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

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

Academic Achievement: Examining the Impact of Community Type at a Small Liberal Arts College in Texas

Description: Hierarchical regression was used to determine if high school community type is an effective predictor of academic success when controlling for demographics, prior academic achievement, socioeconomic status, and current commitment or work habits for students entering Austin College in 1992,1993, and 1994 . Findings revealed that there is a relationship between attending high school in community types of rural and independent town controlling for the effects of SAT scores, high school rank, sex, and late application deposit on first semester grade point average.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Rutherford, Janis Pruitt

Adolescent Pregnancy: Voices Heard in the Everyday Lives of Pregnant Teenagers

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine the problems that pregnant teenagers encounter at school and at home while they are trying to complete their high school education. Data were collected by in-depth interviews. Twenty pregnant adolescents, who were between the ages of 15 through 18, and were participants in a special teen pregnancy program were interviewed. The major findings in this study included the respondents': 1) unstable family life histories, 2) denial that they were pregnant, 3) need for self-identity as an adult, 4) conflict with parents and 5) motivation to complete their high school education. This study points to the need for more research on the problems that pregnant adolescents encounter in their everyday lives.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Oviedo, Sonia

AIDS Preventative Behavior Among Taiwanese University Students

Description: This study used the Health Belief Model to examine the predictors of AIDS preventive behavior. The independent variables were the variables of individual perception, modifying factors (psychological variables), and likelihood variables. The respondents, the Taiwanese students of the University of North Texas, were influenced both by Chinese sexuality and Western values in their AIDS-risk behavior. The results revealed that 90% of the respondents were misinformed on the availability of AIDS vaccine. In addition, a majority of the students were either abstaining from sex or practicing monogamy. Using Pearson's correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis, this study found that the psychological variables rather than cognitive variables significantly influenced the respondents' AIDS preventive behavior. Finally, suggestions were made for future research on AIDS, and for AIDS preventive behavior campaigns.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Wang, Ya-Chien

Determinants of Refugee Production: an Exploratory Analysis

Description: The issue of refugees and the factors which result in forced migration are of growing importance. Currently, one in every 120 people is living outside of his or her nation of origin by force. There appears to be no end in sight to this situation. This paper seeks to examine conditions within a nation which contribute to the production of refugees. Using a model based on Clark's (1989) early warning system, this paper examines both proximate and root causes of refugee migration. The findings suggest that human rights violations have a proximate causal relationship to refugee production. High levels of state autocracy, low per capita energy consumption, larger rural populations, and a recent negative net migration have an associative relationship to refugee production. Further studies are needed to examine the interrelationship between the proximate and root conditions and their effect on refugee flow.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Zottarelli, Lisa Katherine

Bureaucracy and the Mexican American Elderly: Utilization of Formal and Informal Social Services

Description: Using the National Survey of Hispanic Elderly People, 1988, this study examines the support system of the Mexican American elderly and their utilization of formal social services. Two major research questions were addressed: 1) How does the Mexican American family provide assistance to their elderly family members? and 2) How does the bureaucratic structure affect the Mexican American elderly's access and utilization of formal social services?
Date: December 1995
Creator: Dietz, Tracy L. (Tracy Lynn)

Four Types of Day Care and their Effects on the Well-Being of Children

Description: Data gathered from Tyler, Texas, the University of North Texas, and the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) were used to compare children from commercial, home, church, and university based day care with children not attending day care. The research group, comprised of children attending day care (N=142), were located using non-probability sampling; those not in day care (the control group) came from the NSFH (N=1775). Data from the research group were weighted to match the control group. The independent and control variables included the child's age, length of time in day care, intellectual functioning; the parent's marital status and social class; the day care's staff to child ratio and the staff's training. All data, except that pertaining to the facility itself, were gathered from the children's parents using a self-report questionnaire. The remaining data were gathered through personal interview by the researcher. The dependent variable was an index of emotional and behavioral problems reported for the child. Overall, children who attended day care had only slightly more problems reported than those who did had not attended day care. When each center was examined separately, the children in home centers had the greatest number of problems, followed by the commercial centers and university center, with children from the church centers scoring the lowest. In contrast to earlier research, intellectual functioning was not enhanced by the day care experience. While the staff's training had a statistically significant relationship to the children's well-being, no relationship was found for the staff to child ratio. Further research on the impact of other characteristics of each type of day care is recommended.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Davis, David C. (David Carlton)

