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Adolescent Academic Adjustment during Chronic Illness: Online Training for Child Life Specialists

Description: Frequent absences resulting from a chronic illness can disrupt adolescent school involvement, impacting academic achievement and psychosocial development as a result. This study explores whether certified child life specialists (CCLSs) could be a resource for parents as they address their adolescents' academic disruptions. Specifically, this study assesses an online training program designed to increase CCLSs' knowledge and self-efficacy as related to adolescents' academic adjustment following frequent absences. This knowledge and skill based training was designed as a three part module with sections including: academic considerations, psychosocial considerations, and availability of school resources in promoting successful adolescent academic adjustment. 62 CCLSs were recruited to participate and complete measures evaluating knowledge, in relation to content included in each module, and self-efficacy, involving communication with parents in regards to adolescent academic adjustment. T-tests were conducted to determine whether there were differences in reports of self-efficacy and knowledge following participation in the intervention between and within the treatment and control groups. Results indicate statistical significance for enhanced knowledge and self-efficacy for the treatment group at post-test. Therefore, the outcomes from this study support the effectiveness of brief online training in fostering knowledge and feelings of efficacy for CCLSs in a context not typically included in child life education or certification. As a result, findings from this study may be used to expand intervention programs in the clinical setting to provide more comprehensive psychosocial care to adolescents diagnosed with a chronic illness.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Koussa, Michelle D

African-American Achievement in Charter Schools and the Impact of Connectedness, Alignment, Rigor, and Engagement [CARE] on School Effectiveness

Description: The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of charter schools on African-American students, this study sought to determine if the practice of connectedness, alignment, rigor, and engagement (C.A.R.E.) influenced academic outcomes. The research methodology employed a meta-analysis in conjunction with a systematic review as a cross-reference and to address variables not covered in the meta-analysis. Utilizing a meta-analysis allowed for a synthesis of the existing quantitative published data to consolidate the results. This produced a specific report of achievement data for African-American students. The results revealed that regardless of region, subject, type of assessment, or school focus charter school do positively influence African-American students' academic outcomes. This study also found the practices connectedness, alignment, rigor, and engagement, the C.A.R.E. model when employed in schools improve academic outcomes, especially when combined and implemented with best practices.
Date: December 2018
Creator: McCloud, Margie J

Allowing Students to Have VOICES [Voluntary Options in Chemical Education Schedules] in General Chemistry I

Description: The purpose of this investigation (a quasi-experimental design called a non-equivalent design group (NEDG)) was to determine if allowing students in a science majors general Chemistry I course the choice in establishing the due dates that their homework was due to the instructor would improve course averages. This study covered two semesters with a total of 288 students participating with n = 158 in the fall and n = 130 in the spring. The students self-selected the homework group, VOICES, that best fit his/her needs which included (1) the instructor's homework schedule, (2) a student-customized schedule or a schedule that followed the exam schedule, or (3) all homework due by the last class day prior to the final exam. Online homework was assigned and graded with individual assignment and homework average grades collected and analyzed. No statistically significant differences were found among the VOICES groups with respect to final course average. Other results of this study replicated findings in the literature; namely, that there is a higher correlation between mathematics skills and course success. Course averages of students who had completed Calculus I or higher were statistically significantly higher than students with less completed mathematics coursework in all VOICES groups. Also, the percentage of successful students in the on-sequence semester (fall) was higher than the percentage of students in the off-sequence semester (spring). No differences were seen in any VOICES group's student demographics or high school chemistry preparation.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Ford, Robyn Lynn

Anthropology of Aging: Assessment of Old Age Needs and Ethical Issues regarding the Use of Assistive Technologies

Description: The main goal of this research has been to investigate elderly people's needs, perceptions, fears, hopes, and expectation regarding elderly care, including ethical issues linked to assistive technologies. As faith seems to take an important place in how some elders face the aging process, the spiritual dimension was also included. Therefore, the research was conducted among 15 church congregants. Results show that most respondents fear the physical and mental decay due to aging, often resulting in becoming a burden to someone else, along with abandonment and lack of financial resources. Most ethnic groups perceive that other cultures take better care of their elders than their own. Faith seems to offer a great support, as it gives the confidence that divine power will always be there for them even beyond death. The respondents in this research suggest that guidance should be provided in a more structured way, more focus should go on the youth and the elderly, more activities should be organized and practical information should be shared. Regarding the ethical issues of assistive technologies, they are not well informed about their possibilities but acknowledge their potential usefulness, combined with human care. They don't want technology to be too intrusive in their daily life, but they are willing to sacrifice (part of) their privacy for more (medical) safety. There is a general concern that the access to qualitative care would be depending on financial resources.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Atibaka, Sunday O

