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Masters Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone: Five Years Of Failed Community And Economic Development, Christopher Woods Aug 2019

Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone: Five Years Of Failed Community And Economic Development, Christopher Woods

Masters Theses

Community and economic development decisions affect every aspect of city life. Allentown, Pennsylvania is currently in the midst of redevelopment financed by one of the largest state subsidies in the commonwealth’s history, the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) (Assad, 2017). The NIZ is an unprecedented state tax subsidy that most closely resembles locally-financed Tax Increment Financing (TIFs). Despite being the most utilized financing tool for urban redevelopment, the impacts of TIFs are still largely unstudied. The burgeoning literature trying to assess the effectiveness of TIFs is often too small in scale, focusing just on the redevelopment zones isolated from their ...


Ethical Implications Of Codis, Lucy Grogan Aug 2019

Ethical Implications Of Codis, Lucy Grogan

Masters Theses

CODIS stores and maintains numerous DNA profiles, and is used as a tool by the criminal justice system in order to help solve crime. Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA for short, is the genetic material that an individual inherits from one’s parents (NIH, 2019). Certain portions of this genetic material are selected for use within the CODIS database due to their lack of medically relevant information. There is an immense amount of power associated with DNA and the CODIS database that it is held within, which allows for many ethical issues to arise. In order to create a usable and ...


Design Your Career - Design Your Life, Joshua R. Beal Aug 2019

Design Your Career - Design Your Life, Joshua R. Beal

Masters Theses

This research investigates the current plague of unemployment and underemployment that nearly half of qualified individuals in the field of Visual Communications are met with after graduation. Students who major in this field dedicate a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy toward developing a broad skillset that resolves critical matters of communication through visual solutions. Research has demonstrated that despite conditions that are subject to ongoing change of economy, industry, and marketplace there are contributing factors that must be addressed to overcome un/underemployment regardless of circumstances. These include an underdeveloped network of professional contacts, deficiency in recognizing or ...


The Philosophical Underpinnings And Negative Consequences Of The Indian Child Welfare Act, Elizabeth Sharon Morris Aug 2019

The Philosophical Underpinnings And Negative Consequences Of The Indian Child Welfare Act, Elizabeth Sharon Morris

Masters Theses

This paper will examine the philosophical underpinnings of current federal Indian policy and its physical, emotional, and economic consequences on individuals and communities. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission found in 1990 that “[T]he Government of the United States has failed to provide civil rights protection for Native Americans living on reservations” (W. B. Allen 1990, 2). As Regan (2014) observes, individuals have been denied full title to their property – and thus use of the property as leverage to improve their economic condition (Regan 2014). Tribal executive and judicial branches have been accused of illegal search and seizures, denial ...


Where Is God In Symbolic Exchange? A Theo-Semiological Analysis Of The Sons Of Anarchy, Alex Justin Holguin Jun 2019

Where Is God In Symbolic Exchange? A Theo-Semiological Analysis Of The Sons Of Anarchy, Alex Justin Holguin

Masters Theses

This thesis attempts to uncover the religious nature of communication by re-visioning and situating French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s theory of communication within a Christian theological context. By critically engaging Lacan’s theoretical concepts of the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real within this context, the thesis is able to access the intersection of rhetorical semiotics, psychoanalysis, and Christian theology to have a more fruitful understanding of how meaning is exchanged between subjects. Lacan’s inter-disciplinary affirmation of rhetoric and psychoanalysis has been able to produce incredible explanatory potential for how meaning, as the bedrock of speech and communication, operates ...


