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Academic excellence and instructional expenditures in Texas.

Description: Public school per pupil costs and demands for better performance have increased over the past several decades. While the overall per pupil expenditures have increased, the percent of the educational dollar directed toward instructional activities has remained at approximately 60%. A grass-roots movement known as the "65% Solution" caught national attention by claiming that schools are not efficiently allocating resources into areas that have the greatest link to student achievement, such as instruction. Proponents of the 65% Solution claim that per pupil expenditures can be increased by shifting funds from areas considered non-instructional to areas that directly impact student instruction, such as teachers and instructional materials. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between district Panel Recommended and Commended Performance TAKS Reading/ELA and Math results and three measurements of instructional expenditures, Instructional Staff Percent; TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio; and the NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (65% Solution), in Texas public schools. Data was collected from the 2003-2004 AEIS report. Multiple regression was used to conduct the analyses. In most instances, there was little, if any, relationship between TAKS Reading/ELA and TAKS Math, and the Instructional Staff Percent (ISP), TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio (TIER), and NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (NIER). However, a low to moderate relationship was discovered in the comparison of TAKS Reading/ELA, and the ISP and TIER. This result was the same for both the Panel Recommended and Commended Performance. In every instance, the ISP and TIER showed positive, statistically significant, relationships to TAKS results. The NIER, or 65% Solution, had the lowest correlation and was statistically insignificant in three out of four analyses.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Helvey, Jearl Kenton

Acceptance and use of corporal punishment among parents of biologic and non-biologic children.

Description: Objective: Differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance and use of ordinary corporal punishment and use of explaining/reasoning as a disciplinary tool are examined from a sociobiological theoretical perspective. Method: Cross tabulations are used on data from a national survey conducted by the Gallup Organization in 1995. Results: Contrary to predictions, differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance of ordinary corporal punishment and the use of explaining/reasoning are not statistically significant. In addition, biologic parents are found to use ordinary corporal punishment significantly more often than non-biologic parents. Conclusions: The sociobiological theoretical perspective likely underestimates the influence of culture and social structure on parent-child interactions.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hall, Ellie Tiedeman

Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women

Description: Ethnic differences in etiological factors linked to body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders were examined. In addition, the interaction of acculturation and body image dissatisfaction in influencing minority women's relationships with their parents was investigated. Participants consisted of 302 undergraduates from three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Hispanic American, and African American women who were administered self-report measures. Differences were not found between the groups in body image dissatisfaction. Low self-esteem, internalization of the thin ideal, and family emphasis on weight and appearance were all related to more body image dissatisfaction for each of these groups; however, differences in degree of endorsement were also noted between the ethnic groups on these factors. Based on the interaction findings (body image x acculturation) separation from one's mother was found in the area of attitudes and emotions for the Hispanic sample but not for the African American sample on any of the parent scales. Areas for future research and implications for diagnosis and treatment of minority populations are also discussed.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Garcia-Rea, Elizabeth Ann

Accuracy of Self-Reported Height, Weight, and Calculated BMI and Resulting FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone Classification

Description: The determination of adiposity in adolescents is often assessed with calculations of body mass indices (BMI). Researchers often obtain these measurements from self-reported (SR) values. The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of SR height, weight, and calculated BMI (from height and weight). SR and actual measured (ME) BMI values were compared with standards from the FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) classifications. SR height and calculated BMI were found to be accurate while SR weight was, on average, underreported by 4.77 lbs. Because of these errors in SR height and weight, accuracy of classification into the FITNESSGRAM® HFZ was compromised. Consequently, it is important that researchers ascertain actual values of height and weight when measuring adolescents rather than use those from self-reports.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Rowell, Chelsie Joyce

Accuracy Variations in Human Facial Identification Based on Time of Exposure.

Description: This study examined the relationship between time of exposure to the human face and accurate subsequent photo line-up identification. A volunteer group of 124 undergraduate students was divided into three approximately equal sized subgroups. The three groups were then exposed to a video or a portion of a video depicting a theft. Exposure times ranged from two minutes to 30 seconds. The subjects were then given a questionnaire and shown a photo line-up of the mock perpetrator and five foils. Subjects were asked to identify the perpetrator and mark that identification on the questionnaire. Results of the experiment indicated that the longer a subject was exposed the greater the possibility of an accurate identification.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Cowle, Kenneth M.

