a disorganized neighborhood, and frequent and high levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol had a significant influence on SMI. This reevaluation and reexamination of the role of gender socialization path, socially deviant behaviors like smoking and drinking, and community construction on SMI provided additional insights. This research is one of the first to develop a more holistic sociological model on SMI and explored the previously untested interactive relationships. The limitations of this study suggest the need to test a potential recursive research model and explore additional bi-directional associations.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Sun, Qi

The Change of Individual Opinions Through Gender-Related Group Influence: An Empirical Study of College Students

Description: The opinions of individuals may be influenced by groups of different gender configurations. This influence was studied by asking college students to respond to a series of statements in pretest and post-test settings. Post-test settings included the use of manipulatively constructed confederate groups to influence the subjects' responses. A pretest was administered in an anonymous nonthreatening environment. Within a week, the subjects were post-tested in a setting with four "confederates" who had previously been instructed to unanimously voice opposite answers to the subjects' initial responses to pretest questions. The objective of this experiment was to determine the number of opinions that were changed when confronted with opposing views. Change of opinions between pretest and post-test were considered to be operational definitions of "conformity."
Date: December 1986
Creator: Blodgett, Billy P. (Billy Paul)

Contraceptive Choice among American Teenage Women: a Test of Two Models Based on the Dryfoos Strategy

Description: Teenage pregnancy rates in the U.S. are among the highest in the world for industrialized countries. The generally accepted reason is not that American teenagers are more sexually active but that they contracept less than do teenagers in other industrialized countries. This dissertation reports on a study that was undertaken for two purposes. One purpose was to develop and test two models of contraceptive choice among American teenagers: a "likelihood-of-use" model to predict the likelihood of sexually active teenagers' using contraception, and a "medical-or-nonmedical" model to predict whether teenagers who use contraception are likely to use medical or nonmedical methods. The second purpose was to explore the level of support for the two models among black and white teenagers separately. The theoretical underpinning of the models is value-expectancy theory. The models' exogenous variables are based on the prevailing strategy for preventing teenage pregnancy among American teenagers, a strategy initially advocated by Joy G. Dryfoos. The strategy involves the use of access-to-contraception programs, educational programs, and life options programs. The data used in the study were on 449 subjects drawn from the 1979 National Survey of Young Women, a probability-sample survey of women in the U.S. aged 15-19. The subjects were those survey respondents who were black or white, sexually active, never married, and never pregnant. The statistical technique used in the study was logistic regression. Test results supported three of four hypotheses constituting the medical-or-nonmedical model and two of seven hypotheses constituting the likelihood-of-use model. The results for each model offered support for using two of the three programs constituting the prevailing pregnancy-prevention strategy: access-to-contraception programs and educational programs. Exploration of the level of support for each of the two models among black and white teenagers indicated that support for each model differed between the two groups of teenagers.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Crow, Thomas Allen

Dispute Resolution Studies in the Institutions of Higher Learning: an Initial Investigative Study of Professors' Attitudes

Description: Conflict is present in all human relationships and societies. Throughout history, fighting has been more notable than peacemaking. Only recently have conflict resolution studies entered the mainstream of academia. Since peace is no longer an option, but a necessity, educators must become actively engaged in promoting the importance of peacemaking skills among their students. In 1986, the National Institute for Dispute Resolution funded a study of conflict resolution in higher education. Results disclosed a proliferation of courses but little about their quality. The present study evaluates the status of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the curricula of three major universities in North Texas and compares it with results from four other universities which were reported to have the heaviest concentration of ADR courses. A questionnaire was constructed to collect data in the following areas: place, significance of ADR in contemporary curricula, important factors determining attitudes toward ADR, and expectations/aspirations of faculty concerning teaching of ADR. Using a Likert scale, attitudes toward ADR were measured through regression analysis. Four of seven independent variables (age, sex, political orientation, and ADR training) were significant at jd = .05. Forty ADR-related courses were identified in seven universities. The concentration of ADR courses was management (35%), law (28%), sociology (23%), business (8%), and political science (8%). No courses were identified by anthropology departments. Results also reveal that the older, liberal, female, and ADR-ski lied individuals exhibit more favorable attitudes towards ADR. The study concludes that (a) concentrated efforts should be increased to teach and train educators in ADR, (b) mediation centers should be created on university campuses, and (c) an ADR communications network and data bank should be established among universities in order to allow faculty, students, practitioners, and administrators to share information. A partial list of organizations involved in peace issues and resources for ...
Date: December 1987
Creator: Ghadrshenass, Delavar

