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open access

Reality Television: Using Para-Social Relationship Theory and Economic Theory to Define the Success of Network Reality Programming

Description: This study seeks to use a dual-theoretical approach, through the use of para-social relationship theory and economic data analysis, to explain the success of reality television since the early 2000s. This study uses both qualitative and quantitative components to understand the growth of reality television. This study includes a literature analysis of both methodologies used. Focus groups were used to seek to find a strong level of para-social interaction in viewers of reality television. Two focus groups were conducted with participants 18-35. There were a total of 16 participants who attended the focus group sessions. The information collected suggested that viewers of reality television formed para-social relationships. It appeared that female viewers were more likely to form para-social relationships than male viewers.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Dyer, Caitlin Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

From Outward Appearance to Inner Reality: A Reading of Aaron Copland's Inscape

Description: About 8.3% of individuals diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM) are diagnosed with comorbid depression, a higher rate than the general adult population. This project examined the differences of depression symptoms experienced between diabetic and matched non-diabetic individuals and the relationship of daily activity and nutrition behaviors with depression between these groups. The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was utilized to assess: depression symptoms, diabetic glycemic control as measured by glycoginated hemoglobin (HbA1c), amount of physical activity, percentage of macronutrients, daily frequencies of foods consumed, and the use of nutritional food labels to make food choices. A sample of diabetic (n = 451) and non-diabetic individuals (n = 451) were matched to on age, gender, ethnicity, and education. The diabetic individuals experienced greater depression on both continuous and ordinal diagnostic variables. Counter to expectation, there was no relationship observed between depression and HbA1c in diabetic individuals, r = .04, p > .05.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Ensign, Jeffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Depression in Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Individuals: Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Diet

Description: About 8.3% of individuals diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM) are diagnosed with comorbid depression, a higher rate than the general adult population. This project examined the differences of depression symptoms experienced between diabetic and matched non-diabetic individuals and the relationship of daily activity and nutrition behaviors with depression between these groups. The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was utilized to assess: depression symptoms, diabetic glycemic control as measured by glycoginated hemoglobin (HbA1c), amount of physical activity, percentage of macronutrients, daily frequencies of foods consumed, and the use of nutritional food labels to make food choices. A sample of diabetic (n = 451) and non-diabetic individuals (n = 451) were matched to on age, gender, ethnicity, and education. The diabetic individuals experienced greater depression on both continuous and ordinal diagnostic variables. Counter to expectation, there was no relationship observed between depression and HbA1c in diabetic individuals, r = .04, p > .05.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Edwards, Kate G.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Eighth Grade Science Teacher Quality Variables and Student Achievement

Description: While No Child Left Behind ushered in the age of the "highly qualified" teacher, accountability focus has been shifted to the "highly effective" teacher, defined as teacher impact on student achievement. The Science Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) is used to judge the adequate yearly progress of students in Texas public schools. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of teacher factors (i.e., ethnicity, gender, teaching experience, university selectivity, certification route, National Center for Education Statistics Locale/Code, number of science content and pedagogical course semester credit hours, grade point average for science content and pedagogical coursework) on student achievement using the eighth grade Science TAKS. The primary dependent variables were students' five objective scores and their overall scores on the eighth grade Science TAKS examination. The sample was 44 eighth grade science teachers and 4,119 students in Texas public schools. Multiple linear regression models enabled examinations of the relationships between teacher quality variables and student achievement. No significant relationships between the variables were found. Small effect sizes for the beta weights and structure coefficients occurred between teachers' science credit hours and TAKS objectives to explain 20% of the variance for TAKS Living Systems and the Environment, 39% of the variance for TAKS Structures and Properties of Matter, and 21% of the variance for TAKS Earth and Space Systems. Teacher experience accounted for 24% of the variance with TAKS Structures and Properties of Matter, and pedagogical credit hours explained 30% of the variance with TAKS Motion, Forces, and Energy. Science GPA explained 31% of the variance for the TAKS Earth and Space Systems objective. Policy makers should examine NCLB assumptions about teacher content knowledge as a significant indicator of teacher effectiveness via student achievement on standardized tests. While measuring content knowledge provides a simple, efficient, …
Date: December 2010
Creator: Harp, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Demographic and Psychosocial Contributions to the Expression of Schizotypal Personality Traits.

