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

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

Hopelessness, Self-Efficacy, Self-Esteem and Powerlessness in Relation to American Indian Suicide

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the independent variables of age, gender, residence, tribal affiliation, and perceived government control over tribal rights and the dependent variables of hopelessness, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. These attitudes are then explored as to their relationship to possible feelings of powerlessness among American Indians. The survey instruments used are the Beck Hopelessness Scale consisting of 20 items (Beck, Weissman, Lester, and Trexler, 1974), (Reproduced by permission of publisher, Psychological Corporation), the Self-Efficacy Scale consisting of 30 items (Sherer, Maddox, Merchandante, Prentice-Dunn, Jacobs, and Rodgers, 1982) (Reproduced by permission of Dr. Ronald W. Rogers), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale consisting of 10 items (Rosenberg, 1972) (Reproduced by permission of Dr. Florence Rosenberg) and a demographic questionnaire consisting of 6 items. These instruments were administered to 60 American Indians that make up the sample population of 25 respondents from tribal lands (reservation setting) and 35 respondents from an urban setting. Statistical analysis consists of crosstabulations using Chi-Square and t-tests (used to verify Chi-Square) to determine the significance of the relationship of the independent variables to the dependent variables previously mentioned. Fifteen hypotheses (page 10) were tested to explore the relationships between the above independent variables and the dependent variables. Out of the 15 hypotheses that were investigated two were supported. The two hypotheses are hypothesis 10 and 11. Hypothesis 10 states; American Indians who live on a reservation have more hopelessness than those who live in an urban setting. This hypothesis was indicated to be marginal by Chi-Square analysis but when a t-test was conducted it was shown to be significant. Hypothesis 11 states; American Indians in urban residency will have more self-efficacy than reservation residents. While the data provided minimal support for the theory that hopelessness, self-efficacy, and self-esteem have a relationship to ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Edmonson, Jimmie R.

Inequality in Access to, and Utilization of, Health Care - The Case of African American and Non-Hispanic White Males

Description: Using data from the Household Component of the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the study compares (1) the accessibility, and (2) the predictors of health care services utilization among African American and non-Hispanic White males, 18 to 65 years old in the United States. Using ANOVA procedure in comparing the means for use of physicians, hospitals, doctors, and difficulty obtaining care, seven hypotheses were tested in the study. First, it was hypothesized that African American men of working age will have less access to health care services (physicians, hospitals, and dentists), and be more likely to report having experienced delay or difficulty obtaining care, compared to non-Hispanic white males of working age. Second, it was hypothesized that, controlling for health status, African American men of working age will have less access to health care services (physicians, hospitals, and dentists), and will also be more likely to experience delay or difficulty obtaining care, than non-Hispanic white males. This was followed by the third hypothesis which compared utilization of physicians, hospitals, dentists, and difficulty obtaining care among African American and non-Hispanic white males, controlling for health status and insurance coverage (any insurance, private insurance, any public insurance, and Medicaid). Hypotheses four through six compared the utilization of physicians, hospitals, and dentists, as well as difficulty obtaining care among African American and non-Hispanic white males, controlling for the following variables sequentially: health status and poverty status; health status and having a usual source of care; and health status and employment status, in that order. Finally, it was hypothesized that, controlling for health status, any insurance, poverty status, and employment status, African American men of working age will have less access to physicians, hospitals, and dentists, and experience more difficulty and delay obtaining care, compared to non-Hispanic white males of working age. Results from ...
Date: May 2001
Creator: Sakyi-Addo, Isaac

Measures and Correlates of Daily Spiritual Experiences

Description: Although a change of religious landscape in America in recent years has been suggested and widely accepted in the social sciences, most studies tend to focus on measures of religiosity and how it is changing. The subject of spirituality and its correlates seem to be mostly ignored. This study utilizes nationally representative data generated for the first time in General Social Survey (GSS) on the subject of spirituality to measure Americans' spirituality and daily spiritual experiences and their most significant correlates. In this study, most Americans (89%) showed to have some degree of spirituality and daily spiritual experiences. Moreover, variables of gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, religious origin, and residence in conservative region when growing up shown to be significant predictors of spirituality.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Mirbaha-Hashemi, Fariba

Perceptions of Postpartum Depression among Adolescent Mothers and the Social Construction of Related Stigma

Description: Six serial focus groups were used to explore the perceptions of postpartum depression among nine adolescent mothers. The discussions were tape recorded, transcribed and analyzed using symbolic interaction theory, specifically Goffman's concept of stigma. Participants identified major stigma themes in relation to postpartum depression, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, all of which were portrayed negatively in the media. Several key causes of adolescent postpartum depression were also found including self esteem relating to poor body image and social support. The findings indicate a much needed change in the way adolescent mothers are identified and treated for postpartum depression. Additionally, the importance of social support in preventing and treating adolescent postpartum depression is highlighted and programs addressing such concerns must be implemented.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Gosdin, Melissa M.

