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American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study

Description: It is commonly assumed that when confronted with an imminent hazard that people will react rationally, and prepare for, or at least attempt to avoid, danger from pending disasters. However, this conventional wisdom is not as evident as it appears. People prepare for, react to, or take social action to avoid hazards when they perceive the risk of danger to be threatening enough to warrant action, providing one has the will, insight and resources to do so. However, not all people perceive risks similarly. Risk is perceived differently by different people which affects risk perception and responses to hazards. This dissertation explores the relationships between American Indian worldviews, risk perceptions and disaster planning. To carry out this research 28 American Indians were interviewed. The sample consists of 14 American Indians residing in a rural are on the northern plains and 14 urban American Indians. The results only partially support that worldview is linked to risk perception and subsequent disaster planning. Other factors found to relate to risk perception and disaster planning for this non-representative sample of American Indians include various forms of social vulnerability.
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Date: December 2013
Creator: Bales, Rodney A.

Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory

Description: This study examines the mediating effect of social bonding on delinquent behavior among Kurdish teens. Major influences to the study of self concept and delinquency based on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are reviewed. The data was collected from a sample of 100 Kurdish teens attending a Gülen affiliated school (Private Çaglayan Murat Anatolian Science High School in Şanlıurfa, Turkey) and 100 Kurdish teens attending a public (non- Gülen) school (The Public High School in Diyarbakır, Turkey). There are two dependent variables for this research project: Involvement in major delinquency and involvement in minor delinquency. The components of social bonding attachment, involvement, commitment, and belief were used as independent variables. Participants’ age ranged between 16 to 18 years. I hypothesize that the relation between the social bonding elements and delinquency should be stronger in the case of Kurdish adolescents who are more attached to conventional Turkish society. Results from binary logistic regression analyses indicate that in the absence of bonding, Kurdish teenagers tend to engage in major and minor delinquent activities. For further exploration and results, the Gülen Movement was examined as an independent variable. Findings suggest a strong relationship between the Gülen Movement and Kurdish adolescents’ probability of involvement in either major or minor delinquent activities. Finally, several directions for future research on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are recommended and some implications are drawn for deterring Kurdish adolescents from becoming involved in delinquent actions.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Ziyanak, Sebahattin

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.

Are Alzheimer's Special Care Units Really Special? Effects of Residential Status on Family Members' Perspectives on High Quality Care for their Loved-Ones in Long-Term Care

Description: This analysis of secondary data collected from family members of nursing home residents in North Texas (n = 422) used a mixed methods approach to determine if there is a difference in perspectives on quality care among family members of Alzheimer’s/Dementia Special Care Unit (ADSCU) residents compared to those of non-ADSCU residents. Descriptive content analysis was used identify and condense responses to an open-ended question into four meaningful categories of qualities of care. An independent t-test was employed to determine if there was a difference between family members of ADSCU residents and family members of non-ADSCU residents regarding their rating of their loved-ones’ nursing home on the important qualities of care they identified from the open-ended question. Closed-ended questions were organized into indices of these qualities of care, and ordinary least square regression was employed to determine if there were significant differences between perceptions of family members of ADSCU residents and those of non-ADSCU residents regarding care their loved-ones are receiving on these qualities of care, controlling for frequency of visit.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Fawcett, Elizabeth Jean