Description: Previous research suggests there are a number of variables that are associated with the expression of schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) symptoms. Such variables include childhood trauma, depression and anxiety, substance use, normal-range personality traits, ethnicity, and gender. However, research to date has not examined all of these variables in a single study to determine how they may be interrelated or differentially related to SPD symptom domains. Of particular interest is the association of these variables as explained by the diathesis-stress model. This study utilized a convenience sample of 298 undergraduate students to examine a continuous range of scores for symptoms of SPD and how the interrelation of biological factors such as gender and ethnicity and psychosocial factors and stressors such as childhood trauma and personality traits, specifically neuroticism and extroversion, influence the expression of SPD symptoms. It was predicted that anxiety, depression, stress, and childhood trauma would positively correlate to SPD symptoms. It was also hypothesized that neuroticism and substance use would positively correlate to schizotypal traits and extroversion would be negatively correlated to schizotypal traits as measured by the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief. It was further hypothesized that psychosocial stressors would be moderated by the aforementioned biological factors.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hernandez, Nikki
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Institutional Policies and Practices of Community and Technical Colleges in Texas on Student Persistence in Online Courses

Description: Online education is the fastest growing form of course delivery of higher education in the United States. It has revolutionized how students and instructors interact in the educational process. Yet students in online courses continue to experience higher attrition rates than their counterparts in traditional face-to-face classes despite the advantages offered by the technology. This study examined the impact that institutional policies and practices at community colleges in the state of Texas have had on student persistence in online courses. It also examined how institutions collect and use data in addressing students' attrition. The findings were used to identify the most effective institutional practices to share with community college systems in Texas in an effort to improve student persistence in online courses across the state. The population for the study consisted of the 50 public two-year community college and the technical college systems in the state of Texas. The study used a mixed method. A theoretical model of institutional impact on online persistence was drawn from the literature review. This model's five categories were then used to construct a survey to collect data on institutional practices and measure the effectiveness in addressing student persistence. Four college systems were identified using the survey data that best met the five categories. Interviews were then conducted at these four college systems to produce case studies of these institutions' practices and experiences with online persistence. The results highlighted the roles that institutions play in promoting student persistence in online programs. They revealed differences in the ways institutions define and track student success in online programs and the difficulty these differences pose in comparatively evaluating various institutions' programs. Results lent support to the theoretical model of institutional impact on online persistence that was developed for this study, and results yielded a proposed list of promising …
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hills, Fred W.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Soft Landing Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry: History, Instrumentation and an Ambient Pressure Application

Description: Preparative mass spectrometry is an important method for the synthesis of new materials. Recently, soft landing mass spectrometry has been used to land ions on surfaces to coat or otherwise alter them. Commercial soft landing instruments do not yet exist, and the physical phenomenon of soft landing has not yet been fully described. For future ion mobility soft landing research, the theory of ion mobility, ion optics and soft landing is discussed, and 2 soft landing instruments have been built and described, along with proof of concept experiments for both instruments. Simulations of the process of ion mobility and ion optics for use in these instruments, as well as some preliminary results for the optics are included. Surfaces described include copper on mica and iron on silicon. Self assembly of soft landed ions is observed on the surfaces. The instruments constructed will be useful for future soft landing research, and soft landing can be used for future materials research with special attention focused on the self-assembly of the landed ions.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Birdwell, David
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Enemy of My Enemy: International Alliances Against Transnational Terrorist Organizations