A study of continuing bonds and their impact on life attitudes in parents of murdered children.

Description: For most of the past century, the positive outcome of grief in the West was characterized as the relinquishment of the bond to the deceased. Phrases such as "let go", "move on", and "get over it" were, and continue to be, common to the language of this pursuit. This 'breaking bonds' perspective does not take into account other means of grief resolution, nor does it consider historical or cultural findings. Consequently, reports of bereaved parents who indicate resolution of grief yet maintain a continued relationship with their deceased child were not given much attention until the 1990s. This research employed a Durkheimian approach, taking the social bond as the starting point of inquiry and examined continuing bonds of parents to their murdered children. How these bonds were related to the parents' attitudes of re-investing in life and their level of grief was measured. The relationship between the parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was also assessed. The sample consisted of 46 parents living in North Texas whose child had been murdered three or more years ago. A triangulated methodology was utilized and the data were collected by means of participant observation, unstructured interviews, and a mailed questionnaire which obtained information on continuing bonds, level of grief, life attitudes and demographic variables. Multiple regression techniques were utilized to analyze the quantitative data. Parents on the Continuing Bonds Scale reported high levels of bonds with their deceased child. Contrary to expectation, the level of continuing bonds parents maintained with their children was found to be independent of other variables in the study. The relationship between parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was inverse in that higher levels of grief were associated with lower levels of re-investing in life. The finding of the independence of the Continuing Bonds Scale ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Haag, Marcy J.

The Symbolic Representation of Latinos: A Content Analysis of Prime-Time Television

Description: The media are powerful agents of socialization in modern society influencing values, beliefs, and attitudes of the culture that produces them. Both the quantity and quality of Latino images in the media may reflect and reinforce the place of Latinos in United States society. This study examines how Latinos are portrayed in television entertainment programming by addressing two major research questions: 1) What is the extent of Latino recognition on prime-time television? and 2) What is the extent of respect accorded Latinos on prime-time television? A one-week sample of prime-time television programming airing on three networks yielded 47 programs and 807 characters for analysis. Using content analysis methodology, recognition is identified by examining the frequency and proportional representation of Latino television portrayals and respect is measured by examining the types and significance of these roles. The results indicate an overall lack of diversity on prime-time television with only 11 of the 47 programs analyzed reaching 50% or more of the maximum possible diversity in their racial and ethnic portrayals. Specifically, Latinos represent only 3% of primetime television characters, less than one-fourth of their proportion of the nation's population. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, Blacks, and Asians, Latinos are the group least likely to occupy major roles in prime-time entertainment shows and represent only 1.9% of the total opening cast credits. Latinos are still presented stereotypically but are more often presented in a generic fashion with no reference to ethnic cultural experiences. The extent of recognition and respect accorded Latinos in prime-time television is severely limited, thus there is a need for continued research and dialogue regarding symbolic media images of Latinos. The findings have implications for social scientists interested in media forms and content as cultural artifacts, members of the television media industry responsible for program development and distribution, and college ...
Date: August 2001
Creator: McKenzie-Elliott, Tracey M.

Using Topic Models to Study Journalist-Audience Convergence and Divergence: The Case of Human Trafficking Coverage on British Online Newspapers

Description: Despite the accessibility of online news and availability of sophisticated methods for analyzing news content, no previous study has focused on the simultaneous examination of news coverage on human trafficking and audiences' interpretations of this coverage. In my research, I have examined both journalists' and commenters' topic choices in coverage and discussion of human trafficking from the online platforms of three British newspapers covering the period 2009–2015. I used latent semantic analysis (LSA) to identify emergent topics in my corpus of newspaper articles and readers' comments, and I then quantitatively investigated topic preferences to identify convergence and divergence on the topics discussed by journalists and their readers. I addressed my research questions in two distinctive studies. The first case study implemented topic modelling techniques and further quantitative analyses on article and comment paragraphs from The Guardian. The second extensive study included article and comment paragraphs from the online platforms of three British newspapers: The Guardian, The Times and the Daily Mail. The findings indicate that the theories of "agenda setting" and of "active audience" are not mutually exclusive, and the scope of explanation of each depends partly on the specific topic or subtopic that is analyzed. Taking into account further theoretical concepts related to agenda setting, four more additional research questions were addressed. Topic convergence and divergence was further identified when taking into account the newspapers' political orientation and the articles' and comments' year of publication.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Papadouka, Maria Eirini