N-Acylethanolamine (NAE) Profiles Change During Arabidopsis Thaliana Seed Germination and Seedling Growth

Description: An understanding of the potential roles as lipid mediators of a family of bioactive metabolites called N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) depends on their accurate identification and quantification. The levels of 18C unsaturated NAEs (e.g. NAE18:2, NAE 18:3, etc.) in wild-type seeds (about 2000 ng/g fw) generally decreased by about 80% during germination and post-germinative growth. In addition, results suggest NAE-degradative fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) expression does not play a major role in normal NAE metabolism as previously thought. Seedlings germinated and grown in the presence of abscisic acid (ABA), an endogenous plant hormone, exhibited growth arrest and secondary dormancy, similar to the treatment of seedlings with exogenous N­lauroylethanolamine (NAE12:0). ABA-mediated growth arrest was associated with higher levels of unsaturated NAEs. Overall, these results are consistent with the concept that NAE metabolism is activated during seed germination and suggest that the reduction in unsaturated NAE levels is under strict temporal control and may be a requirement for normal seed germination and post-germinative growth.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Wiant, William C.

Adolescent Insomnia as a Predictor of Early Adulthood Outcomes

Description: Recent research found insomnia is a risk factor for psychiatric disorders in adults. To see if the same would be true in adolescents, the current study re-analyzed data from a national longitudinal study collected by ADDHealth that evaluated health behaviors in 4552 adolescents (mean age 14.9 years [SD 1.7]) at baseline and again 7-8 years later (n = 3489) during young adulthood. Insomnia was reported by 9.2% of the adolescents. Cross-sectionally, adolescent insomnia was associated with alcohol, cannabis, non-cannabis drugs, and tobacco use, and depression after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Prospectively, adolescent insomnia was a significant risk factor for depression diagnosis, suicidal ideation, and the use of depression and stress prescription medications in young adulthood after controlling for gender, ethnicity, and significant baseline variable. In addition, a trend was noted for suicidal attempts.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Roane, Brandy Michelle

The Adoption and Use of Electronic Information Resources by a Non-Traditional User Group: Automotive Service Technicians.

Description: The growing complexity of machines has led to a concomitant increase in the amount and complexity of the information needed by those charged with servicing them. This, in turn, has led to a need for more robust methods for storing and distributing information and for a workforce more sophisticated in its use of information resources. As a result, the service trades have "professionalized," adopting more rigorous academic standards and developing ongoing certification programs. The current paper deals with the acceptance of advanced electronic information technology by skilled service personnel, specifically, automotive service technicians. The theoretical basis of the study is Davis' technology acceptance model. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of three external factors on the operation of the model: age, work experience, and education/certification level. The research design is in two parts, beginning with an onsite observation and interviews to establish the environment. During the second part of the research process a survey was administered to a sample of automotive service technicians. Results indicated significant inverse relationships between age and acceptance and between experience and acceptance. A significant positive relationship was shown between education, particularly certification, and acceptance.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Almquist, Arne J.

The American Doctrine for the Use of Naval Gunfire in Support of Amphibious Landings: Myth vs. Reality in the Central Pacific of World War II.

Description: The United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy developed during the interwar period a doctrine that addressed the problems inherent in the substitution of naval gunfire for artillery support in an amphibious assault. The invasion of Betio Islet, Tarawa Atoll, in November of 1943 was the first test of this doctrine. It has been said many times since the war that the doctrine basically passed this test and that lessons learned at Tarawa increased the efficiency with which the Marine Corps and Navy applied the prewar doctrine during the rest of the war. An analysis of the planning and execution of naval bombardments in the Central Pacific Campaign, after the invasion of the Gilberts, does not support this claim. This analysis leads the researcher to three conclusions. First, the Japanese developed defenses against many of the effects of the gunfire support doctrine that blunted much of the force of American firepower. American planners were slow to recognize the implications of these changes and, consequently, were slow to react to them. Second, many naval commanders responsible for providing naval gunfire support for Central Pacific operations still equated tonnage of ordnance to effectiveness of bombardment, regardless of their frequent references to "the lessons of Tarawa." Finally, strategic concerns and outright ignorance played a large part in determining the use of naval gunfire, the first taking precedence over the "lessons" and the second leading to the ignoring of the "lessons" all together.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Mitchener, Donald Keith