Family Background and Structure of High Academic Achievers

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

Male Socialization Experience in Two Birth Cohorts

Description: The purpose of this research was twofold; a quantitative examination of male socialization patterns along with an assessment of change over time in male socialization experiences. Men born in the 1950s and men born in the 1970s were compared to obtain an understanding of male socialization processes and possible changes since feminist issues have become a prevalent source of discourse in society. A survey questionnaire was utilized with a modified snowball sampling technique to explore male socialization experience. One hundred and one men participated in the project. Socialization experience for the men in this sample was five dimensional and while certain dimensions revealed change over time, others remained static. Findings indicate that quantitative measures can be successfully employed to study socialization processes.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Minton, Tamara Warner

The Effects of Socio-Structural, Economic, and Race Considerations on Rates of Property Crime in the United States, 1958-1993

Description: This study investigates changes in rates of property crime in the United States from 1958 to 1993. Predictor variables include changes in rates of economic factors (inflation, technological/cyclical/frictional unemployment), arrest rates for property crimes disaggregated by race (ARPCDR), interaction of ARPCDR and technological unemployment, alcohol offenses, interaction of alcohol offenses and poverty, drug abuse violations, and interaction of drug abuse violations and poverty. Changes in poverty, population growth, and police presence are employed as control variables. The Beach-McKinnon Full Maximum- Likelihood EGLS AR1 Method (accompanied by residual analysis) is used to test seven hypotheses. Significant positive effects upon changes in aggregate property crime rates are found for five predictors: (a) inflation, (b) cyclical unemployment, (c) frictional unemployment, (d) the interaction of white arrest rates and technological unemployment, and (e) the interaction of rates of alcohol offenses and poverty. To explain changes in property crime rates, further research should decompose aggregate rates particularly those pertaining to the economy. Also, the relationship between the interaction of poverty and drug abuse violations, at the aggregate level, and changes in property crime rates should be clarified. This research has important policy implications related to the impact of social, economic, and educational issues on mainstream society and its criminal elements. Law makers should consider this type of research in all macro and micro-oriented policies.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Ralston, Roy W.

The Affects of Religiosity on Anomie

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

Parents' Divorce Affect upon Children: Mothers' Perceptions

Description: This study will attempt to identify the reported problem behavior in children impacted by parental divorce. Further, it will try to determine whether pre-divorce interparental conflict, time spent with the mother, and the mother's adjustment affects the problem behavior reported for children. The following analytic techniques will be used: frequency distributions, t-tests, correlations, and regression.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Grubbs, Jerianne C. (Jerianne Christina)

Ethnic Identity : An Examination of Hispanic International Students

Description: I interviewed twenty-four International students from the following countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Spain. Hereafter I shall refer to the respondents as Hispanic International students. My primary interest was to learn the way in which Hispanic International students defined themselves in view of ethnic definitions imposed on them by the administrative system in the U.S. First, Hispanic International students defined themselves primarily by their nationality. The second finding dealt with the usage of language. The Hispanic International students spoke Spanish with relatives and friends. They spoke English when a non-Spanish speaker joined the conversation. The third finding was related to the problems and adaptations encountered by Hispanic International students.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Correa, Minerva

Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine domestic violence as it occurs in same-sex male relationships. Data were collected by in-depth interviews with twenty-five gay males, who were between the ages of 23 and 43, and who had previous experience being in a homosexual relationship where domestic violence was present. The major findings of this study include the respondents': 1) definitions of domestic violence and abuse; 2) the type of domestic violence or abuse personally experienced; and 3) reasons they believe domestic violence or abuse occurs in these types of relationships. This study illustrates the need for further research in this area of domestic violence and for programs or services targeted for this specific population.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Cruz, Joe Michael