Assessing and Treating Oral Reading Deficits in Children with Developmental Disabilities

Description: A brief reading assessment and preference assessment were conducted with three participants with developmental and learning disabilities (i.e., two participants were diagnosed with Autism, the third participant was diagnosed with intellectual disability) who did not acquire fluent reading in previous individualized instruction. The results of the brief reading assessment were analyzed in an alternating treatment design and a preference assessment was conducted to determine the participants' preferred reading intervention. Following the results of the two assessments, a reading intervention that matched effectiveness with preference when possible or favored effectiveness when a match was not possible. The selected interventions (and later combined interventions) were implemented for each participant using an A-B-A-C or an A-B-A-C-D design. The results suggest that the four reading strategies are effective options for improving reading fluency. Also, a brief reading assessment can help identify an effective reading strategy. The results are discussed in the context of fluency gains, limitations, and implications for future research.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Braun, Emily Catherine

Autonomic Nerve Activity and Cardiovascular Function in the Chicken Embryo [Gallus gallus]

Description: The goal of this study was to build on the historic use of the avian model of development and also to further the knowledge of autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulation of cardiovascular function in vertebrates. Vasoactive drugs sodium nitroprusside, a vasodilator and phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor were used to study the correlation of cardiovascular function relationship with nerve activity, both sympathetic and parasympathetic (vagal). Additionally, ANG II was used to assess its effects on vagal inhibition. The present study shows that pharmacologically-induced hypertension is associated with a fall in mSNA, indicating that the capacity for sympathetic autonomic cardiovascular regulation is established by late incubation however, late-stage embryonic chickens did not show a significant increase in mSNA during hypotension. The hypotensive response of the embryo was not accompanied by the expected inhibition of vagal discharge; however a slight but insignificant reduction in vagal discharge was noted. When vagal efferent output was isolated, a significant drop in vagal efferent activity was noted in response to hypotension. The present study showed late-stage embryonic chickens lack a vagal response to hypertension in both efferent and sensory limbs. In this study, vagal discharge was reduced from baseline levels in response to Ang II. Collectively, the present study indicates that the lack of a decreased heart rate, in response to increases in Pm caused by Ang II, is due to a central inhibitory action of Ang II on the vagus. Data from the present study suggests that although autonomic interaction with the cardiovascular system in present in late-stage chicken embryos, it is still underdeveloped and possesses a limited capacity.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Onyemaechi, Clinton

Building Relationships between a Free Clinic and Its Donors

Description: This thesis presents qualitative research conducted in summer 2017 at the Finger Lakes Free Clinic, which provides free medical and holistic care to people without insurance in upstate New York. The primary goal of this research was to strengthen the relationship between a free clinic and its donors by gathering donor concerns and perceptions regarding federal healthcare policy. Data from 32 interviews with donors, staff, board members, and volunteers, along with 100 hours of participant observation revealed that donors to this clinic were concerned about the potential impact of Congressional healthcare reform yet did not consider federal policy a strong influence on their donations. Rather, donors cited dedication to local giving and personal connections with the clinic as their primary motivations. These motivations suggest the value of viewing the clinic-donor relationship as a relationship of reciprocity. From this framework, the research identifies opportunities for the clinic to reciprocate donor generosity while expanding services in response to a growing need. Insights from the research will guide the clinic's response to federal policy changes and support the clinic's vision of becoming a national model for integrative care.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Nalin, Emma R


Description: The Chief Security Officer Problem (CSO) consists of a CSO, a group of agents trying to communicate with the CSO and a group of eavesdroppers trying to listen to the conversations between the CSO and its agents. Through Lemmas and Theorems, several Information Theoretic questions are answered.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Tanga, Vikas Reddy

Child-Centered Play Therapists' Experiences Delivering Shortened Session Lengths

Description: This phenomenological study examined the experiences and perceptions of child-centered play therapists who deliver shortened sessions in the clinic setting. Using the phenomenological analysis procedures based on Moustakas' modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method, a coding team of three doctoral students found 10 themes related to child-centered play therapists' (N = 5) experiences delivering shortened session lengths. Each theme is defined and further described using verbatim transcript examples. This study has practical and clinical implications for child-centered play therapist development and training. The results of this study point to the need for further research in child-centered play therapists' experiences delivering play therapy-as-usual. Finally, future research regarding the change process in child-centered play therapy theory is also implicated.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Edwards, Joshua Michael