Description: A dearth of pre-existing research in the field prompted this thesis on whether traditional econometric analyses of war deterrent alliances are applicable to modern alliances for counter terror purposes. Apparent foundational and contextual differences between the two types of alliances and the costs and benefits member nations derive from each lead the author to theorize that factors contributing to the formation of each alliance are fundamentally similar. Multiple types of statistical models are used to measure variables from the Correlates of War and Polity datasets combined with custom variables in a new dataset concerning major transnational terrorist attacks and the resultant alliances in testing the effect of traditionally contributing formation factors on alliances against terrorism. The results indicate that some contributing factors are similar, extant analysis tools have utility and that further investigation is justified.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Berthume, Joshua Guy
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Explaining Marijuana Use Among Turkish Juveniles: A Test of Hirschi's Social Bonding Theory

Description: Marijuana is the most prevalent illicit drug used in the world and among Turkish juveniles. Although studies have examined marijuana use among Turkish juveniles, none has tested Hirschi's social bonding theory, one of the most frequently tested and applied criminological theories in the United States and other Western and developed countries. This study investigated the empirical validity and generalizability of Hirschi's theory to juveniles' marijuana use in Turkey, a non-Western and developing country. Data on 2,740 Turkish tenth grade students from the 2006 Youth in Europe survey were used. Results from binary logistic regression analyses were generally consistent with the propositions of Hirschi's theory and the findings of previous empirical studies. Regarding the attachment component of the theory, Turkish juveniles who lived in two-parent families and those who were closely monitored by their parents were less likely to have tried marijuana. In addition, teens who were strongly attached to their school and religion were also less likely to have used the drug. As for the commitment component, language grade was negatively associated with marijuana use. None of the involvement items had significant effects on marijuana use in the predicted direction. Participation in club sports had a positive effect on marijuana use. Belief items, such as acceptance of societal norms, values, and rules, had the predicted inhibiting effects on teens' marijuana use. Of the six sociodemographic/controls included in the analyses, only gender had a significant effect; male students were more likely to have tried marijuana than the female peers. Policy implications of the results for adolescents, parents, and schools are discussed.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Çam, Taner
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Microstructure Evolution in Laser Deposited Nickel-Titanium-Carbon in situ Metal Matrix Composite

Description: Ni/TiC metal matrix composites have been processed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENS) process. As nickel does not form an equilibrium carbide phase, addition of a strong carbide former in the form of titanium reinforces the nickel matrix resulting in a promising hybrid material for both surface engineering as well as high temperature structural applications. Changing the relative amounts of titanium and carbon in the nickel matrix, relatively low volume fraction of refined homogeneously distributed carbide precipitates, formation of in-situ carbide precipitates and the microstructural changes are investigated. The composites have been characterized in detail using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (including energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) mapping and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD)), Auger electron spectroscopy, and transmission (including high resolution) electron microscopy. Both primary and eutectic titanium carbides, observed in this composite, exhibited the fcc-TiC structure (NaCl-type). Details of the orientation relationship between Ni and TiC have been studied using SEM-EBSD and high resolution TEM. The results of micro-hardness and tribology tests indicate that these composites have a relatively high hardness and a steady-state friction coefficient of ~0.5, both of which are improvements in comparison to LENS deposited pure Ni.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gopagoni, Sundeep
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Postpartum Depression: A Sociocultural Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Adolescent and Adult Hispanic Mothers

