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Effects of Social Networks and Media on Pro-Environment Behaviors

Description: In this study, pro-environmental behaviors are investigated by studying if one's primary information sources about environmental issues either from their social network or the media influence this behavior. Data was collected from the 2002 Detroit Area Study with a total of 267 respondents. Three indexes were constructed to separately measure all seven pro-environment behavioral items, five conservation behavioral items, and two consumption behavioral items. A complex sample model was utilized in these analyses. Findings suggest that information sources are correlated to self-reported environmental behavior. As predicted, the people whose primary information source was social network were more likely to obtain higher scores on all three separate indexes than those individuals who primarily received information about environmental issues from the media.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Schuett, Jessica Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factors Associated with Risky Sexual Behavior Among Homeless Youth

Description: Homeless youth face numerous risks. Data on 602 homeless youth from the Midwest Homeless and Runaway Study and binary logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with their participation in risky sexual behaviors. Specifically, the effects of abuse/neglect and three potential moderating resiliency indicators, namely self-esteem, parental warmth, and parental monitoring, on having sex before adulthood and thinking about trading sex for food or shelter were examined. While none of the three resiliency indicators had the hypothesized moderating effects, controlling for abuse/neglect and various sociodemographic characteristics, parental monitoring had a direct, negative effect on having sex before adulthood, and self-esteem and parental warmth had direct, negative effects on thinking about trading sex for food or shelter. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Cooksey, Christy
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Social Capital and Delinquency among Turkish Juveniles

Description: This study examined the relationship between aspects of social capital and self-reported delinquency among Turkish juveniles by using a secondary dataset, which is a part of the European Youth Survey. The survey was conducted among tenth graders in 2007 in Bağcılar, Istanbul. The dependent variable of this study, delinquency, was divided into two groups, minor and major, according to the stipulations of the Turkish Penal Code. Social capital was measured by assessing adolescents’ reports of their direct interactions with their parents, peers and community. In order to predict the likelihood of major and minor delinquency independently, two different subsets (N: 1879 and 1837, respectively) of the data set were used. The findings of the multivariate analyses suggest that a low level of social capital contributed significantly to Turkish juveniles’ engagement in major and minor delinquent activities. Among the social capital items, adolescents’ affiliation with delinquent peers had the strongest correlation with both dependent variables.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Cubukcu, Suat
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Modeling Place Vulnerability of HIV/AIDS in Texas

Description: This study provides a measurable model of the concept of place vulnerability for HIV/AIDS that incorporates both community and structural level effects using data provided at the ZIP code level from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Sociological literature on the effects of place on health has been growing but falls short of providing an operational definition of the effects of place on health. This dissertation looks to the literature in medical/health geography to supplement sociology’s understanding of the effects of place on health, to the end of providing a measurable model. Prior research that has recognized the complexity of the effects of place still have forced data into one scale and emphasized individual-level outcomes. A multilevel model allows for keeping the associated spatial unit data, without aggregating or parsing it out for convenience of model fit. The place vulnerability model proposed examines how exposure, capacity and potentiality variables all influence an area’s HIV/AIDS count. To capture the effects of place vulnerability at multiple levels, this dissertation research uses a multilevel zero-inflated poisson (MLZIP) model to examine how factors measured at the ZIP code and county both affect HIV/AIDS counts per ZIP code as an outcome. Furthermore, empirical Bayes estimates are mapped to display how well the model fits across the state of Texas. Limitations of this research include the need to incorporate time, more specific predictors, and individual level factors. The methodology developed permits a more thorough understanding of place effects on the spatial variation of HIV/AIDS.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Harold, Adam F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Testing the Impacts of Social Disorganization and Parochial Control on Public Order Crimes in Turkey

Description: The primary focus of this study is to investigate the effects of social control mechanisms on public order crimes in Turkey. Supporting efforts of parochial control is a rising trend in crime control activities. Statements regarding the relationship between social disorganization variables, parochial control variables, and spatial distribution of crime have long been studied by researchers. Using the same assumptions in this study, I test their applicability to public order crimes in Turkey. The poverty and residential mobility variables had significant positive effect on public order crimes holding other structural and parochial variables constant. The number of public order crimes seems to be higher in provinces where there are more disrupted families. The number of public order crimes seems to be lower in provinces where there are more religious institutions. Overall, the results reveal that social structural variables and parochial control factors affect the institutional bases of provinces and partly affect the occurrence of public order crimes. Based on the study findings, several policy implications and recommendations for future research are suggested.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Bayhan, Kenan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Influence of Alevi-Sunni Intermarriage on the Spouses’ Religious Affiliation, Family Relations, and Social Environment: A Qualitative Study of Turkish Couples