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

Behavioral Aspects of Latino Familialism: a Three Study Analysis

Description: The existing research on Latino familialism draws a distinction between the attitudes associated with familialism and familialism-based action. Because attitudes tend to be more stable when considering variables such as immigration generation status, etc., social science researchers tend to employ measures based on attitudinal aspects of familialism, rather than action or behavior. Because of this preference, there is a lack of studies that examine familialism-based action and behaviors. This dissertation consists of three unique studies that examine actions and behaviors associated with familialism, while taking into account the methodological concerns expressed by previous researchers. The first study uses nationally representative U.S. data to compare the differences in the frequency of contact with various family members, among black non-Hispanics, Hispanics, and white non-Hispanics. The central finding of this study is that Hispanics maintain more frequent contact with family than white non-Hispanics, but there is no difference between Hispanics and black non-Hispanics, with the exception of contact with fathers. The second study, which employs qualitative data collected from a metropolitan area in the Southwest U.S., examines the locus of educational aspirations and expectations among a sample of Hispanics and white non-Hispanics. Among other things, this study finds that Hispanic females were more likely than other participants to make statements that suggest the aspirations or expectations of significant others were a strong influence in the decision to attend college. This study further argues that this tendency is related to the acquiescent nature of traditional Hispanic gender norms associated with the familial concept of marianismo. Using nationally representative U.S. data, the final study finds that, other things being equal, Hispanic college students are more likely than non-Hispanic students to attend a college or university that is within fifty miles of their permanent residence. The study further finds that this tendency mediates the gap between ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Comeau, Joseph Adrien

Bundle of Joy: Pregnancy, Coping, and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Girls

Description: Using the stress process model, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms among adolescent girls was investigated. This model posits that stress resulting from social location and related disruptive life events may indirectly affect health by eroding coping, mastery, or social support mechanisms. The effect of low income, minority status and pregnancy on coping processes in adolescent girls was hypothesized and tested. Communication with parents, involvement in activities, and success in school were examined as positive coping strategies. Smoking tobacco, heavy alcohol use, and drug use were examined as negative coping. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health were analyzed. After combining the available cases from the 2006, 2007, and 2008 datasets, selecting girls aged from 12 to 17 years, and removing missing cases; the sample consisted of a total of 22,854 adolescents. A series of binary logistic regression models were estimated. Findings included that coping strategies partially mediate the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms. In particular, success in school, smoking tobacco, and drug abuse played a mediating role. When coping was accounted for, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms was reduced and became only marginally significant. Implications of the study include a focus on policy that promotes early intervention assisting at-risk adolescents with the development of coping strategies that may help them adjust to unexpected life events, such as pregnancy.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Kaiser, Karen Claiborne

Can Akers’ Social Structure and Social Learning Theory Explain Delinquent Behaviors Among Turkish Adolescents?

Description: The aim of this study was to examine to what extent Social Structure and Social Learning Theory (SSSL) explains delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. While Social Structure and Social Learning (SSSL) Theory have been examined quite frequently in the criminology and sociology literature, the present study is unique as it tests the theory in Turkey, a context with a mixed Islamic and Secular cultural structure. The data originates from a survey conducted in Istanbul in 2008 by the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA) under the auspices of their Youth in Europe project. The sample includes 2,445 Turkish high school students. The dependent variable includes a 13-item delinquency scale, and the independent variables consist of differential association, costs and rewards of differential reinforcement, definitions, imitation, differential location in the social structure, and differential social location of groups. The statistical analyses were conducted using a negative binomial regression approach. Results demonstrated that differential association (peer delinquency) is positively associated with delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. In addition, there is a significant and positive relationship between norms/beliefs that favor delinquency and delinquent behaviors. Moreover, parental reaction, a measure of differential reinforcement, has a negative impact on delinquency. Imitation variables, which include witnessing an argument and witnessing violence in the family, also appear as significant predictors for delinquency. Gender is the only social structure variable significantly related to delinquent behaviors. Furthermore, results indicated that social learning variables mediated the relationship between social structure and delinquent behaviors. Policy implications and suggestions for further studies are also provided at the end of the dissertation.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Solakoglu, Ozgur

Can Social Disorganization and Social Capital Factors Help Explain the Incidences of Property Crimes in Turkey?