Description: This dissertation is a mixed methods analysis investigating postpartum depression as it is experienced by self-reported depressed Mexican American adolescent and adult mothers. The qualitative portion of this study explores pregnancy and motherhood to better understand meanings attached to depression. Six adolescent and six adult mothers, were recruited from the Dallas/Fort-Worth area. Each was interviewed twice, using semi-structured interview guides. The quantitative phase utilizes a national sample of self-reported depressed Hispanic mothers to identify breastfeeding behavior and mothers' perceptions of the physical health of their babies. Specifically, a secondary analysis of the National Survey of Children's Health, 2003 was used to supplement the qualitative data. This study provides a theoretical framework of fragmented identity to explain socio-cultural factors contributing to postpartum depression among Mexican American adolescent and adult mothers. Common themes leading to a fragmented identify were indentified. Contributors to postpartum depression include: unplanned pregnancy, internal struggle between cultures, body image and family conflict. Stigma associated with teen motherhood also contributed to depression among adolescent mothers while the medicalization of childbirth was a contributing factor of depression among the adult mothers. Additionally, the duration of breastfeeding and mothers' perceptions of their babies' physical health were impacted by depression, but breastfeeding initiation was not.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gosdin, Melissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Variable use of ne in Negative Structures: An Apparent-Time Variationist Study of Synchronous Electronic French Discourse

Description: This study of the variable use of ne in synchronous electronic French discourse follows the methodological guidelines and the theoretical framework proposed and subsequently elaborated by Labov for analyzing variable features of language. This thesis provides a quantitative variable rule (i.e., VARBRUL) analysis including age as a factor group (i.e., independent variable), thereby making a new contribution to this area of inquiry. The data (50,000 words from the vingtaine 'twentysomething' channel and 50,000 words from the cinquantaine 'fiftysomething' channel) are a subset of 100,000 words from a corpus of one million words collected in 2008 by the thesis director from the public chat server EuropNet. This study aims to answer the following overarching question: To what extent does age-compared to other factors-influence the variable use of ne in verbal negation in synchronous electronic French discourse? In order to answer this question, and possibly others, the VARBRUL analysis will include age, subject (e.g., noun vs. pronoun), type of second negative particle (e.g., pas 'not', jamais 'never', personne 'no one'/'nobody', and so forth), as well as verbal mood/tense.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gould, Rebecca J.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Examining the Effects of Psychographics, Demographics, and Geographics on Time-Related Shopping Behaviors

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of psychographic (shopping orientation, lifestyle, social class), demographic (gender, ethnicity, age), and geographic (area of residence) variables on time-related shopping behaviors when shopping for clothing for the self. The concept of time-related shopping behaviors has not been the focus of any study of the American market. Data (N = 550) were collected via a questionnaire with an online survey company. Through analysis of chi square statistics, ANOVA, Pearson product-moment correlation, and factor analysis, it was found that psychographics and demographics affected time-related and other shopping behaviors. Geographics was found to affect shopping behavior, but not specifically the time-related shopping behaviors studied.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Garnett, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Alberto Ginastera and the Guitar Chord: An Analytical Study

Description: The guitar chord (a sonority based on the open strings of the guitar) is one of Alberto Ginastera's compositional trademarks. The use of the guitar chord expands throughout forty years, creating a common link between different compositional stages and techniques. Chapters I and II provide the historical and technical background on Ginastera's life, oeuvre and scholar research. Chapter IV explores the origins of the guitar chord and compares it to similar specific sonorities used by different composers to express extra-musical ideas. Chapter V discusses Ginastera's initial uses and modifications of the guitar chord. Chapter VI explores the use of the guitar chord as a referential sonority based on Variaciones Concertantes, Op. 23: I-II, examining vertical (subsets) and horizontal (derivation of motives) aspects. Chapter VII explores uses of trichords and hexachords derived from the guitar chord in the Sonata for Guitar Op. 47.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gaviria, Carlos A.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Methodological Issues in Malingering Research: The Use of Simulation Designs

Description: The accurate determination of malingering relies on the use of validated and clinically relevant assessment measures. Simulation design is the most often-used research design to accomplish this. However, its external validity is sometimes questioned. The goal of the thesis was to systematically evaluate these major elements: situation, incentives, and coaching. The situation in simulation studies can vary from relevant (academic failure in a college population) to irrelevant (capital murder) for the samples being studied. Incentives refer to the external motivation given to improve simulators' performance and can be positive (extra credit and monetary reward) or negative (extra time and effort). Finally, coaching refers to whether the participant receives any information on detection strategies that are designed to identify feigners. Using a large undergraduate sample in a factorial design, results indicate that a scenario familiar to the participants generally improved the believability of their responses. Coaching also improved the ability to feign convincingly, while incentive type was not associated with any change in scores. The implications of these findings for future research designs and the connection to practice are discussed.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gillard, Nathan D.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Self-Efficacy and Fears of Pain and Injury in Gymnastics and Tumbling: Does a Previous Injury Matter?

