• It May Take Faith: An Investigation of Teacher Persistent Agency in the Crushing Contexts

      Wood, Marcy B.; Carter, Katherine J.; McDonald, Amy Lynn; Clift, Renée T.; Turner, Erin E. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This study was an investigation of a collection of veteran secondary mathematics teachers’ storied experiences attempting to persist with agency through the most difficult contexts (crushing contexts) of their profession. Participants were recommended for the study by an administrator on account of their reputations as educators who consistently act in agentic ways focused on students. Ultimately, the objective of the project was to contribute new phenomenological understandings of teacher persistent agency to the field. Teacher persistent agency was broadly defined as human agency (as conceptualized by social cognitive theory) that is unrelenting and enduring (sustained over time and in a variety of contexts) and that explicitly attends to students. In other words, teachers with persistent agency were identified as having a regular practice of acting through any combination of personal, proxy, or collective efforts with a focus on students in any ways that involve intentionality, forethought, self-reactiveness, and self-reflectiveness. This study was situated within the two intersecting and intimately related bodies of literature addressing teacher agency and teacher resilience (and by extension the literature on teacher retention). Prior to this study, considerable scholarship existed related to the nature and worth of teacher persistent agency within these bodies of literature, even in the midst of adversity. This study was designed to build on that scholarship and to partially attend to two gaps within it. More specifically, it was an extension of the work of Sonia Nieto (2003, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015), an answer to the calls of Jamie Huff Sisson (2016) and Albert Bandura (2016), and an attempt to utilize well-established narrative methods to specifically investigate largely unexplored contexts, identified as crushing contexts, particularly those that were event-based. Ultimately the argument was made that a new construct, teacher faith, a non-religious faith that parallels a Christian religious faith specifically comprised of five distinct components, may be useful in helping researchers make sense of teacher persistent agency, particularly in crushing contexts. In addition, a call was made for additional investigations using similar methods.
    • The Effect of Exemplar Variability in the Treatment of Functional Speech Sound Disorders

      Plante, Elena; Oglivie, Trianna; Alt, Mary; Fabiano-Smith, Leah; Nicol, Janet (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Purpose: This study examined the effect of high- vs. low-exemplar variability practice in the treatment of functional speech sound disorders in children. Method: Sixteen children with dual diagnoses of functional speech sound disorders and developmental language disorder received treatment for their speech sound errors. Treatment targeted a singleton speech sound in word-initial position, five-days per week during a six-week summer language program. Half of the children practiced their speech sound target in 24 unique words (high-exemplar variability practice condition) and the other half practiced production of their speech sound target in six unique words repeated four times each (low-exemplar variability practice condition). Generalization probes were used to measure speech sound target learning. Results: Both the high-variability and low-variability conditions produced significant change in the children’s use of their speech sound target posttreatment. No statistical difference was found between conditions; however, the low-variability condition evidenced slightly larger gains. Conclusion: Differences in exemplar variability practice did not significantly influence treatment outcomes for children with functional speech sound disorders. Daily treatment sessions of short duration are a viable service-delivery model for the treatment of functional speech sound disorders.
    • No Words (Yet): The Rights of Emerging/ Pre-Verbal Toddlers and Nonverbal Children to Participate in Their Own Care and Learning

      Reyes, Iliana; Lichtsinn, Jennifer Sue; Gaches, Sonya; Fletcher, Todd; Carter, Kathy (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      How do young children arrive at a sense of their rights? How can they use their emerging abilities as emerging pre-verbal and nonverbal children before they can speak? What are the strategies that a young child uses to participate in letting their opinions known before words? This qualitative study seeks to transform the lives and evoke the agency of these young children by recognizing and encouraging them to have their rights articulated. In this study, I spent time with a toddler, age thirteen to fourteen months, and with a seven-year-old nonverbal, multi-handicapped child. I observed and interviewed the parents of these children and wrote narratives about my experiences in these settings. I sought to describe the various way that these children chose to communicate, express opinions and make decisions being able to talk. I listened carefully for the ‘voiceless voice’ which emerged as these child ‘social actors’ moved toward verbal communication. The agency and voice of toddlers with emerging verbal abilities and clinically diagnosed nonverbal children can be viewed in the context of a child’s right to participate in their own care and learning. Young children and children with disabilities are frequently othered. Othered populations (Lahman, 2008) may be excluded from having valuable contributions to decisions about their lives, their care and learning. Ignoring a child’s right to be involved in their life is a dehumanizing approach which sees young children as somehow less. However, these very populations have been included in and granted rights by the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989), ratified by most nations of the world. Children, including infants and those with very limited vocal abilities due to disabling conditions have the right to express their opinions and to make decisions about things in their lives that affect them. This kind of post modernistic approach sees these children as more and points to ways that young children’s emerging communicative attempts can be viewed, valued and utilized to improve their lives and the interactions with their parents, caregivers, and each other (Swadener, Lundy, Habashi, & Blanchet-Cohen, 2013). In seeing the value of the communication that children offer, we can allow children to lead their own care and learning along with their parents and family who can support that journey.
    • Gestural Development in Adult Second Language Acquisition: Targets and Timing