Description: Organized crime and terrorism taking place in the Turkish provinces get more attention in the public agenda than other type of crimes. Although property crimes receive less attention, they pose a serious threat to public order and the social welfare of Turkish society. Academic researchers have also paid little attention to the analysis of property crimes at the macro level in Turkey. For these reasons, this study focused on the analysis of property crimes for three years period, 2005, 2006 and 2007 in Turkey, using a conceptual model of social disorganization. Provincial level data from Turkish governmental agencies were used. The findings of multivariate analyses showed that social disorganization approach, as measured in this study, provided a partial explanation of property crime rates in Turkey. Family disruption and urbanization had significant effects on property crime rate, while remaining exogenous elements of social disorganization (i.e., SES, population heterogeneity and residential mobility) did not have any expected effects. In mediation analysis, using faith-based engagement and political participation rates as mediators between the structural factors of social disorganization and property crime rate provided marginal support for the theory. Political participation rate partially mediated the relationship between property crime rate and urbanization rate, while faith-based engagement rate did not mediate the effects of social disorganization variables on property crime rate. These findings were consistent with the findings of research that has been completed in other nations, and made a unique contribution to the Turkish research on crime.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Irmak, Fatih

Caregiver Perceptions of Wandering Behavior in the Adrd (Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias) Patient

Description: The dissertation examined family caregivers’ perceptions of wandering behavior after their loved one has been diagnosed with ADRD (Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias). Semi-structured in-depth face-to-face interviews of a convenience sample of 22 caregivers in the Dallas metropolitan area were conducted. Responses were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The use of qualitative methods facilitated the study of how caregivers of a loved one with ADRD understood and explained in their own voice the wandering behavior associated with the disease and how their views of the behavior informed the caregiving process. In particular, this research examined why some caregivers tend to recognize wandering behavior as significant early on while the ADRD patient is still living in the home (and community) and modifications can be made to keep him or her there despite the behavior, and why some caregivers do not. Findings indicated that caregivers were concerned about the general safety of their loved one. Precautions were taken within the home for conditions related to frailty, but were much less likely to be taken to address wandering behavior and its negative consequences. Three groups of caregivers emerged: (a) those who primarily reacted to their loved one’s problem behaviors including wandering, and intervened minimally; (b) those who were proactive, making modifications in their routines and environment to protect their loved one after a trigger event; and (c) those who had a mixed response, who did the best that they could with what they had. This last group of caregivers took on additional roles, modified their homes for safety, but environmental stressors and inadequate supports limited their interventions. Implications of the findings for aging in place and community, further research, policy-making, and practitioners are discussed.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Dickson, Patricia

Churches, Social Service Access and Korean-american Elders: an Exploratory Study

Description: This study examined how Korean co-ethnic churches serve as connections between Korean seniors and the agencies that offer social and health care services. The study developed from a pilot outreach program funded by the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging (NCTAAA) to inform Korean seniors about Medicare-related programs between February and May of 2011. The results of the pilot program suggested that the Korean-American church can be an effective place for program outreach. The dissertation project, working in partnership with the NCTAAA and 2-1-1 services, further explored the use of Korean churches as a vehicle to connect Korean seniors to Extra Help (EH) and Medicare Saving Programs (MSP) and 2-1-1 services, a toll-free number for information about non-emergency health and social services. Fifty-three pastors were contacted to participate in a telephone survey and a face-to-face, in-depth semi-structured interview. Thirty telephone surveys and 11 face-to-face interviews were conducted. Five of the 30 pastors agreed to host program outreach presentations for the EH, MSP, and 2-1-1 services in their churches. Host churches tended to be more likely highly structured, regularly scheduled programs (e.g., Senior College) for seniors already in place. A total of 405 Korean seniors participated in the program outreach sessions. Five seniors received the EH application information, and 17 MSP application forms were distributed. Additionally, 28 seniors were assisted by phone, not only with the targeted programs, but also with other benefits information. Together, these outcomes indicate that the co-ethnic church can be a vehicle to connect Korean seniors to services offered by outside agencies.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Kim, Eunkyung

Correlates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified among Palestinian Child Ex-Detainees