Effects Of A Lag 3 Schedule Of Reinforcement On The Variability Of Tacting In Individuals Who Engage In Vocal Stereotypy, Jessica K. Serrao May 2019

Effects Of A Lag 3 Schedule Of Reinforcement On The Variability Of Tacting In Individuals Who Engage In Vocal Stereotypy, Jessica K. Serrao

Masters Theses

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities may experience rigid or repetitive behaviors, known as stereotypy. Current research determines effective interventions for increasing variability of vocal responding which effectively decrease stereotypic vocal responding. Lag schedules of reinforcement are a common theme among variability of vocal responding research. The purpose of this AB design study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a Lag 3 schedule of reinforcement in the teaching of variability of tacting. Results indicated that both variable and novel responses increased after the implementation of the Lag 3 schedule, but since these results are based off ...


Using Constant Time Delay To Coach Caregivers To Teach Their Young Children With Autism The Picture Exchange Communication System Within The Early Intervention Setting, Anna Balfour May 2019

Using Constant Time Delay To Coach Caregivers To Teach Their Young Children With Autism The Picture Exchange Communication System Within The Early Intervention Setting, Anna Balfour

Masters Theses

Both Early Intervention (EI) and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) have been proven to be effective with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A relationship between functional communication and behavior has also been noted and described. As individuals learn functional communication, challenging behavior decreases. Early intervention commonly uses PECS to teach children, specifically children with ASD, to communicate. Early intervention can come in different forms, ranging from very intensive daily services to weekly or biweekly visits from service providers. While the literature recommends early intervention, much of it is referencing intensive schedules that are not financially realistic or time ...


How Array Size Affects The Efficiency Of Constant Time Delay In Systematic Instruction For Students With Intellectual Disability, Amanda T. Kousen May 2019

How Array Size Affects The Efficiency Of Constant Time Delay In Systematic Instruction For Students With Intellectual Disability, Amanda T. Kousen

Masters Theses

The purpose of this research study was to determine how three different array sizes affect the efficiency of acquiring target functional words utilizing constant time delay in systematic instruction for students with intellectual disability. The results shown throughout this study can support teachers and administrators to know if adaptations to the array size in which the materials are presented visually during constant time delay instruction yield a more efficient way to teach. The current study utilized an adapted alternating treatment design, replicated across two students, to determine efficiency through trials-to-criterion for functional food and grocery words. The researcher presented array ...


Using An Eye-Tracking Training Paradigm To Teach Responsiveness To Joint Attention, Allison C. Brandmark May 2019

Using An Eye-Tracking Training Paradigm To Teach Responsiveness To Joint Attention, Allison C. Brandmark

Masters Theses

Joint Attention (JA) is a social interaction in which attention is concurrently managed between an object or event and a social partner. One social partner initiates joint attention (IJA) by directing the attention of the other social partner. In return, the other social partner responds to joint attention (RJA) by following the social cues. A deficit in JA, which is commonly seen in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, is correlated with delayed language development and lower levels of communication and social skills. Several studies have successfully trained both IJA and RJA using in-person methodologies. With the development of new technology ...


Understanding The Help-Seeking Behaviors Of Student-Athletes: Effect Of A Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team And The Perception Of Barriers And Facilitators For Seeking Help, Lauren M. Sander May 2019

Understanding The Help-Seeking Behaviors Of Student-Athletes: Effect Of A Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team And The Perception Of Barriers And Facilitators For Seeking Help, Lauren M. Sander

Masters Theses

This study was aimed at identifying barriers and facilitators that influence help-seeking as well as the effect of implementing an integrated healthcare approach based on current recommendations. A total of 411 student-athletes from 18 intercollegiate teams at a mid-major Division I institution in the mid-Atlantic region completed a 12–item instrument comprised of ten quantitative items and two open-ended questions. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS software, and a constant comparative method was used to code responses from the open-ended questions. Findings suggested a prevalence of mental health challenges among student-athletes, especially overwhelming stress, struggles with time management, and ...