The Distribution of Environmental Contaminants: a Socio-Historical Study of Selected Neighborhoods in Dallas County, Texas

Description: This research expands on recent sociological studies which maintain that environmental contaminants in America are disproportionately placed in neighborhoods inhabited by minorities and the poor. Prior studies have focused on the predictor variables which identify areas of contamination near residential neighborhoods, yet fail to explore the socio-political and historical factors which contribute to these phenomena. The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory 1990 database, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's Annual Report of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Program for 1992, and the U.S. Census Bureau's 1990 Census Data for Dallas County were utilized in pinpointing industries violating toxic release standards. Socio-historical data was obtained from government and historical records and reports, books, and newspaper clippings on Dallas County. Maps and data were obtained from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the cities of Dallas and Garland. Chapter I discusses the synergetic forces of capitalism, urban growth, uneven development, and settlement patterns resulting in the distribution of environmental contaminants. Chapter II reviews the literature and presents evidence that race and class are strong predictors of where environmental contaminants are located. Chapter III outlines the data and methods employed. Chapter IV traces the historical development of Dallas County. Chapter V details those political, economic, and social factors contributing to the convergence of people and contaminants within three selected neighborhoods. The forces which historically relegate minorities, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, and the poor to less desirable jobs, cheaper housing, and land costs are also explored. Cheap land and labor attract industry which, in turn, attracts more laborers. Chapter VI, the summary and conclusions, utilizes the socio-spatial approach in examining urban infrastructure development (i.e. roads and railways) which also reduces adjacent land costs making housing more affordable for minorities and the poor. This study concludes that because of historical development and ...
Date: December 1997
Creator: Cutrer, Jennifer G.

The Effects of Cognitive Style and Socialization Background on Patterns of Behavior: Integrating Individual Differences (Using the MBTI) with Meadian Socialization Theory

Description: The general purpose of this study is to examine the effects of socialization background and cognitive style on individuals' patterns of behavior. The more specific purpose is to integrate the individual differences factor using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with Meadian Theory of Socialization in order to explore the ways in which a group of incarcerated individuals with prior felony and misdemeanor convictions and a group of college students are different regarding their different socialization background and cognitive styles. Data for this study were collected from a university and a county jail in Texas. During the process of data collection, two questionnaires consisting of 117 items were used to measure individual characteristics and elements of socialization background. This study is organized into four different chapters. Chapter I involves a detailed review of related literature, the purpose of the study, stated hypotheses, significance of the study, and limitations. Chapter II discusses methodological procedures and Chapter III presents the findings of the study. The last chapter includes a detailed conclusion and practical implications of the study. The findings in this study indicated that the group of incarcerated individuals and the group of college students are significantly different in terms of their different individual characteristics and socialization backgrounds. However, it was found that socialization background has the most significant effects on patterns of behavior among the two groups under study. It was concluded that while accepting the crucial importance of socialization factors, specific psychological characteristics of people also need to be integrated into sociological studies concerning human behavior for the better understanding of different groups and individuals in society.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Nazempooran, Ali

The Effects of Neighboring, Social Networks, and Collective Efficacy on Crime Victimization: an Alternative to the Systemic Model