Description: The objective of this study is to investigate the variations in the type of trauma (post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified (DESNOS) resulting first from group membership, and second from variations in socioeconomic status, and last, from exposure to physical and psychological methods of interrogation due to imprisonment. I use a diverse sample of 202 child ex-detainees who served sentences in Israeli prisons and were 17 years of age or less at the time of arrest. Various regression techniques were utilized to determine the most parsimonious way to distinguish between the three groups in their trauma responses. The key finding in this study is that child refugee ex-detainees living in refugee camps, in general, did not report PTSD or DESNOS reactions compared to their counterparts. Continuing PTSD and DESNOS symptoms were more prevalent among the group of refugees living outside the camps. However, there is at least one finding that supported what I hypothesized: refugees living in camps were more likely to experience elevated levels of alterations in attention or consciousness (DESNOS2). For refugees in camps, the DESNOS absence tells us that the volatile childhood these children experienced was not associated with severe pathological reactions or heightened sensitization to trauma. In contrast, refugees living outside camps suffer from alterations in self-perception DESNOS4 symptomology, in addition, to elevated levels of complex trauma DESNOS and they qualified for the DESNOS diagnosis more than the other two groups of children. Refugees living outside camps were the only group subjected to interpersonal stressors.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Nabhan, Inshirah Nimer

Determinants of Mental Health Problems Among College Students

Description: Many college students have reported struggling with mental health problems while dealing with challenging demands of college. The initial theoretical framework for this research was Pearlin's stress process model (SPM). Building on the SPM, the three additional mediating variables of perceived control, meaninglessness, and financial worries were added to create a composite model for the research. Mental health outcomes in the model were measured by a comprehensive range of factors, which included: psychological distress, suicide, substance abuse, and anger. Data were collected from a non-probability convenience sample of 463 undergraduate students attending a large state supported university in the southwestern region of the United States. Among the social status variables measured, being married, female, and white were significant predictors of poor mental health in the sampled college students. Poor self-image, feeling of meaninglessness, and worrying about current and future finances were significant mediating variables. Poor mental health could make individuals overwhelmed and discouraged. This is a formula for failure in college. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the correlates of mental health problems among college students. A greater understanding means that families and college administrations will have better ideas about how to intervene to reduce the stress of students and to focus the available and often limited resources to help young adults in their college experience.
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Date: December 2010
Creator: Mirbaha-Hashemi, Fariba

Determinants of the Applications to the Institutional Care in Turkey: Darulaceze Example

Description: Although institutional care has started to be outmoded in the developed countries with development of different models of care, it still has a considerable place in the developing countries such as Turkey. This is because, changes in the demographic structure, extended family, and urban development of Turkey has brought about several aging problems leading older adults to end up in institutions. Loneliness was one of the significant reasons given in the Social Inquiry Survey of Applicants of Darulaceze Old-Age Institution and the basis for a micro level analysis in this study. Therefore, the main objective of the study was to determine the predictors of loneliness, including age, the state of living alone, functional independence, education, and gender. Analysis of the results indicated that these predictors have significant effects on the loneliness predominantly defined by social factors rather than medical factors. In addition, the meso and macro level analyses were employed to control the micro level analysis and see a general picture of institutional care. Thus, an academic example of diagnosing the main reasons behind the institutional care was presented to understand the context of aging in Turkey.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Esendemir, Serif

Determinants of Women's Autonomy in Nepal

Description: Nepal in recent times has witnessed a proliferation of community-based organization (CBOs). Established by local residents, CBOs are small level organizations that promote and defend the rights and interests of people especially that of minorities and the disadvantaged. One such minority group that CBOs greatly focus on are women. Despite dramatic increase in the number of CBOs in Nepal its impact on women is understudied. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the relationship between Nepalese women's participation in CBOs and their autonomy. Autonomy comprises of four different dimensions; physical mobility, financial autonomy, household decision-making, and reproductive autonomy. Modifying the conceptual framework used by Mahmud, Shah, and Becker in 2012, I hypothesize that women who participate in CBOs experience greater autonomy. Data from the 2008 Chitwan Valley Family Study is used for analysis. Using SPSS, separate logistic regressions are run to analyze the relationship between CBO membership and the dimensions of autonomy. The results support three of the four proposed major hypotheses. Nepalese women who participate in CBOs have greater autonomy in terms of physical mobility, financial autonomy, and household decision-making. No evidence was found to establish link between CBO membership and reproductive autonomy. The variables that are controlled for in the study include age, caste, religion, education, marital status, exposure to television, exposure to radio, and relationship with one's mother-in-law.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Neupane, Diptee