Barriers And Facilitators Shaping The Career Progression Of Women In Collegiate Athletics Administration, Carissa Miller May 2019

Barriers And Facilitators Shaping The Career Progression Of Women In Collegiate Athletics Administration, Carissa Miller

Masters Theses

Few studies have explored the experiences of women in collegiate athletics administration. The underrepresentation of women in administration positions continues to raise concern with a growing need to understand the career progression and experiences of women. The purpose of this study was to explore perceived barriers inhibiting and facilitators shaping the career progression of women in collegiate athletics administration. Participants identified for the study were located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and currently employed by Division I institutions.

The type of qualitative research conducted in this study was a descriptive case study. Data were collected through standard ...


Pain-Related Fear: Metacognitive And Health Belief Predictors Of Cogniphobia, Maddison Miles May 2019

Pain-Related Fear: Metacognitive And Health Belief Predictors Of Cogniphobia, Maddison Miles

Masters Theses

Individuals who have an unreasonable fear of headache pain or painful re-injury during cognitive exertion are said to suffer from a pain-related fear referred to as cogniphobia. Specifically, individuals high in cogniphobia avoid cognitive tasks in an attempt to reduce the risk of initiating or exacerbating headache-related pain. While health beliefs concerning pain-related fear have been examined through the concept of kinesiophobia, defined as the unreasonable fear of pain or painful re-injury during physical movement, little research has been done through a cognitive framework. The health anxiety beliefs, metacognitive factors, and negative thinking patterns related to cogniphobia remain unclear. This ...


Factors And Considerations For Change At James Madison University, Robert P. Zaepfel Jr. May 2019

Factors And Considerations For Change At James Madison University, Robert P. Zaepfel Jr.

Masters Theses

The objective of this qualitative case study was to develop a thematic change model and taxonomy of change factors specifically designed for higher education practitioners at James Madison University (JMU). This research will provide resources to guide future institutional change at JMU while focusing on the practical nature of applying resources and techniques to facilitate organizational change. This study will bridge the gap between academic research and practitioner application by creating a cyclical theoretical framework grounding the exploration of complex higher education change dynamics at JMU. Individual interviews focused on recent change events were conducted with participants identified through the ...


Using Video-Prompting And Bst To Promote Social Skills In Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Alexa Ina May 2019

Using Video-Prompting And Bst To Promote Social Skills In Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Alexa Ina

Masters Theses

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of implementing a combined and integrative Behavior Skills Training (BST) and video-prompting paradigm. The training focused on enhancing social interactions and fostering the development of age-appropriate social skills in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This package included explicit training for generalization, as a means of fostering skill acquisition across untrained people and settings. Social initiation and reciprocal play are fundamental aspects of sustaining and maintaining relationships therefore, the training focused on teaching these two behaviors. The researcher used a quasi-single subject research design to analyze and measure ...


Unintended Consequences: U.S. Interference In El Salvador, The Salvadoran Diaspora, And The Role Of Activist Community Organizations In Establishing A Salvadoran-American Community In Los Angeles, Blake Bergstrom May 2019

Unintended Consequences: U.S. Interference In El Salvador, The Salvadoran Diaspora, And The Role Of Activist Community Organizations In Establishing A Salvadoran-American Community In Los Angeles, Blake Bergstrom

Masters Theses

The U.S. intervention in El Salvador had a number of unintended consequences, some negative and some positive, that still have a great impact on the U.S., El Salvador, and the international community as a whole today. Although the focus of the mass media is on the negative unintended consequences, the positive really outweigh the negative. These so-called unintended consequences began with a massive increase in immigration to escape the violent human rights violations and political persecutions of El Salvador’s Civil War. This migration to the U.S. in the 1980s is referred to as the Salvadoran Diaspora ...