Description: The systemic model posits that informal social control directly reduces crime victimization and social networks indirectly reduce crime victimization through informal social control. While empirical testing of the systemic model advanced the theory, important analytical issues remain. First, social networks are inconsistently conceptualized and measured. Second, the conceptual relationship between social networks and informal social control remains unclear. This study addresses these issues by testing an alternative to the systemic model, including new constructs and hypotheses. The goal is to develop better indicators for the model and refine the theory, rethinking and deepening the existing theory about neighborhood effects on crime victimization. The data come from the 2002-2003 Seattle Neighborhoods and Crime Survey (N=2,200). Structural equation modeling (SEM), a multivariate statistical technique, was used to analyze these data. The SEM included five latent constructs (neighboring, neighborhood and non-neighborhood social networks, collective efficacy, and crime victimization) and six social structural variables (racially homogeneous neighborhood, resident tenure, household income, family disruption, male, and non-white ethnicity). One of my 9 hypotheses was supported; the remaining hypotheses were partly supported. The results support my argument that the systemic model is too simplistic, but the relationships among the variables are not exactly as I hypothesized. The results provide insight into the complexities of the systemic model and areas for future research.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Soto, Anthony Jaime

Exploring the Gender Role Ideology of Black and White Men Between Ages 18 to 30

Description: This research is a qualitative study that explores the gender role ideology of Black and White men between the ages of 18-30. The study found that both groups are moving toward egalitarianism on different pathways. The pathways illustrate the effect of racial identity on gender role ideology. White respondents had a progressive egalitarianism which stemmed from ideas reflected individualism, secularization, and the identification with the grand narrative of the United States. Their respondents also reflected postmodern ideas. Overall their ideas reflect larger White racial identity and shows an overlap between the progressive understanding of modernity and with postmodernist ideas of non-deterministic definitions. Black respondents had a collaborative egalitarianism which stemmed from historical racial and economic deprivation. Subsequently, Blacks gender role ideology illustrates collaboration and communal interdependence between of Black men and women, and the Black church. Blacks tended to view things from a social perspective that was often reactionary. Overall, their ideas reflected the larger Black racial identity which emphasizes collaboration between men and women and a reliance on community based institutions like the Black church.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Strong, Myron

Family Background and Structure of High Academic Achievers

Description: This study examines the influence of family background and structure on academic achievement. The research focuses on the 11th- and 12th-grade population in the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas, Denton. The study examines the variables in family background and family structure that contribute to the students' high academic achievement. Twelve hypotheses related to parents, home environment, family structure and interaction, family roles, and family values are proposed. The multivariate analysis shows that the variables being read to, reading independently, fathers' education, mothers' education, and ethnicity are significant in impacting academic achievement. The study underlines the fact that multiple factors in family structure and background have an influence on academic achievement.
Date: May 1997
Creator: McDaniel, Linda Marie

Grandparent Satisfaction and Family Structure: a Descriptive Study of Multigenerational Families in Denton County, Texas

Description: This descriptive study of 45 multi-generational families contributes empirical knowledge about grandparent-grandchild relationships. A questionnaire was developed and completed by 74 subjects who were part of a randomly selected sample taken from a tax roll of homeowners over age 65 in Denton County, Texas. The responses provide information which expands the existing data base in the area of grandparenting. The study pinpoints areas in the grandparenting literature which need refinement and contributes data to those areas, rather than producing a set of conclusions. Areas as yet undocumented or inadequately documented in the literature are identified as the following: (a) family structural composition; (b) grandparents' personal characteristics; (c) selected aspects of grandparent-grandchild contact; and (d) satisfaction with the grandparent role. Data for these areas should help reveal factors having an impact on grandparent-grandchild relationships. A base for further investigation in these areas is established, and data are also analyzed to determine satisfaction or lack of satisfaction with grandparenting. The seventy-four subjects, from 45 households, included 44 grandmothers and 30 grandfathers. The number of generations per family was used as the base to report the findings. The study substantiates other research on grandparenting, particularly in the area of timing of grand-parenthood. Data collected in this study support the view that the grandparent's chronological age and the time in his or her life cycle when grandchildren appear (role entry), religious affiliation, lineage, and frequency of contact all contribute to satisfaction with the role of grandparent. Almost all of the respondents described themselves as satisfied grandparents and indicated their pride in and pleasure derived from their grandchildren. A strong relationship between satisfaction and any one variable studied is not identified. The major contribution of the study lies in the descriptive detail and in ruling out any one characteristic as "the one variable" that really ...
Date: May 1989
Creator: Hettinger, Barbara J. (Barbara Jane)