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore whether a previous gymnastic or tumbling injury influences gymnasts' and tumblers' self-efficacy, motivation, competition anxiety, and fears of pain and injury. Participants (N = 105) completed survey packets during practice which contained demographic questions and questionnaires that measure self-efficacy for physical abilities and exercise, self-motivation, risk of injury, pain catastrophizing, and sport anxiety. Results of a one-way ANOVA indicated that gymnasts and tumblers who experienced a previous injury were significantly different than those who had not experienced an injury on their self-efficacy for physical abilities (p = .007), self-motivation (p = .007), and perceived risk of reinjury (p = .018). Specifically, these findings indicate that gymnasts and tumblers with previous injuries experience higher levels of self-efficacy for physical abilities, self-motivation, and perceived risk of reinjury. Implications for coaches, gymnasts, and tumblers include: creating an open and comfortable environment to discuss pain and injury, developing strategies to break the negative cycle of fear of injury, and fostering a positive rehabilitation process. In the future, researchers should examine the influence that gender and type of competition has on self-efficacy, self-motivation, perceived risk of reinjury, pain perceptions, and competition anxiety of those who have experienced sport-related injuries, as compared to those who have not experienced these types of injuries. Researchers should also examine how the type of injury, whether it is a first time injury versus a reinjury, influences perceptions of pain and fears directly following the injury.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Jackson, Stacy
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Masters No More: Abolition and Texas Planters, 1860-1890

Description: This dissertation is a study of the effects of the abolition of slavery on the economic and political elite of six Texas counties between 1860 and 1890. It focuses on Austin, Brazoria, Colorado, Fort Bend, Matagorda, and Wharton Counties. These areas contain the overwhelming majority of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred," the original American settlers of Texas. In addition to being the oldest settled region, these counties contained many of the wealthiest slaveholders within the state. This section of the state, along with the northeast along the Louisiana border, includes the highest concentration of Texas' antebellum plantations. This study asks two central questions. First, what were the effects of abolition on the fortunes of the planter class within these six counties? Did a new elite emerge as a result of the end of slavery, or, despite the liquidation of a substantial portion of their estates, did members of the former planter class sustain their economic dominance over the counties? Second, what were abolition's effects on the counties' prewar political elite, defined as the county judge? Who were in power before the war and who were in power after it? Did abolition contribute to a new kind of politician?
Date: December 2010
Creator: Ivan, Adrien D.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Influence of Social Network Graph Structure on Disease Dynamics in a Simulated Environment

Description: The fight against epidemics/pandemics is one of man versus nature. Technological advances have not only improved existing methods for monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks, but have also provided new means for investigation, such as through modeling and simulation. This dissertation explores the relationship between social structure and disease dynamics. Social structures are modeled as graphs, and outbreaks are simulated based on a well-recognized standard, the susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) paradigm. Two independent, but related, studies are presented. The first involves measuring the severity of outbreaks as social network parameters are altered. The second study investigates the efficacy of various vaccination policies based on social structure. Three disease-related centrality measures are introduced, contact, transmission, and spread centrality, which are related to previously established centrality measures degree, betweenness, and closeness, respectively. The results of experiments presented in this dissertation indicate that reducing the neighborhood size along with outside-of-neighborhood contacts diminishes the severity of disease outbreaks. Vaccination strategies can effectively reduce these parameters. Additionally, vaccination policies that target individuals with high centrality are generally shown to be slightly more effective than a random vaccination policy. These results combined with past and future studies will assist public health officials in their effort to minimize the effects of inevitable disease epidemics/pandemics.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Johnson, Tina V.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Evaluating Social Factors in Diabetes Management by Mexican American Ethnicity