Test Emotions, Value, And Self-Efficacy: A Longitudinal Model Predicting Examinee Effort And Performance On A Low-Stakes Test, Paulius Satkus May 2019

Test Emotions, Value, And Self-Efficacy: A Longitudinal Model Predicting Examinee Effort And Performance On A Low-Stakes Test, Paulius Satkus

Masters Theses

The validity of scores from low-stakes tests may be compromised by examinee motivation. Expectancy-Value theory (EV) has been used to frame the antecedents of examinee motivation in low-stakes testing contexts. According to EV theory, the perceived value of the test and the expectancy to succeed on the test directly affect examinee effort, which then affects test performance. Cross-sectional research studies in low-stakes testing contexts offer some support of EV theory. Control-Value theory (CV) serves as another theory to understand motivation toward a task. CV theory encompasses the constructs of expectancy and value from EV theory, but incorporates test emotions as ...


Increasing Understanding Of Professor’S Adhd Knowledge And Perception Of Adhd And How This Informs Their Behavior Towards Students With Adhd, Rebecca Rosen May 2019

Increasing Understanding Of Professor’S Adhd Knowledge And Perception Of Adhd And How This Informs Their Behavior Towards Students With Adhd, Rebecca Rosen

Masters Theses

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent learning disability experience by 5.3% of students. The behaviors associated with ADHD (hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention) can impact a students’ ability to learn and their behavior and relationships in the classroom. Teachers can help to create a supportive or unsupportive learning environment for students with learning disabilities, specifically ADHD. Unfortunately, these needs are not always met for students in college. Previous research has uncovered primary and secondary teacher’s knowledge, perception, and behavior regarding children with ADHD, but little work has focused on college professors. College professors are likely to have ...


Combating Human Trafficking In The United States: Causes, Misconceptions, And Indicators, Mariah A. Andrade May 2019

Combating Human Trafficking In The United States: Causes, Misconceptions, And Indicators, Mariah A. Andrade

Masters Theses

Human trafficking is one of the biggest human rights issues today, with millions of men, women, and children being trafficked across the world. Of those millions of people, it’s estimated that roughly 14 to 17,000 foreign nationals are brought into the United States each year, in addition to our own citizens recruited into the industry. The largest issue that hinders the ability to combat human trafficking is the research surrounding this problem. There are many misconceptions about human trafficking, especially the fact that many people do not believe it is happening in the U.S. Modern day human ...


Animal Heads: Exploring Christian Themed Solutions And Mental Health Through Comics, Mariannette Oyola-Perez May 2019

Animal Heads: Exploring Christian Themed Solutions And Mental Health Through Comics, Mariannette Oyola-Perez

Masters Theses

The second leading cause of death for the ages of 10-24 is suicide, a statistic that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows has steadily risen since 1999. Although it is seldom spoken about in mental health circles, an enmity seems to exist between Christianity and modern psychology in regards to mental illness and how it should be treated; this enmity could be preventing helpful Christian-based principles from being shared with the at-risk population while simultaneously excluding Christians from a conversation they need to be a part of.

Interestingly, further research shows that the at-risk demographic overlaps significantly with ...


Factors Affecting International Students’ Developmental Functioning: Student And Faculty Perspectives From Liberty University, Andrea S. Childs May 2019

Factors Affecting International Students’ Developmental Functioning: Student And Faculty Perspectives From Liberty University, Andrea S. Childs

Masters Theses

The enrollment rates of international students are increasing, but the attrition rates of international students may also be on the rise. Aligning with Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model, the goal of this study was to obtain insight about the encounters that undergraduate international students face. The purpose of this study was to evaluate these encounters to ascertain and compile core themes that will promote international student success. Data gathered from undergraduate faculty also contributed valuable insight. Recommendations were made for both the international student body and the undergraduate faculty. This qualitative research design investigated a small sample of undergraduate international students ...