An Analysis of EC-4 Pre-Service Teacher Perceptions of Knowledge and Use of Classroom Discipline Techniques

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of pre-service Texas Wesleyan University teachers' knowledge and use of classroom discipline techniques. The study was conducted to obtain data utilized for the evaluation of the research questions. A non-experimental, mixed research design using survey methodology was used. Part one of the Allen Classroom and Discipline Management Instrument (ACDMI) consisted of demographic information: current position, ethnicity, level of education, gender, age, teaching certification obtained, teaching certification anticipated to be obtained, type of teacher certification training, and number of clock hours received in discipline management. The demographic information was used as independent variables for comparing responses to survey items. Part two contained discipline management techniques from Skinner, Canter, Dreikurs, Gathercoal, Glasser, Faye and Funk, Curwin and Mendler, and Berne and Harris. These techniques were used to determine mean differences with the independent variables. Finally, part three was the qualitative section which consisted of four questions requesting information about helpful discipline techniques. The sample population consisted of 150 pre-service teachers from a small liberal arts university in Texas. Findings from the study indicated that EC-4 pre-service teachers' predicted use of discipline management techniques were the ones in which they were most knowledgeable. Furthermore, EC-4 pre-service teachers reported to be most knowledgeable of the following discipline management techniques: "Student Input in Developing Classroom Rules," "Social Reinforcement and Praise," and "Direct Teach and Model Appropriate Behavior." In addition, certified EC-4 pre-service teachers had more knowledge of classroom discipline techniques than non-certified EC-4 pre-service teachers. The qualitative analysis revealed a consensus among all EC-4 pre-service teachers with regard to their training in discipline management. All EC-4 pre-service teachers indicated that their overall training was inadequate in the area of classroom discipline management and that more was needed.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Short, Selena Gutierrez

An analysis of the Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Peter Maxwell Davies, identifying the use of historical forms, and the implications for performance.

Description: The Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Peter Maxwell Davies is one of his earliest works, and a notoriously difficult work to perform. While using serialism and other twentieth-century compositional techniques, this work also uses older historical forms, including sonata-allegro and sonata-rondo forms. An analysis of the work is presented, identifying the older historical forms, and considerations for performers when making decisions on how to perform the work are provided.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Adduci, Kathryn James

An Analytical Study of Robert Muczynski's Second Piano Trio

Description: The purpose of this study is to provide scholastic research on Robert Muczynski's Second Piano Trio (1975) by presenting his biographical background, discussing influences and his musical style, and analyzing the work. Robert Muczynski (b.1929), a composer-pianist of Polish descent, studied with Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977). From traditional forms and techniques, he fashioned his own unique and innovative compositional style. The second piano trio, in particular, was deeper and more complex in its conception and affect than previous compositions. The first movement Andante molto opening leads to an allegro section, and the somber second movement builds to a heavy climax. The third movement is highly rhythmic and dramatically driven. Chapter I outlines the purpose of the study and the composer's biography. Chapter II describes Muczynski's compositional influences and the evolution of his musical language. Emphasis in this respect will be placed on the pedagogical role of Alexander Therepnin, as well as the important connections between Prokofiev, Tcherepnin and Muczynski. An exploration of other elements that have informed Muczynski's style is offered. Chapter III details the circumstances, general characteristics, and compositional technique of the Second Piano Trio. Detailed analysis of all three movements will be provided, with particular attention paid to aspects of theme, form, harmony, rhythm, meter, tempo, articulation, texture, and dynamic. The theoretical analysis is the main portion of this document, and after a discussion of treatment of the piano, concluding reflections are offered in Chapter IV.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Oh, Eun Jun

Animals That Die

Description: The thesis has two parts. Part I is a critical essay entitled "Lessons Under the Amfalula." Part II is the collection of poems entitled "Animals That Die."
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Campbell, Susan Maxwell

An Approach to the Analytical Study of Jung-Sun Park's Choral Work: Arirang Mass

Description: The significance in Jung-Sun Park's Arirang Mass is the discovery of artistic value in folk song and its applicability to art music. By using fragments of the Arirang folk songs, or by imitating its musical character, composer could create and develop musical characteristics that are recognizably Korean. The work exhibits his remarkable compositional style, which shows a relationship between Korean traditional style and Western style. This analysis demonstrates specific examples of the elements of Korean traditional folksong, such as Sikimsae, Jangdan, Han, and pentatonic scales which are permeated into this mass setting, and how composer uses fragments of the Arirang tune.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Im, Changeun