Health-related Quality of Life and Social Engagement in Assisted Living Facilities

Description: This research project aims to clarify the factors that impact successful aging in Assisted Living facilities (ALFs) in Denton County, Texas. We hypothesize that social disengagement decreases physical and mental components of quality of life. This exploratory research project employed standardized questionnaires to assess residents in the following domains; HRQOL, social engagement status, level of cognition, depression, and the level of functioning. This study collected data from 75 participants living in five ALFs. The average of Physical Component Scale (PCS) and Mental Component Scale (MCS) was 35.33, and 53.62 respectively. None of the participants had five or more social contacts out of facilities, and two-third of them had two or less social contacts. On average, those participants who were more socially engaged had higher score of MCS compared with disengaged counterparts. The level of physical function significantly affects social engagement, when people with more disabilities are more likely to be socially disengaged. Social engagement and depression significantly impact MCS, when depression is a mediating factor between social engagement and mental component of quality of life. Considering the expansion in aging population in the United States within the next three decades, the demand for high quality long-term care will skyrocket consequently. This study reveals that external social engagement can sustain HRQOL of residents in assisted living facilities.
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Amini, Reza

Health Status and Access Disparities Among the Uninsured Working-Age Population in a Safety-Net Healthcare Network in Tarrant County, Texas

Description: The objective of this research was to determine if healthcare access disparities exist across race and gender in a publically funded safety-net healthcare system in Texas. Data were examined from a representative random sample of 1468 adults aged 18-64 who were patients in this safety-net system in July and August of 2000 and were analyzed using binary logistic regression and chi-square measures of significance. Major Findings: On measures of health status - overall health rating (p =.051), limited employment (p =.000), energy level (p =.001), and worry (p =.012) - Anglos reported the worst health; Mexican Americans, the best health; with African Americans intermediate. Mexican Americans were more likely to have never had health insurance, and to also have had insurance in the past year; Anglos were least likely to have ever had insurance (p =.015) or to have had insurance in the past year (p =.000). On use of EDs (p =.028), problems getting prescription medicines (p =.029), and foregoing other necessities of life to pay for healthcare, Mexican Americans were least disadvantaged with African Americans reporting greatest use of EDs among both men and women, and Anglos the most problems with prescription medicines and foregoing care, especially among women. Logistic regression revealed that health status was the strongest predictor of problems accessing healthcare in all groups; the poorer health status of safety-net patients, the more problems they had accessing care. Patterns of poor reported health status and greater problems accessing care among Anglos relative to other groups is discussed in terms of social drift and relative deprivation.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Queen, Courtney M.

Healthcare Utilization and Health Outcomes: US-born and Foreign-born Elderly Asian Americans

Description: In order to better understand variations of health behaviors between US-born and foreign-born elderly Asian Americans (65+) in the United States, the research aims to explore relationships among health outcomes, healthcare utilization, and sociodemographic characteristics. Data from the National Health Interview Survey 1998-2012 is used to construct structural equation models for the US born group and for the foreign born group. The results found that there is a reciprocal relationship between health outcomes and healthcare utilization in both groups. Use of healthcare services can positively affect health outcomes, while better health outcomes reduce the need for healthcare utilization. In addition, some sociodemographic characteristics, such as age, sex, and marital status have a direct effect on health outcomes, but some others, such as education, family size and combined family income, have an indirect effect on health outcomes via healthcare utilization. The region of residency has both direct and indirect effects on health outcomes. Regarding the effects of predictors on health outcomes, US-born elderly Asians usually receive more health advantages from using institutional health services than foreign-born elderly Asians. Practitioners, social gerontologists, and policy makers should be cautious about assuming that there is a positive impact of increased healthcare utilization on health outcomes in elderly Asian Americans.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Huang, Jacob Chao-Lun

Negotiating Work-life Balance Within the Operational Culture of a Chaebol in the Southeastern United States