Chronic Homelessness and the Aging Population: Findings in a Homeless Sample from Arkansas

Description: Understanding underlying mechanisms and pathways that lead to chronic homelessness would help develop intervention strategies that could help prevent subsequent episodes of homelessness. Quantitative data for this cross-sectional study was gathered by interviewing individuals who were homeless in the State of Arkansas, using a structured survey between 2007 and 2011. Qualitative data was gathered using semi-structured interviews between 2016 and 2018. Chi-square statistics and a multivariate logistic regression model was used to analyze the quantitative data, while phenomenological methods were used to analyze the qualitative data. Nearly half of the study participants identified themselves as being chronically homeless. Chronically homeless adults in this region were significantly more likely to be older men with no family ties, more likely to be victims of domestic violence, have higher rates of physical health problems, and have alcohol and substance abuse problems. Results from the multivariate nominal regression revealed that individuals who reported themselves as chronically homeless were more likely to be in the 50 years or older age group. In addition, study findings highlighted a dynamic interplay between three biopsychosocial risk factors for homelessness. Fostering development of inclusive sustainable communities, intergenerational relationships, and shared housing practices could help ease such social inequities and prevent problems such as chronic homelessness in older homeless adults.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Chekuri, Lakshminaray

Command Unity and the Air War against Germany

Description: Starting in August 1942 the United States and United Kingdom started waging a strategic bombing offensive against Germany. Throughout the course of the 1942 and 1943 campaigns, American and British air forces struggled to gain the upper hand in the European air war. By November 1943 American and British defeats at the hands of the German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, had placed the air war in doubt. By February 1944, the air war had turned around in favor of the Allies. This dramatic turn of events has been explained by historians in a number of ways. The most popular narrative is that the introduction of the long range escort fighter, the P-51 "Mustang," turned the tide in the air war. Another narrative is that there was a change in the fighter tactics. Starting in January 1944, American fighters stopped defending the bombers and started aggressively pursuing German fighters. Yet, these analyses do not include a major command changes that took place from November to January 1944. After his appointment to command of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, General Dwight D. Eisenhower used his position centralize all of the major air commands in Europe under his control. By unifying the air commands, the Allies were able to better coordinate and concentrate their air against Germany. In February 1944 the Allies focused their air forces against the Luftwaffe ultimately wearing down German fighter strength. After finally removing a major obstacle impending the strategic air war against Germany, the Allies concentrated their air forces against transportation and oil targets. The destruction of these two major economic systems crippled Germany's ability to fight the Allies in 1944 and 1945. By changing the command structure, Eisenhower was able to use his air forces in successful coordinated strategic air offensives that the Allies had previously been ...
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Date: December 2018
Creator: Truxal, Luke

A Comparative Study of Piano Etudes by György Sandor Ligeti and Unsuk Chin: A Technical and Stylistic Guide to Mastering the Difficulties of Their Etudes

Description: Unsuk Chin (b.1961), a Korean-born woman composer, was a student of Gyorgy Sandor Ligeti (1923-2006). Chin's work reflects the influence of Ligeti but also undeniably has its own style. This study investigates the six piano etudes so far published from 12 Piano Etudes (1995-2003) by Unsuk Chin and compares them with Ligeti's piano etudes to highlight the influence of the teacher on the student and to aid pianists in facing the unique technical challenges posed by both sets of etudes. The practice guide provided in this study for each specific technical difficulty requires a degree of patience from a student which, if followed, will enhance the performance.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Jang, Miyoun

Comparative Study of Thermal Comfort Models Using Remote-Location Data for Local Sample Campus Building as a Case Study for Scalable Energy Modeling at Urban Level Using Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure [VIFI]