Description: Differences in Mexican American ethnicity, family and friend social support, and importance of diabetes self-management as related to diabetes management in the older adult population were evaluated with the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2003 Diabetes Study. Comparisons were made between Mexican Americans with Type II diabetes and similar non-Hispanic Caucasian and African American individuals with Type II diabetes. Neither family/friend social support nor importance of diabetes self-management were significant predictors of HbA1c levels. Results did not support the idea that perception of receiving support from family/friends or placing importance on diabetes self-management covaried with lower HbAlc level (family/friend: beta = -.13, t = -1.47, p = .143; self management: beta = .08, t = .55, p = .584).
Date: December 2010
Creator: Huerta, Serina
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Synthetic, Mechanistic, and Structural Studies of Polynuclear Metal Clusters and Hydrazido-Substituted Tantalum(V) Compounds

Description: A combined experimental and computational study on the reversible ortho-metalation exhibited by the triosmium cluster Os3(CO)10(dppm) (dppm = 1,1-bis(diphenylphosphino)methane is reported. The conversion of nonacarbonyl cluster HOs3(CO)9[-PhP(C6H4)CH2PPh2] to Os3(CO)10(dppm) is independent of added CO and exhibits a significant inverse equilibrium isotope effect (EIE). Reductive coupling of the C-H bond in HOs3(CO)9[-PhP(C6H4)CH2PPh2] leads to the formation of agostic C-H and two distinct aryl-π species prior to the rate-limiting formation of the unsaturated cluster Os3(CO)9(dppm). Heating the unsaturated dimer H2Re2(CO)8 with Cp*Rh(CO)2 (Cp* = 1,2,3,4,5-pentamethylcyclopentadiene) at elevated temperature affords the new trimetallic clusters H2RhRe2Cp*(CO)9 and HRh2ReCp*2(CO)6, and the spiked-triangular cluster HRhRe3Cp*(CO)14. H2Re2(CO)8 reacts with Cp*2Rh2(CO)2 under identical conditions to furnish H2RhRe2Cp*(CO)9 and HRh2ReCp*2(CO)6 as the principal products, in addition to the tetrahedral cluster H2Rh2Re2Cp*2(CO)8. H2RhRe2Cp*(CO)9 undergoes facile fragmentation in the presence of halogenated solvents and the thiols RSH (where R = H, C6H4Me-p) to afford the structurally characterized products Cp*Rh(-Cl)3Re(CO)3, S2Rh3Cp*(CO)4, Cp*Rh(-Cl)(-SC6H4Me-p)2Re(CO)3, and Cp*Rh(-SC6H4Me-p)3Re(CO)3. The new hydrazido-substituted compounds TaCl(NMe2)3[N(TMS)NMe2] (TMS = tetramethylsilyl) and Ta(NMe2)4[N(TMS)NMe2] have been synthesized and their structures established by X-ray crystallography. The latter product represents the first structurally characterized octahedral tantalum(V) complex containing a single hydrazido(I) ligand in an all-nitrogen coordinated environment about the metal center. The fluxional properties of the amido and hydrazido ligands in these new compounds have been established by VT 1H NMR spectroscopy (VT = variable temperature). Preliminary data using Ta(NMe2)4[N(TMS)NMe2] as an ALD (ALD = atomic layer deposition) precursor for the preparation of tantalum nitride and tantalum oxide thin films are presented.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Huang, Shih-huang
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

School Authority Over Off-Campus Student Expression in the Electronic Age: Finding a Balance Between a Student's Constitutional Right to Free Speech and the Interest of Schools in Protecting School Personnel and Other Students from Cyber Bullying, Defamation, and Abuse