Diaspora Philanthropy: Identity and Obligation Among Indian Engineers in the United States

Description: Diaspora philanthropy to India has grown rapidly over the past several decades. However, little is known about the motivations of Indians living in the U.S. to donate philanthropically to India. Extant studies have either focused on quantitative analysis of diaspora philanthropy or qualitative research on the receiving of diaspora philanthropy in India. The motivations and strategies of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. have not been explored, particularly, the informal mechanisms and strategies of making philanthropic donations to India and the obligations that underlie the practice of diaspora philanthropy remain neglected in the existing studies on diaspora philanthropy. My research addressed this gap in the existing literature on diaspora philanthropy by conducting qualitative face-to-face in-depth interviews with a snowball sample of 25 Indian engineers in San Diego, California. In my study, it was found that Indians preferred to channel funds for philanthropy in India through friends and family because of lack of trust in formal organizations and greater confidence in the activities of friends and family in India due to familiarity and better accountability. It was also found that Indians felt indebted to Indian society and the Indian nation-state for the free and subsidized education they had received in India, and therefore felt obligated to make philanthropic contributions to India in order to redeem the debt that they owe to India.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Batra, Shikha

Dimensions of Acculturation and Sexual Health among U.S. Hispanic Youth

Description: Hispanic youth living in the U.S. share a disproportionate burden of risk for HIV, other STIs, and teen pregnancies. They also tend to report lower rates of condom use and higher rates of inconsistent condom use than other racial/ethnic groups. Furthermore, immigrant Hispanic adolescents experience a unique burden of sexual risk compared to their non-immigrant counterparts. These negative sexual health outcomes can severely derail the overall health, social mobility, and life opportunities of these adolescents. Social researchers have tried to explain these sexual risk disparities using the concept of immigrant acculturation, which is broadly defined as the process of adopting the cultural values and beliefs of a host society. Immigrant acculturation has been shown to play a key role in shaping youth attitudes and behaviors, including sexual risk behaviors (see Lee & Hahm, 2010). Yet, studies have largely overlooked the contextual components of acculturation that have been proposed in theoretical literature, specifically characteristics of the immigrant's receiving community. Furthermore, studies have not adequately explored the influence of acculturation on two crucial measures of sexual risk: teen pregnancy norms and condom use. Therefore, the current dissertation consists of two unique studies that examine the influence of acculturation, at both the individual and neighborhood level, on Hispanic adolescent teen pregnancy norms and condom use over time. The aim is to fill these important gaps in the literature and expand on earlier explanations of the relationship between cultural, place, and long-term sexual health. Both studies use nationally-representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Overall, findings suggest an immigrant advantage for both teen pregnancy norms and condom use, although this advantage functions differently for males and females. Furthermore, the studies demonstrate the importance of including contextual measures of acculturation into studies related to Hispanic adolescent sexual health.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Driver, Nichola D

Disaster Experience and Self-efficacy As Factors Influencing Emergency Planning in Community-dwelling Older Adults

Description: This study design was to identify and examine how disaster experience, self-efficacy, and demographic factors influence disaster preparedness in community-dwelling older adults. Current data indicates the United States is rapidly aging. Parallel to this significant increase among the elderly population, natural disasters are more prevalent. Consequently, older adults are affected adversely by these disasters and exposure to social vulnerabilities during the disaster cycle. For the purpose of this study, non-identifiable secondary data were analyzed. Sources of the data were the 2007 and 2008 National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveys. The sample focus of this study was adults 50 and older. Regression analyses identified important predictors of disaster preparedness in the survey respondents. Sample adults with previous disaster experience are two times more likely to be in a higher category for having an emergency plan than those respondents with no observable effects of self-efficacy and no previous disaster experience. The frequency of natural disasters in the United States has generated a renewed interest in disaster management, in particular, disaster preparedness. Nevertheless, the focal point of disaster preparedness is no longer the rudimentary stockpile of water, a first aid kit, and a battery operated radio. To advance the field of disaster management it is vital for gerontologist to approach disaster preparedness by differentiating between stockpiling supplies and social cognitive interventions that fundamentally alters preparedness behavior.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Symonette, Erika