Utilization of the family medical leave act: A case study

Description: American businesses have confronted a changing world economy marked by increasing competition , technological innovation, and instability. Many more women have entered the labor force. Many families' caregiving needs are now being met by family members who also are holding down jobs. This, in turn, has fueled the rising need among employees for workplace policies that enable them to meet the often competing demands of job and home. In 1993, Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA of the Act) to provide a national policy that supports families in their efforts to strike a workable balance between the competing demands of the workplace and the home. The objective of this study is to examine the amount of FMLA lost time at one particular company in order to determine a demographic and job characteristic profile of employees who take time away from their jobs for reasons that are protected by the Act.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Mahdi, Taalib-Din N.

Work-family responsiveness in organizations: The influence of resource dependence and institutionalization on program adaptation

Description: Changes in workforce demographics, employee sentiments, and working conditions have increased attention on employees' needs to balance the demands of work life and family life. Despite apparent growing interest among companies to be responsive to these needs, the number of companies demonstrating high levels of work-family responsiveness is relatively small. The frameworks of resource dependence theory and institutional theory were used to develop a model to explain differences in work-family responsiveness among for-profit companies. The theoretical models were tested on survey data collected through a stratified random sample of 692 for-profit companies. The data were further enhanced with secondary data sources. While the institutional model explained more variance in work-family responsiveness than the resource dependence model, a model combining both theories best explains work-family responsiveness among for-profit companies. High industry-region diffusion of family-friendly benefits was one of several strong predictors of work-family responsiveness. Also, the greater the proportion of professionals in a company's industry, the greater was the level of work-family responsiveness. Companies that measured effectiveness outcomes were more likely to offer family-friendly benefits. The same was true for companies with more positive assessments regarding the impact of their family-friendly benefits. Organizations that were large, publicly traded, or had human resource departments also demonstrated greater levels of work-family responsiveness. Future research should include variables introduced in this study and should expand the range of variables as to include other theoretical perspectives. Policy makers for companies, advocacy groups and government leaders will find the results of this study beneficial. Companies operating in environments characterized by strong diffusion of family-friendly benefits among similar companies will be well served by developing policies and programs that conform to these norms. Advocates and government leaders should understand that recent interest in work-family responsiveness is unlikely equally benefit all sectors of employment.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Ruggiere, Paul

Work in the calling in Max Weber's Protestant ethic thesis

Description: Objectives. Scholars have debated Max Weber's theory of the relationship between religion and capitalism for almost 100 years. Still, the debate is clouded by confusion over Weber's claims about religious doctrine and over the supporting evidence. The purpose of this study is to clarify Max Weber's claims regarding the concept of the calling and the related "anti-mammon" injunction and concept of "good works" and substantiate with historical evidence the religious doctrine Weber describes. Methods. Comparative analysis of early Protestant Lutheran and Calvinist documents from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was used to flesh out a history of ideas to determine whether evidence exists to support Weber's claims related to religious doctrine. Results. Historical analyses revealed that the concept of the calling pre-dated Luther in the Bible. Luther's innovation was not in his use of the word beruf but in his application of the concept of the calling to the common people and his teaching of that idea. The idea of sanctified work was key in both Lutheran and Calvinist documents. There was an increased emphasis on work and encouragement to accumulate wealth in Calvinist documents. Conclusion. Weber's etymological evidence surrounding Martin Luther's use of the word beruf in his German translation of the bible is idiosyncratic and not important to the transmission of the concept of the calling. Luther's application of the concept of the calling to the laity and idea of sanctified work, however, is the foundation on which the Protestant ethic rests, as Weber claims. Weber's other claims regarding the concept of work in early Protestantism are also supported here. Weber did not overstate the implications for societal transformation in early Protestant theology.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Schindley, Wanda Beatrice Higbee