The Emergence of a New Capitalist Ethic: Transformational Leadership and the Civil Society Movement as Emergent Paradigms Affecting Organizational and Societal Transformation

Description: Rapid and chaotic changes in market environments have caused business organizations to modify their organizational structures and social relationships. This paper examines the change in relationship between management and employees, which is shifting from an adversarial and controlling role to facilitation and employee empowerment. This paper's research question concerns how classical sociological theory would explain power redistribution within organizations and the formation of an associative and collaborative relationship which contradicts traditional paradigms. Traditional bureaucratic and contemporary organizational forms are compared and contrasted. Organizational climate, psycho-social components of underlying assumptions and group ethics are seen to be the mechanisms impelling transformation. Organizational change is driven by an emerging secular ethic. This ethic is embodied in an applied model of leadership and examined as an ideal type. The common ethic impelling organizational change is seen to be the same as that causing social transformation in both national and international spheres.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Cordas, Jon D. (Jon Dmetrius)

Reproductive Decision Making Among Zambian Couples: Agreement and Conflict

Description: Fertility studies have often focused on the behavioral and attitudinal attributes of women with regard to fertility. Until recently, the role of men in fertility studies have often been ignored within much of the literature concerning fertility decisions. The focus of this study will examine if differences exist between husbands and wives with regard to the following four aspects of fertility decisions: spacing of children, methods of family planning, sex preference, and desired family size. The data were collected from 125 households in Kitwe, Zambia. Identical questionnaires were submitted to the husbands and wives during separate interviews. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Overall, no significant differences exist among husbands and wives with regard to the four aspects of fertility decisions being researched.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Wilson, Judy Fralick

Testing a Model of Internalized Anomie

Description: A new theoretical model of human behavior was presented and tested in this research. Structural equation modeling (LISREL) was used to test the notion that living in an anomic family system would produce an internalized sense of normlessness or "egonomie" that precedes the development of problematic behavior for the individual.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Glass, John E. (John Edward)

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

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

The Influence of Spousal Expectations, Interaction, and Bonding on Marital Quality: a Study of Selected Factors Affecting Individuals' Self-Reported Evaluation of their Marriage

Description: This investigation explored the relationship between married individuals' self-reports of their expectations, interaction, spousal bonding, and marital quality. From two universities, two hundred and thirty-seven currently enrolled and married students volunteered to provide the information on these factors via a semistructured self-administered questionnaire. The typical respondent was a female between 31 and 35 years old who had been married 8 years to her first spouse, had one child at home; and was a senior in college. Of the ten independent variables examined three variables contributed the most to individuals' self-reported evaluation of their marital quality. These were the time spent each week with their spouse, satisfaction with the quality of time spent with their spouse, and when the greatest level of bonding experiences occurred. Five significant findings emerged from the study. First, respondents' greater satisfaction with the quality of time spent with their spouse was consistently the strongest predictor of higher marital quality. Second, respondents who bonded more with their spouse after marriage or equally before and after marriage reported higher marital quality than those who bonded more before marriage. Third, the amount of time spouses spent together influenced respondents' reported marital quality. Fourth, spousal bonding has a very strong influence on individuals' self-reported marital quality. The influence of spousal bonding upon marital quality has been neglected by marriage and family researchers. Finally, joint activities such as talking, eating and cooking at home, sex, activities shared with children, and church related activities were identified by respondents as consistently promoting both a higher quality level for the time spent with their spouse and with their spousal bonding. Future research on marital quality should use larger and more representative samples, involve personal interviews, use longitudinal data collection, and perform time series or path analysis.
Date: May 10, 1996
Creator: Kettlitz, Robert E. (Robert Edward)

A Structural Equation Analysis of Intergenerational Differences in Attitudes toward Individual Modernity in the United Arab Emirates: Implications for Cross-Cultural Research

Description: It has been widely believed that modernity is a byproduct of a nuclear family system, a highly urbanized society, and a secular way of life. As such, developing countries are characterized as modern insofar as their social and cultural structures are able to correspond to these criteria. To examine the validity of these propositions, data on two randomly-selected generations--daughters and mothers in the United Arab Emirates--were generated.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Al-Ghazy, Faris M.