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine the work life balance negotiations of three distinct culture groups employed by South Korean conglomerates located within the southeastern United States. These three cultural groups are: Korean nationals, Korean Americans, and non-Korean Americans. It is proposed that each culture will negotiate work life balances in their own manner based upon their specific inherent cultural understandings. This study is a cross-cultural examination through thirty-two open-ended interviews of employees working for large multinational Korean companies with facilities in the southern United States. Korean nationals, Korean Americans, and Americans implement different work-life balance negotiation tactics in the workplace based upon each one’s cultural association. While all three cultural groups experience difficulty in obtaining a work-life balance working for a Korean company, the Korean Americans seem to suffer the most.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Pulliam, Wheeler D.

Sources of Support and Parental Performances a Descriptive Study of Mexican-American Female Single Parents

Description: This is a descriptive study of the statistical association between the amounts of financial—emotional supports available and their impact on the degree of difficulty in the performance of the parental roles of a nonrandom sample of eighty-six Mexican-American female single parents from McAllen, Texas. The sample was divided into four socioeconomic status categories. A total of twenty-nine variables were correlated: twenty independent, financial-emotional and nine dependent parental performance variables. The twenty variables were defined in terms of socioeconomic resources: child-care availability and satisfaction, nature of personal/children problems, and frequency of interaction with significant others defined emotional supports. Parental role performances were defined in terms of having children with medical, learning or emotional problems, and the degree of difficulty in caring for sick children, spending time with them, yelling and screaming, use of corporal punishment and feeling overwhelmed by parental demands. Analyses indicated that these families functioned in a stable and viable manner, with little evidence of disintegration or "pathology." The parents had extensive social networks comprised of kin# coworkers, and friends, and they interacted with these support people on a regular basis, usually several times per week, but at the same time the parents rarely interacted with the ex-husbands or ex-in-laws, The majority of ex—husbands had never made any support payments and rarely saw their children. The single parents did not evidence unmanageable problems in caring for their children, or in asserting control and authority over them. Corporal punishment, yelling and screaming, and other discipline problems were minimal issues, and were not more severe or serious than before the divorce. The mothers were satisfied with the available child-care and the general growth of their children, but felt they continuously carried a tremendous burden, and all indications are that, even with sources of different kinds and levels of support. Finally, a ...
Date: August 1987
Creator: Maldonado, Alfred C.

Toward a Program Evaluation of the Community Mental Health Center Selected Application of the Parsonian Model

Description: The purpose of this study is to test the utility of Talcott Parsons' AGIL Model, i.e., Adaptation, Goal Attainment, Integration, and Latency (Pattern Maintenance) in evaluating the program effectiveness of a community mental health center (CMHC). The model provided a conceptual framework for the selection of appropriate variables. The dependent variable in this study is the overall evaluation of the CMHC as measured through the perception of community leaders. Fourteen hypotheses were constructed to identify and test the relationship among the AGIL criteria and the use of a selected set of independent variables. Data for this study were collected from primary and secondary sources. Secondary data were obtained from the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation in Austin and the CMHC center in Eton. Primary data were collected through personal interviews of general community leaders and influential persons in health-related activities in the community. The selected independent variables included the scope of leadership, the attitude towards this community, socio-economic status, knowledge of the CMHC, and the commitment and involvement in the CMHC. Data indicated that Parsons' criteria for evaluating the CMHC's program were comprehensive and related to each other both positively and negatively. Among the selected independent variables, the type of leader was found to be the best predictor of program evaluation of this CMHC. Overall, generalized community leaders were more defensive and favorable to the CMHC's program compared with the specialinterest leaders. The leaders also differed in their emphasis of the AGIL criteria. The generalized community leaders were conservative in emphasizeing the evaluative criteria of adaptation, integration, and pattern maintenance; the special-interest leaders gave more emphasis to the goal attainment function of CMHC. It was concluded that Parsons' AGIL model was useful for evaluating a CMHC. The variant direction of relationship among AGIL criteria indicated differences in ...
Date: August 1986
Creator: Moodley, Bobby