      Simonet, Miquel; Aldrich, Alexander Charles; Warner, Natasha; Colina, Sonia (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This dissertation deals with the development of place of articulation and of rhythm in adult second language learners. English and Spanish, while sharing similar phonological stop inventories, have coronal stops that differ as a matter of gestural target: In English, the coronal stops have an alveolar place of articulation, whereas they have a dental target in Spanish. Previous research on the acquisition of second language stops, particularly as a function of the acoustic correlates of voicing, have found that second language learners find acquiring stop contrasts particularly challenging; however, to date, no published data exist on the acquisition of L2 stops that have unique gestural targets. English and Spanish also differ typologically as a matter of their rhythm, with English being categorized as stress-timed and Spanish as syllable-timed. Previous research has shown that adults are capable of acquiring aspects of their L2 rhythm; however, the findings have been mixed. Furthermore, detailed developmental data on L2 rhythm is lacking. The present dissertation addresses both the acquisition of place of articulation and of rhythm in a cross-sectional design. The production data of 41 female, adult native speakers of English learning Spanish were collected and compared to those of 9 female adult native bilinguals of English and Spanish. The learners were assigned to four different study conditions based on their linguistic experience. The results suggest that the native bilinguals produce Spanish and English with language-specific gestural targets for their coronal stops and language-specific rhythm patterns in the direction expected for each language. The data from the language learners imply that, on the one hand, adults learning a second language are capable of developing increasingly target-like gestural targets in their L2 Spanish coronal stop production as they gain experience with the second language. On the other hand, the rhythm data reveal that speakers of a second language quickly learn to make adjustments to their rhythm toward target-like norms, but that evidence of transfer remains. The implications of the findings are discussed with respect to second language phonological theory.
    • Spanish with An Attitude: Critical Translingual Competence for Spanish Heritage Language Learners

      Carvalho, Ana M.; Gorman, Lillian; Herrera-Dulcet, Andrea; Duran, Leah (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      In the last two decades the field of Spanish heritage language education has been concerned with the reproduction of Standard Language Ideologies (henceforth: SLI) within the language classroom (Carvalho, 2012; Leeman, 2005; Martinez, 2003, Toribio & Duran; Leeman & Serafini, 2018). Scholarly works suggest that critical pedagogies that include sociolinguistic topics and examine them critically encourage critical translingual development (henceforth: CTC), which can equip SHLLs to identify SLI and ultimately challenge linguistic subordination. Yet, practitioners struggle to characterize such pedagogies and the field is in dire need of proposals than can systematically implement and assess sociolinguistically informed critical pedagogies (henceforth: SICP). The present dissertation comprises three correlated but independent studies that examine the implementation, assessment and long-term implications for SICP in the courses for Spanish heritage language learners. Qualitative and quantitative data includes instructor journals, anonymous online survey and over 12 hours of focus group interviews. Using Action Research methodology, statistical analysis, and Critical Discourse Analysis, the present study reports on (1) the creation of a SICP and (2) the impact of SICP in developing SHLLs’ CTC, (3) and whether SICP prepare students to challenge SLIs beyond the classroom walls. Mixed-methods analysis revealed that SICP can be included in existing curricula and that SHLLs welcome these approaches, especially as they encourage SHLL’s linguistic agency. Additionally, survey data supported that through SICP students developed CTC, a s well as shift positively their attitudes towards the home language. Finally, focus groups with students four to five months after the course underscored the long-term maintenance of CTC amongst SHLLS, as well as the creation of “language expert identities” that carry CTC from inside the classroom to the outside. In conclusion, this dissertation provides substantial contributions to the fields of Heritage Language Education, U.S. Spanish sociolinguistics, and Educational Linguistics by showcasing how to create and enact a SICP for heritage language learners, by establishing direct connections between SICP and the development of SHLLs’ CTC, as well as providing a quantitative tool to measure SHLLs’ CTC in any classroom setting. Finally, the present dissertation participates in scholarly conversations in the field by documenting the impact of SICP in fostering “language expert” identities that carry students’ CTC into to their communities, ultimately challenging SLI beyond the classroom.
    • Online Communities as Cultural Fields