Description: The goal of this dissertation is to demonstrate that data from a remotely located building can be utilized for energy modeling of a similar type of building and to demonstrate how to use this remote data without physically moving the data from one server to another using Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure (VIFI). In order to achieve this goal, firstly an EnergyPlus model was created for Greek Life Center, a campus building located at University of North Texas campus at Denton in Texas, USA. Three thermal comfort models of Fanger model, Pierce two-node model and KSU two-node model were compared in order to find which one of these three models is most accurate to predict occupant thermal comfort. This study shows that Fanger's model is most accurate in predicting thermal comfort. Secondly, an experimental data pertaining to lighting usage and occupancy in a single-occupancy office from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has been implemented in order to perform energy analysis of Greek Life Center assuming that occupants in this building's offices behave similarly as occupants in CMU. Thirdly, different data types, data formats and data sources were identified which are required in order to develop a city-scale urban building energy model (CS-UBEM). Two workflows were created, one for an individual scale building energy model and another one for CS-UBEM. A new innovative infrastructure called as Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure (VIFI) has been introduced in this dissertation. The workflows proposed in this study will demonstrate in the future work that by using VIFI infrastructure to develop building energy models there is a potential of using data for remote servers without actually moving the data. It has been successfully demonstrated in this dissertation that data located at remote location can be used credibly to predict energy consumption of a newly built building. When the ...
Date: December 2018
Creator: Talele, Suraj Harish

A Comparison of Fixed- and Variable-Ratio Token Exchange-Production Schedules with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Description: The token economy is a widely used and versatile motivational system within applied behavior analysis. Moreover, token reinforcement procedures have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the experimental analysis of behavior, token reinforcement contingencies are conceptualized as three interconnected schedule components: (1) the token-production schedule, (2) the exchange-production schedule, and (3) the token-exchange schedule. Basic work with nonhuman subjects has demonstrated that the exchange-production schedule is the primary driver of performance in these arrangements, and that variable-ratio exchange-production results in reduced pre-ratio pausing and greater overall rates of responding relative to fixed-ratio exchange-production schedules. However, little applied research has been conducted to assess the generality of these findings within applied settings. The purpose of this study was to determine if fixed- and variable-ratio token exchange-production schedules would exert differential effects on pre-ratio pausing and overall rates of responding for three children with ASD during a free-operant sorting task. The results showed that pre-ratio pausing and overall rates of responding were not differentially effected by the fixed- and variable-ratio exchange-production schedules. Discrepancies between the experimental work and the current study are discussed along with additional limitations.
Date: December 2018
Creator: McNeely, Mitchell P

Compartmentalization of Jojoba Seed Lipid Metabolites

Description: Seeds from the desert shrub Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) are one of the only known natural plant sources to store a majority of its oil in the form of liquid wax esters (WE) instead of triacylglycerols (TAGs) and these oils account for ~55% of the seed weight. Jojoba oil is highly valued as cosmetic additives and mechanical lubricants, yet despite its value much is still unknown about its neutral lipid biosynthetic pathways and lipid droplet packaging machinery. Here, we have used a multi-"omics" approach to study how spatial differences in lipid metabolites, gene expression, and lipid droplet proteins influence the synthesis and storage of jojoba lipids. Through these studies mass spectrometry analyses revealed that WEs are compartmentalized primarily in the cotyledonary tissues, whereas TAGs are, surprisingly, localized to the embryonic axis tissues. To study the differences in gene expression between these two tissues, a de novo transcriptome was assembled from high throughput RNAseq data. Differential gene expression analysis revealed that the Jojoba Wax Synthase, which catalyzes the formation of wax esters, and the Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase1, which catalyzes the final acylation of triacylglycerol synthesis, were differentially expressed in the cotyledons and embryonic axis tissues, respectively. Furthermore, through proteomic analysis of lipid droplet proteins from lipid droplets of the cotyledons and embryonic axis, it was estimated that each of these tissues contains a different proportion of the major lipid droplet proteins, oleosins, steroleosins, caleosins, and lipid droplet associated proteins. The Jojoba Olesosin1, Lipid Droplet Associated Protein 1, and Lipid Droplet Associated Protein 3, were identified as potential lipid droplet proteins that could be important for storage of wax esters. The coding sequences of these genes were transiently expressed in N. benthamiana leaves individually, and with co-expression of Mus musculus diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2, and in all cases were able to induce neutral lipid accumulation. ...
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Date: December 2018
Creator: Sturtevant, Drew

A Conductor's Guide to Hyo-won Woo's Choral Music as Reflected in "Oh! KOREA"