Description: In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, the Supreme Court ruled that students have speech rights in the school environment unless the speech causes or is likely to cause 1) a substantial disruption, or 2) interferes with the rights of others. The Supreme Court has yet to hear a case involving school officials' authority to regulate electronically-delivered derogatory student speech, and no uniform standard currently exists for determining when school authorities can discipline students for such speech when it occurs off campus without violating students' First Amendment rights. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine 19 federal and state court decisions in which school authorities were sued for disciplining students for electronically delivered, derogatory speech. Eighteen of these cases involved student speech that demeaned or defamed school teachers or administrators. Only one involved speech that demeaned another student. Each case was analyzed to identify significant factors in court holdings to provide a basis for the construction of a uniform legal standard for determining when school authorities can discipline students for this type of speech. The full application of Tinker's first and second prongs will provide school officials the authority needed to address this growing problem while still protecting legitimate off-campus student cyber expression. Predictions of future court holdings and policy recommendations are included.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Dryden, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Benefits and Costs of Social Interactions Among Firefighters

Description: Despite high levels of exposure, firefighter posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rates are unclear. Likewise, questions remain regarding how social interactions and beliefs about emotion might interact to influence PTSD in firefighters. In this study, U.S. urban firefighters (N = 225) completed measures of social support, negative social interactions, and fear of emotion which were then used via regression analyses to predict PTSD symptoms. Each independent variable predicted PTSD beyond variance accounted for by demographic variables. Additionally, fear of emotion emerged as the strongest individual predictor of PTSD and a moderator of the relation between social interactions and PTSD symptoms. These findings emphasize the importance of beliefs about emotion; both in how these beliefs might influence the expression of PTSD symptoms, and in how the social networks of trauma survivors might buffer distress.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Farnsworth, Jacob
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The High School Associate Principal: Case Studies of an Emerging Role in Educational Leadership and Administration

Description: Researchers in the field of educational administration have given little attention to the role of the associate principal. The research reported in this dissertation sought to fill that void through a close examination of the roles of the associate principals on two campuses in two different school districts. In addition to illustrating the role of the associate principal, the research examines how experience as an associate principal influences the careers of educational administrators. Data were collected primarily by means of semi-structured interviews with principals and district administrators as well as the associate principals themselves to provide multiple perspectives. Data were summarized in detailed interview logs, coded to discover the themes that were characteristic of each case, then analyzed to identify the patterns within and across the cases. The interviews were also analyzed as narratives reflecting on how experience as an associate principal can shape an educational administrator's career. The interview data were supplemented with documents relating to the associate principals, their campuses, and their districts. The results suggest that the associate principal position is a crucial step on the career ladder to a secondary principalship. Assistant principals with knowledge and skills in curriculum, instruction, and assessment are more likely to be selected as associates, and associates are more likely to be selected for principalships. The results also indicate that instructional leadership for associate principals in Texas focuses primarily on improving students' performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and on increasing participation in and performance on other standardized tests, in particular Advanced Placement, SAT (formerly the Scholastic Aptitude Test), ACT (formerly American College Testing), and the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).
Date: December 2010
Creator: Fox, Kenneth F.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Portrayal of Race by Public and Private University Newspapers

Description: This study investigated how two college newspapers cover race and how the papers employed racial stereotypes when describing sources. One of newspapers is a student-produced paper at a private university. The other is a student-produced newspaper at a public university. The study conducted content analyses of front-page news stories in both college newspapers. The sources in the story were analyzed for racial stereotypes. Stereotypes were identified based on frames used in modern racism research. A t-test and chi-square were used to compare the coverage of minorities to Whites. Once the quantitative content analysis was completed, I used textual analysis to identify what ways the news stories used stereotypical coverage of minorities. The study used critical media theory.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hayton, Tasha
Partner: UNT Libraries
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