An Approach Towards Self-Supervised Classification Using Cyc

Description: Due to the long duration required to perform manual knowledge entry by human knowledge engineers it is desirable to find methods to automatically acquire knowledge about the world by accessing online information. In this work I examine using the Cyc ontology to guide the creation of Naïve Bayes classifiers to provide knowledge about items described in Wikipedia articles. Given an initial set of Wikipedia articles the system uses the ontology to create positive and negative training sets for the classifiers in each category. The order in which classifiers are generated and used to test articles is also guided by the ontology. The research conducted shows that a system can be created that utilizes statistical text classification methods to extract information from an ad-hoc generated information source like Wikipedia for use in a formal semantic ontology like Cyc. Benefits and limitations of the system are discussed along with future work.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Coursey, Kino High

Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Description: Mindfulness is a core component of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a widely utilized treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, the import of mindfulness in treating BPD has yet to be demonstrated, and the relationship of mindfulness to BPD constructs is unclear. The current study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relations of mindfulness with BPD features and the underlying constructs of interpersonal problem-solving effectiveness, impulsivity, emotion regulation strategies, and neuroticism in 342 young adults. Mindfulness was significantly related to effectiveness in interpersonal problem-solving, impulsivity and passivity in emotion regulation, and borderline features. Furthermore, mindfulness continued to predict borderline features when controlling for interpersonal problem-solving and impulsive/passive emotion-regulation strategies, as well as when controlling for neuroticism. It is concluded that difficulties with mindfulness may represent a core feature of BPD and that improvement in mindfulness may be a key component of treatment efficacy with BPD. It is recommended that the unique contribution of mindfulness be investigated in future treatment-outcome research.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Wupperman, Peggilee

Art Museum Resources and Teacher Use.

Description: I proposed that both Bruner's (1963) idea of the spiral curriculum and Yenawine's (1992) theories of teaching for visual literacy in the museum set the stage for significant learning for students when used together. If school teachers lay a foundation of knowledge about a museum object, especially through museum resources, then the student may transform and apply this 'prior knowledge' (explicit memories from the classroom) while on the museum visit tour. When docents utilize Yenawine's (1992) methods toward the goal of visual literacy, the semantic knowledge of the classroom is then fused with museum learning, building stronger memories and facilitating deeper understanding as students learn about museum objects. This research explored the correlation of these two theories in a qualitative manner based on observations of actual museum visit preparation in classrooms in Casper, Wyoming, and how it related to a museum tour at the Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center. The research revealed that conditions do exist within the community that would facilitate Bruner's (1963) idea of a learning spiral, yet not in the manner envisioned. The observed conditions toward a spiral was accomplished through the participant teachers relating the museum exhibit to their operational curriculum in a variety of curricular areas, such as language arts and science, when docents related the tour to classroom learning, and not through museum resources or Yenawine's (1992) methods toward increasing visual literacy, as was previously considered.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Eggemeyer, Valerie

The Art of Recording the American Wind Band

Description: Wind bands have been recording for over one hundred years. Through advancements in both technology and process, recordings have made a monumental impact on the wind band and its repertoire. These advancements have created clarity regarding the performance practice of pieces and helped to preserve the wind band repertoire. Many early works have gained masterwork status due, in large part, to the fact that recordings have preserved them. The increase in popularity of recording and, in particular, the wind band, warrants an investigation into the various aspects of the process. Additionally, gaining insight from wind band professionals who record will help to evaluate the contributions that recording has made to the education of performers and listeners, the preservation of repertoire and the artistic enhancement of the wind band. Each chapter explores aspects of the recording process and how those aspects have shaped the wind band, its repertoire and performance practice. Information from conductors, composers and engineers provide valuable insight pertaining to the educational, historical and artistic components of the recording process. The goal of all involved in the recording process should be the pursuit of technical perfection, which does not eclipse the ultimate musical goals of the project and the integrity of the composer's intentions.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Genevro, Bradley James

The Athlete Leader Role: Interaction of Gender, Sport Type, and Coaching Style.