Description: The choral music of Hyo-won Woo, the composer of Oh! KOREA, is being widely performed by universities and professional choruses in Korea, as well as throughout the world. The work exhibits Woo's remarkable compositional style, which displays traditional Korean musical influences. Hyo-Won Woo's Oh! KOREA consisting of four movements, is for chorus, two pianos, and both Eastern and Western percussion instruments. Woo's Oh! KOREA employs an excellent introduction to the Korean choral repertoire for Western audiences, rooted in traditional Korean folk tunes. As today's choral conductors, singers, and audience cannot fully appreciate the value of this traditional Korean work and will likely not understand its intended context, it is therefore necessary to provide an in-depth investigation of this work for any conductor considering a performance of this piece. This study includes influences of traditional Korean elements within Oh! KOREA and rehearsal and performance consideration for Western choir directors.
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Date: December 2018
Creator: Noh, Wonil

The Construction of Identity through Early Childhood Curriculum: Examining Picturebooks from a Critical Feminist Lens

Description: Picturebooks are an important part of the classroom environment in early childhood education. They open doors to new experiences, nurture students' cultural identities, and invite students to explore connections across cultures. In the United States today, many of the picturebooks that are available to teachers and students in preschool classrooms come from the state curriculum that the school district has implemented. Shifting demographic trends have led many educators to recognize a need for more diversity of literature in classrooms. This study was conducted in response to this growing concern that books should better reflect the cultures and identities of the children who read them, with a particular emphasis on young female children of color. The research question guiding this study is: How do picturebook texts and illustrations in an early childhood curriculum represent the identities of female characters of color as viewed through a critical feminist theoretical lens? To investigate this question, I critically analyzed children's picturebooks from a current early childhood curriculum adopted by the state of Texas, focusing on representations of gender and race. The selected books were analyzed using critical content and critical visual analyses to consider how the text and illustrations together represent female characters of color. Although earlier studies of picturebooks have pointed out a deficit of authentic portrayals of female characters of color, this study found that books in the sample did show some attention to authentic cultural themes including motherhood, action and agency, and subjugated knowledge and culture. However, implications for practice and research included the need for more balanced representation of diverse cultures within the curriculum to better reflect preschool demographics, as well as the need for more classroom instruction on books that give voice and agency to young female children of color as they develop their personal and cultural identities.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Medellin, Kelly

Contingency Management of Physical Rehabilitation: The Role of Feedback

Description: Modern advances in technology have allowed for an increase in the precision with which we are able to measure, record, and affect behavior. These developments suggest that the domains in which behavior analysis might contribute are considerably broader than previously appreciated, for instance the area of behavioral medicine. One way the field of behavior analysis can begin to address problems in behavioral medicine is with biosensor technology, like surface electromyography (sEMG). For sEMG technology to be useful in behavioral medicine, specifically recovery from total knee arthroplasty, a reference value (the maximum voluntary individual contraction-MVIC) must be established. The MVIC value allows for the comparison of data across days and may allow the programming of contingencies. However, current MVIC methods fall short. Study 1 compares MVIC values produced by a participant given the typical instruction only method with two alternative methods: instruction + feedback, and instruction + feedback in a game context. Across 10 participants both feedback conditions lead to higher MVIC values then the instruction only condition. Study 2 applies the MVIC techniques developed during Study 1 to an exercise procedure. Using an MVIC value as the criteria for feedback Study 2 compares the same three conditions, however this time assessing for the conditions under which exercise performance is optimal. Across all 9 participants the instruction + feedback in a game context lead to the participant ‘working harder' and 8 out of 9 participants exceeded the MVIC value more often during this condition then in the other two conditions.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Armshaw, Brennan P

Contribution of Psychopathic Traits in the Prediction of Generalized Prejudice in Males

Description: Very few studies have investigated how psychopathic traits might contribute to our understanding of prejudicial attitudes. Moreover, previous studies involve a number of limitations which cloud interpretation of their findings. The current study examined the relationship between prejudice and a number of its predictors (e.g., social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA)), while also including psychopathic traits and an innovative new measure of empathy using an online sample. A path analytic framework was employed to comprehensively model relations among psychopathic traits, SDO, RWA, and affective empathy domains in the prediction of generalized prejudice. Overall, there was support for certain psychopathic traits being modest predictors of racial prejudice, although more proximal measures were much stronger predictors. The results revealed a number of novel relationships that may help in further understanding the links between psychopathic propensities, empathy, and social-cognitive variables predictive of racial prejudice.
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Date: December 2018
Creator: Mark, Daniel