Crusaders, Sellswords, And Separatists: The Russian State’S Use Of Paramilitaries, Separatists, And Irregular Armies, Bruce Schlesman May 2019

Crusaders, Sellswords, And Separatists: The Russian State’S Use Of Paramilitaries, Separatists, And Irregular Armies, Bruce Schlesman

Masters Theses

Russia currently supports various paramilitaries around the world whether in the guise of separatists, mercenaries, or irregular armies. Using their own military and intelligence operatives and different tactical and religious-ideological means of asserting control over these paramilitaries and the territories they inhabit, Russia seeks to expand the scope of its global dominance and regional influence. Consistent with its long-term goal of weakening NATO and the EU, Russian strategy under Putin has sought to exploit Russian Orthodoxy and the Russian culture as instruments of solidarity binding many of these paramilitaries to Russia in a kind of pan-Slavic religious-nationalist mission. No passive ...


Bilingual Family Literacy Programming In West Michigan: Points Of Alignment And Disconnect Among Learners, Instructors, And Local Partners, Thomas J. Rogers Apr 2019

Bilingual Family Literacy Programming In West Michigan: Points Of Alignment And Disconnect Among Learners, Instructors, And Local Partners, Thomas J. Rogers

Masters Theses

This research explores the beliefs and experiences of stakeholders in a family literacy program through the Literacy Center of West Michigan and Head Start for Kent County. The program is currently developing a curriculum to improve outcomes for learner specific goals. Therefore, one motivation behind this research is to analyze the goals, needs, and understandings for the multiple stakeholders within the program. On a national scale, there exists a need to better define the goals of family literacy programming in general. Points of alignment and disconnect for the participants in this study reflect realities that extend beyond the program at ...


The Effects Of English Pronunciation Instruction On Listening Skills Among Vietnamese Learners, Nguyet Nguyen Apr 2019

The Effects Of English Pronunciation Instruction On Listening Skills Among Vietnamese Learners, Nguyet Nguyen

Masters Theses

Listening has been a neglected skill in both second language research and teaching practice (Khaghaninejad & Maleki, 2015; Nowrouzi, Tam, Zareian & Nimehchisalem, 2015) and recent research has shown that second language (L2) listening difficulties might relate to phonological problems besides syntactic and lexical knowledge (e.g., Suristro, 2018). There have been some empirical studies examining the effects of phonetic instruction on perceptual skills showing promising results (e.g., Aliaga-Garcia & Mora, 2009; Linebaugh & Roche, 2013). This study contributes to this area with a focus on investigating the impacts of English pronunciation instruction on listening skills among Vietnamese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners, targeting the four English phonemes: word-final stop consonants /t/-/d/, the lax high front vowel /ɪ/ and the tense high front vowel /i/. Particularly, it examines whether pronunciation instruction would have effects on (a) students’ abilities to listen to and distinguish target phonemes, and (b) students’ abilities to listen to ...


Swearing In A Second Language, Grace Irwin Apr 2019

Swearing In A Second Language, Grace Irwin

Masters Theses

Second language learners often lack knowledge of L2 swear words, their appropriateness, and pragmatic function. Competence in L2 swearing is important for L2 learners to be able to express themselves expertly and understand others’ emotional expressions precisely. However, taboo language is rarely included explicitly in L2 curricula due to its controversial nature. This paper addresses a gap in the literature concerning what second language users actually know about swearing in their L2. Some studies have attempted to determine learners’ receptive swearing competence (Jay & Janschewitz, 2008; Kapoor, 2016); however, the present study employs an updated measure of L2 pragmatic swearing competence to investigate ...


Influences On International Saudi Students’ Sojourner Acculturation In The U.S., Abdulah Shaban Alasiri Apr 2019

Influences On International Saudi Students’ Sojourner Acculturation In The U.S., Abdulah Shaban Alasiri

Masters Theses

Research on international students’ experiences in tertiary institutions abroad suggest they face difficulties related to culture, language, and socialization (e.g., Andrade, 2006; Hellsten, 2002). To encourage more successful socialization and English language development, the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission established a cap on the enrollment of Saudi students in any institutions abroad since 2014. The effectiveness of these quotas in promoting socialization is not known, but anecdotal evidence and an exploratory study conducted by the author suggest other (perhaps more influential) factors affecting Saudi students’ opportunities for socialization (in this study defined more specifically as sojourner acculturation) and subsequent language ...