Description: Effective leadership is a concept shown to be important for successful team performance in the fields of business, education, and sport. In sport, the role of the athlete leader has been under-examined and specifically, how coaching behaviors can affect athlete leader behaviors and how various leadership models (e.g., trait, behavioral, situational) relate to the athlete leader role has never been studied. The present study examined how autocratic, democratic, and collaborative coaching styles affect the athlete leader behavior preferences of athletes of different genders and sport types. Three coach scenarios reflecting the three aforementioned coaching styles were created so that athletes could imagine that they were coached by the individual presented in the scenario and then rate what type of athlete leader behaviors that they would prefer given the style of the coach that they read about. Results showed that the coach scenarios failed to have a significant impact; however, significant differences were discovered between men and women and between individual and team sport athletes on variables measuring preferred performance/task, relationship, motivation, and representation behaviors. Data were gathered on the style of athletes' current coach and this variable also produced significant differences for such behaviors as resolving conflict, providing positive reinforcement, and acting respectfully towards others. In addition, exploratory analyses showed that athletes who hold different leadership positions prefer different athlete leader behaviors. The current study seemed to offer concrete evidence on how coaching style can affect athlete leader preferences and how the athlete leader role can be explained by trait, behavioral, and situational leadership theories; however, future studies will have to further explore the impact that a coach's style can have on the behavior of athlete leaders as well as analyzing the relationship between athlete leaders and teammates utilizing the transformational leadership approach.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Wildman, Jonathan C. Jr.

Athletic Trainers and Psychological Disorders Among Athletes: An Examination of Their Abilities to Recognize, Diagnose and Intervene.

Description: Utilizing an analogue research design conducted via the Internet, this study assessed athletic trainers' abilities to recognize, diagnose, and intervene with a hypothetical athlete experiencing depression, and examined the impact of their gender, athlete gender, and athlete's presenting problem on their decisions. Athletic trainers' perceived competency in using psychosocial interventions with athletes, history of referring athletes to psychology professionals, and training backgrounds in psychology also were examined. Participants (270 male and 370 female certified athletic trainers) were randomly assigned to one of six conditions (Athlete Gender X Presenting Problem). After reading the appropriate vignette, they completed questions related to the athlete's psychological symptoms and diagnosis, referral recommendations, and use of psychosocial interventions if working with the athlete. The vignettes were identical except for the athlete's gender and problem. Overall, athletic trainers accurately identified the athlete's depressive symptoms/diagnosis and need for psychological referral. They rated the athlete significantly higher in Depressive Symptoms than in Anger/Agitation Symptoms and Compulsive Behavioral Symptoms, and as more likely to be experiencing a depressive disorder compared to an adjustment disorder, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder, or substance abuse disorder. Female athletic trainers provided significantly higher ratings of Depressive Symptoms than males and the injured athlete was rated significantly higher in Anger/Agitation than the performance problem athlete. Diagnosis ratings were not influenced by athlete gender, athletic trainer gender, or type of problem. Athletic trainers were most likely to refer the athlete to a psychology professional compared to an allied health professional, treating the athlete themselves, or doing nothing. Presenting problem significantly impacted referral recommendations. If treating the athlete themselves, athletic trainers were significantly more likely to use supportive interventions than cognitive-behavioral techniques; they felt significantly more competent in providing supportive interventions. Competency in both interventions was significantly enhanced if athletic trainers completed psychology coursework. Findings suggest that athletic ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Albinson, Courtney Brooks

Attachment Processes, Stress Processes, and Sociocultural Standards in the Development of Eating Disturbances in College Women

Description: Minimal empirical research using longitudinal data to explore integrative models of eating disorder development exists. The purpose of this study was to further explore multidimensional models incorporating parental attachment, history of stress, appraisal/coping processes, internalization of the thin-ideal, negative affect, body image, and eating disordered behavior using prospective, longitudinal data. The models were evaluated using 238 participants who completed an initial series of self-report questionnaires during their first semester in college and completed follow-up questionnaires 6 months and 18 months later. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships among the factors. Analyses confirmed that college freshman with insecure parental attachment relationships and those with a history of previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition; these conditions predicted increased negative affect and increased eating disturbances. Women who reported experiencing negative affect and those that endorsed internalization of the thin-ideal also reported higher levels of body dissatisfaction; these women engaged in more disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. A second model investigating negative affect as mediating the relationship between the appraisal/coping process and eating disturbances also revealed that experiencing difficulties with the transition to college predicted later negative mood states. Further, women who reported increased negative affect also reported increased eating disturbances. Finally, cross-lagged and simultaneous effects between selected factors were evaluated. Results from these analyses are mixed, but they provide additional information about the predictive relationships among factors that play a role in the development of eating disorders. The results of this study provide valuable information about the development of eating disorders that can be used to aid prevention and treatment. Examination of these models in a large independent sample might provide confirmation of these relationships, and investigation of the models during different developmental periods might ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Bradford, Jennifer Wolf