Domestic Violence Shelters in Texas: Responding to Programming Needs of Older Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

Description: This study examined if domestic violence shelters in Texas are responding to the needs of older female victims of intimate partner violence. Data for this study was collected through online questionnaire surveys of 45% of Texas domestic violence shelters. Findings of this study indicated that less than 10% of Texas shelters are providing specialized programming for older victims of IPV. In Texas, the demographic growth of older adults has remained comparable to increased national trends. The state of Texas will face several policy implications and social issues related to an older population that is rapidly growing. This includes, the importance of addressing certain members of an aging population who continue to fall victim to domestic violence. Furthermore, an unchanged resource of safety for victims of IPV is domestic violence shelters. Therefore, this study challenges current domestic violence shelter policies to address this issue of a rapidly growing segment of the Texas population. This study found less than 10% of shelters in Texas, who participated in this study, were providing specialized programming and outreach for older victims. Important practical implications for domestic violence shelter programming in Texas is provided.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Lozano, Yvonne M.

Drought: Construction of a Social Problem

Description: Drought is a complex subject that has varied definitions and perspectives. Although drought has historically been characterized as an environmental problem from both the meteorological and agricultural communities, it is not considered a sociological disaster despite its severe societal impacts. Utilizing the framework developed by Spector and Kitsuse (2011) and Stallings (1995), this research examines the process through which drought is defined as a social problem. An analysis of the data revealed drought was well covered in Africa, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand, yet very little coverage focused on the United States. There were less than 10 articles discussing drought and drought impacts in the United States. The workshops/meetings examined also were lacking in the attention to drought, although their overall theme was focused on hazards and resilience. Six sessions in over 16 years of meetings/workshops focused on the topic of drought, and one session was focused on the condition in Canada. The interviews uncovered five thematic areas demonstrating drought understanding and awareness: Use of outreach to get the message out; agricultures familiarity with drought; the role of drought in media; the variability of what drought is; and water conservation. Drought's claims-makers who are dedicated to providing outreach and education to impacted communities. Drought is often overlooked due to its slow onset and evolving development makes it difficult to determine when to engage in recovery efforts. Drought defined as a social problem also expands theoretical conversations regarding what events or issues should be included within the sociological disaster list of topics.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Parham, Antoinette D

Effect of Age on Likelihood to Test for Hiv

Description: HIV/AIDS can affect individuals of any age. Efforts to educate those considered to be most at-risk, based on the age at which the most individuals are infected, are ongoing and public. Less work and mainstream education outreach, however, is being directed at an older population, who can be more likely to contract HIV, is more susceptible to the effects of HIV, and more likely to develop AIDS, than younger persons. Guided by the Health Belief Model theory, research was conducted to determine what, if any, relationship existed between age of an individual and the possibility that an HIV test will be sought. Factors of gender, education, ethnicity and marital status were included in analyses. the research indicated that as age increased, likelihood for getting an HIV test decreased. Overall, most individuals had not been tested for HIV. the implications of an aged and aging population with HIV include a need for coordinated service delivery, increased education and outreach.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Dreyer, Katherine

The Effect of Group Status on Moral Relativism and the Stigmatization of Mental Illness: a Social Dominance Theoretical Model

Description: This dissertation created a model to explore the effect of dominant group status on stigmatization of mental illness and on moral relativism and the interactive effect of dominant group status on stigmatization of mental illness through moral relativism. The model was conceptualized according to social dominance theory. Latent variables were created to measure moral relativism and stigmatization of mental illness. The latent measures were conceptualized according to current theories in the fields of moral relativism and stigmatization. During statistical analyses the latent measure for moral relativism was found to be unreliable. The study then became confirmatory-exploratory in nature by first comparing the fit indices of three alternate models with single-measure latent variables. The model that best fit the data was then used to conclude the exploratory research on the effect of group status on moral relativism and stigmatization of mental illness. The model was not supported by the data based on fit index and standardized residual scores.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Cincotta, Julie Passmore

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

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