Women & Adhd Functional Impairments: Beyond The Obvious, Noelle Marita Lynn Apr 2019

Women & Adhd Functional Impairments: Beyond The Obvious, Noelle Marita Lynn

Masters Theses

Women with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are an understudied and underserved population. Research on women with ADHD has shown that they are significantly impaired by ADHD and its functional impairments. It also shows that women often internalize their symptoms and impairments. However, no research was found that explores what this internalization does to the women. The researcher chose to begin to address this gap in the literature through this qualitative phenomenological study. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of functional impairments caused by ADHD on the internal lived experiences of women.

The researcher conducted fourteen interviews ...


Language Attitudes Of Writing Center Consultants: Perception And Expectation, Benjamin John Sparks Apr 2019

Language Attitudes Of Writing Center Consultants: Perception And Expectation, Benjamin John Sparks

Masters Theses

This master’s thesis explores the results of research into the language attitudes of peer consultants working in a writing center at a large regional public university in the American Midwest. A survey was administered to writing center staff in which they were asked to evaluate the sociopolitical relationship between standard and nonstandard English dialects, the perceived relative grammaticality of these dialects, and the traditional concept of appropriateness in academic writing. Also included were questions pertaining to how consultants manage the practical responsibilities of their positions and the expectations of students and professors with the writing center’s stated policy ...


Fostering Hope: The Christian Healthcare Chaplain In A Caring Relationship, Felix O. Otuorimuo Mar 2019

Fostering Hope: The Christian Healthcare Chaplain In A Caring Relationship, Felix O. Otuorimuo

Masters Theses

In 2017, the data from suicide prevention resource center (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) showed an increasing rate of 10.6 million persons between the ages 18-65 that have had suicidal thoughts, a precipitating factor from hopelessness that triggers the goal of killing themselves. Given this challenge, the study seeks to understand how the Christian healthcare chaplain in a caring relationship, fosters biblical hope as spiritual care intervention to persons with suicidal thoughts to promote recovery, repair and restoration. The research was designed to use purposeful sampling to collect responses by anonymous online survey from 35 Christian healthcare ...


Patient Motivational Language As A Predictor Of Symptom Change, Hazard Of Clinically Significant Response, And Time To Response In Psychotherapy For Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Brien J. Goodwin Jan 2019

Patient Motivational Language As A Predictor Of Symptom Change, Hazard Of Clinically Significant Response, And Time To Response In Psychotherapy For Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Brien J. Goodwin

Masters Theses

Change-talk (CT), or self-arguments for change, has been associated with favorable patient outcomes, while counter change-talk (CCT), or self-arguments against change, has been associated with poorer outcomes. Most studies on change language have focused on the prediction of distal posttreatment outcomes, while the prediction of more proximal outcomes has remained largely untested. Addressing this gap, we examined early treatment CT and CCT as predictors of worry change trajectories, “hazard” of clinically significant response, and time to response (i.e., outcome efficiency) in CBT and CBT integrated with MI (MI-CBT) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We also explored whether treatment type ...


Racial Differences In Perceptions Of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Behavior, Sungha Kang Jan 2019

Racial Differences In Perceptions Of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Behavior, Sungha Kang

Masters Theses

Previous research has suggested there may be racial differences in how adults perceive and rate children’s ADHD behavior (i.e., inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity). The current study examined these differences between African-American/Black (AA/B) parents and European-American/White (EA/W) parents and teachers. Participants watched video clips of children in classrooms and rated their ADHD behaviors and their likelihood of having ADHD. Results showed that EA/W parents and teachers rated African-American boys’ ADHD behaviors and their likelihood of having ADHD higher than AA/B parents. Mechanisms by which these differences exist were explored, including beliefs about stigma related ...