Description: What influence Alevi-Sunni intermarriage has on spouses’ individual religious affiliation after marriage was the initial research question addressed in this study. No official or unofficial data exist regarding the Alevi-Sunni intermarriage in Turkey. This study responded to the need to describe extant relationships by using a qualitative approach to gather detailed information from a sample of married couples in Corum city, Turkey. A case study method was applied to a sample of ten couples. Couples were selected using snowball and purposive sampling techniques. A team of researchers conducted forty face-to-face interviews. Each of the ten husbands and ten wives in Alevi-Sunni intermarriages were interviewed twice using semi-structured questionnaires. Additional demographic and observational data were gathered. Spouses in the Alevi-Sunni intermarriages sampled did not change their religious affiliation after marriage. The spouses reported few if any problems in their marital relationships and in child rearing. However, spouses did report many problems with parental families, in-laws, and other relatives. The disapproval and punishments from extended family members are related to the social stigma attached to Alevi-Sunni intermarriages. However, intermarriage, modernization including secularism and pluralism are challenging this stigma. Because of this transition further interdisciplinary studies on Alevi-Sunni intermarriage that explore different dimensions of intermarriage are needed.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Balkanlioglu, Mehmet A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Explaining “Everyday Crime”: A Test of Anomie and Relative Deprivation Theory

Description: Every day, individuals commit acts which are considered immoral, unethical, even criminal, often to gain material advantage. Many people consider cheating on taxes, cheating on tests, claiming false benefits, or avoiding transport fare to be wrong, but they do them anyway. While some of these acts may not be formally illegal, they are, at best, considered morally dubious and is labeled “everyday crime.” Anomie theory holds that individuals make decisions based on socialized values, which separately may be contradictory but together, balances each other out, producing behavior considered “normal” by society. When one holds an imbalanced set of values, decisions made on that set may produce deviant behavior, such as everyday crime. RD theory holds that individuals who perceive their own deprivation, relative to someone else, will feel frustration and injustice, and may attempt to ameliorate that feeling with deviant behavior. Data from the 2006 World Values Survey were analyzed using logistic regression, testing both constructs concurrently. An individual was 1.55 times more likely to justify everyday crime for each calculated unit of anomie; and 1.10 times more likely for each calculated unit of RD. It was concluded from this study that anomie and relative deprivation were both associated with the tendency towards everyday crime.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Itashiki, Michael Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploration of Altruistic Behavior of Substance-Abuse Facilities According to Their Ownership Status

Description: Using the 2009 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), this paper uses logistic regressions to explore the effect of facility ownership on a facility’s show of altruism. Facility’s show of altruism is operationalized as a facility offering free treatment to all its clients, free treatment to some of its clients, or a facility offering a sliding fee scale to its client base in order to absorb some of the cost of treatment based on a potential client's income. Region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation are added as covariates in order to gauge whether the potential relationship between facility ownership and a facility’s show of altruism is genuine. Results indicate that private, for-profit ownership status of a facility is associated with a lower likelihood that a substance-abuse treatment facility would engage in altruistic behavior. However, receipt of public funds acts as a mediating variable, in that, its inclusion raises the likelihood that a private, for-profit facility would engage in shows of altruism. Furthermore, it appears that religious-affiliation increases the likelihood that a facility would display altruism by providing free treatment, to some of its clients, or to all, but less likely to display altruism by employing a sliding fee scale. Overall, inclusion of region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation all produce statistically significant results, along with facility ownership. This suggests that there are a variety of variables, apart from facility ownership alone, that might be influential over a facility's show of altruism.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Galanova, Yekaterina (Katherine) Yur'Yevna
Partner: UNT Libraries

Race Differences in Religiosity, Social Support, and Quality of Life among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas/ Ft. Worth, TX

Description: This study examines race differences and the relationship between religiosity/ spirituality and social support on quality of life (QOL) among people living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX. The data were obtained from the Project VOICES research study conducted by the Center of Psychosocial Health Research at University of North Texas in 2003. This study explores the hypotheses that religiosity/spirituality and social support positively influences quality of life among people living with HIV/AIDS. The current study uses a diverse, gender-balanced sample consisting of African Americans (n = 156), aged 20-68, 47% male, 52% female and 1% transgendered) and Non-African Americans (n = 131), aged 19-65, 50% male, 46% female and 3% transgendered) (Caucasian, Latino, & others) to evaluate the relationship among variables of interest. Multiple regression analyses revealed that social support was a significant factor explaining quality of life (QOL) for African Americans when controlling for medical variables but did not for non-African Americans. Religiosity/spirituality was not found to be significant in this study. The implications of the findings are discussed.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Henderson, Kenya Y. Kemp
Partner: UNT Libraries