Attachment Styles in a Sample from a Correctional Drug Treatment Facility

Description: Substance abuse and dependence causes many problems in our society. Attachment style may be useful in the etiology of this problem. Using archival data, this study hypothesizes men in a court-ordered facility will be more likely to have an insecure attachment style. The participants were 73 males ages 18-49. The Adult Attachment Scale (AAS) was used to measure adult romantic attachment style. Through cluster analysis and conversion of the subscales of the AAS, four attachment styles were measured. Men were more likely to have an insecure attachment style especially a Fearful style. The study concludes with limitations of the results and a discussion about possible interventions based on attachment style.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Shivpuri, Michelle Yvonne

Automated Low-cost Instrument for Measuring Total Column Ozone

Description: Networks of ground-based and satellite borne instruments to measure ultraviolet (UV) sunlight and total column ozone have greatly contributed to an understanding of increased amounts of UV reaching the surface of the Earth caused by stratospheric ozone depletion. Increased UV radiation has important potential effects on human health, and agricultural and ecological systems. Observations from these networks make it possible to monitor total ozone decreases and to predict ozone recovery trends due to global efforts to curb the use of products releasing chemicals harmful to the ozone layer. Thus, continued and expanded global monitoring of ozone and UV is needed. However, existing automatic stratospheric ozone monitors are complex and expensive instruments. The main objective of this research was the development of a low-cost fully automated total column ozone monitoring instrument which, because of its affordability, will increase the number of instruments available for ground-based observations. The new instrument is based on a high-resolution fiber optic spectrometer, coupled with fiber optics that are precisely aimed by a pan and tilt positioning mechanism and with controlling programs written in commonly available software platforms which run on a personal computer. This project makes use of novel low-cost fiber optic spectrometer technology. A cost advantage is gained over available units by placing one end of the fiber outdoors to collect sunlight and convey it indoors, thereby allowing the spectrometer and computer to be placed in a controlled environment. This reduces the cost of weatherproofing and thermal compensation. Cost savings also result from a simplified sun targeting system, because only a small pan and tilt device is required to aim the lightweight fiber optic ends. Precision sun-targeting algorithms, optical filter selection, and software to derive ozone from spectral measurements by the spectrometer are a major contribution of this project. This system is a flexible platform ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Nebgen, Gilbert Bernard

Bank Loans as a Financial Discipline: A Direct Agency Cost of Equity Perspective

Description: In a 2004 study, Harvey, Lin and Roper argue that debt makers with a commitment to monitoring can create value for outside shareholders whenever information asymmetry and agency costs are pronounced. I investigate Harvey, Lin and Roper's claim for bank loans by empirically testing the effect of information asymmetry and direct agency costs on the abnormal returns of the borrowers' stock around the announcement of bank loans. I divide my study into two main sections. The first section tests whether three proxies of the direct agency costs of equity are equally significant in measuring the direct costs associated with outside equity agency problems. I find that the asset utilization ratio proxy is the most statistically significant proxy of the direct agency costs of equity using a Chow F-test statistic. The second main section of my dissertation includes and event study and a cross-sectional analysis. The event study results document significant and positive average abnormal returns of 1.01% for the borrowers' stock on the announcement day of bank loans. In the cross sectional analysis of the borrowers' average abnormal stock returns, I find that higher quality and more reputable banks/lenders provide a reliable certification to the capital market about the low level of the borrowers' direct agency costs of equity and information asymmetry. This certification hypothesis holds only for renewed bank loans. In other words, in renewing the borrowers' line of credit, the bank/lender is actually confirming that the borrower has a low level of information asymmetry and direct costs of equity. Given such a certificate from the banks/lenders, shareholders reward the company/borrower by bidding the share price up in the capital market.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Hijazi, Bassem