      Breiger, Ronald L.; Odabas, Meltem; Leahey, Erin; Seguin, Charles (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This dissertation analyzes the interplay between culture and individual behavior using online communication data. Within the burgeoning lines of research produced on these topics by a growing roster of researchers, the distinctive contributions of this dissertation are the use of online communication data, at scale, as a strategic research site for the formulation, testing, and further theoretical modeling of hypotheses including community boundary spanning and diversity of tastes, the richness of public opinion, and the updating of individuals’ preferences as a result of their position within cultural, social, and economic fields. The cultural turn in American Sociology identified meaning making as central to understanding social phenomena which, in turn, has led to an expansion of the sphere of culture to include almost any form of social phenomenon, including but not limited to the musical tastes, words used in text or speech, performativity of market economics, and collective identity in social movements. While the works presented in this dissertation are concerned with analyzing the connections across cultural symbols such as genres and words shared by individuals to create a map of cultural symbols, and therefore can be considered as studies of the sociology of culture, this dissertation also analyzes the impact of the shared distribution of these symbols on other actions of the individuals, such as providing positive or negative feedback to others’ comments based on their cultural interests. The three articles presented in this paper complement each other in that regard. The first article explores how individuals’ diversity in music tastes impact the comments and evaluations they receive from other members of the online community they interact with. An online music-related discussion network of more than 750K community members is analyzed and used to illuminate two existing perspectives in new ways. Consistent with the theory of cultural omnivorousness, my analysis shows that people often appreciate others who participate across discussion of multiple taste-related topics. However, consistent with the boundary spanning literature, those with highly atypical tastes are penalized and face difficulties in fitting in with the community. Therefore, omnivorousness is not appreciated by the rest of the community unless omnivorous individuals are different but within community boundaries. These findings hold net of controls measuring weak culture and cultural embeddedness. The second article presents a comparison of methods of tracking online discussions to identify meanings generated by the online community in unfolding political events. Understanding the evolution of public opinion is central to analyzing the scope of political discontent, which significantly impacts the outcome of framing contests. Most studies analyzing the development of Twitter discussions related to a particular topic, such as a social movement or a political debate, focus on tracking tweets that contain one generic hashtag (for example, #BlackLivesMatter). However, exclusively tracking generic hashtags might not provide an accurate picture of the diversity of narrations coming from different opinion groups. This article develops and applies a snowball sampling method for tracking the evolution of new or replacement hashtags as events unfold. This article provides an exploratory analysis of the March 2019 Turkish local election discussions on Twitter to examine how tracking new hashtags significantly improves the power of the model to identify the diversity of narratives of an event, as compared to tracking the generic hashtag only. The third article sets forth and further develops a theoretical model of behavior. An endogenously updated preferences model is proposed, which can be empirically analyzed through non-experimental observation of changes in cultural decisions of individuals. A key assumption is that individuals’ preferences are determined by their disposition in a field and, therefore, by their access to knowledge, networks, and economic capital after each interaction, which leads preferences to be updated endogenously.
    • An Interorganizational Network Analysis of the Social Movement Sector in New York, 1960-1995

      Earl, Jennifer; Galaskiewicz, Joseph; Ring-Ramirez, Misty Dawn; Breiger, Ronald (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Researchers in many fields have embraced social network analysis as a way to predict a range of outcomes, from the spread of infectious diseases within populations, to the likelihood that individuals will engage in high-risk activism, to the probability that countries will ratify treaties. Across these diverse contexts, there is robust empirical evidence that social networks impact nearly all the opportunities, constraints, and decision-making processes that individuals, organizations, and even nations experience. In spite of these compelling findings, researchers have primarily focused on micro-relational processes and have not paid adequate attention to whether, and how, macro-structural network characteristics impact the behaviors of the actors within it. I address this question by exploring the impact of whole network measures on a social process that is of special interest to both social movement and organizational behavior scholars: the spread of organizational behaviors. The first step in understanding if and how macro-level network characteristics impact social processes is describing how network structures vary. To this end, I begin by describing the evolution of the social network of social movement organizations that were active in New York between 1960 and 1995, where ties between organizations are formed when they attend the same protest event. To do this, I build network graphs based on co-participation for each year between 1960 and 1995, and also calculate several formal whole network measures at each of these intervals. I find that the social network of social movement organizations was remarkably different in different time periods. In the 1960s and early 1970s, which corresponds to the height of the much-studied protest cycle in the U.S., the network was much more connected and centralized than at later time periods. Near the end of the period, the network was heavily fragmented but still featured small, densely connected clusters, primarily composed of social movement organizations from within the same social movement industry. Having established that there is variation in the network over time, the second stage of this project was to predict the likelihood that a social movement organization will attend a protest event that uses each of 19 protest tactics that it has never previously used before. I make these predictions using peer influence models, a variation on discrete time event history analysis. I include, as predictors, micro-relational network characteristics and measures of peer influence, node-level control variables, macro-structural network measures and contextual control variables, and an interaction term between the peer influence and macro-structural network measures. I find that micro-relational, peer influence, and node-level control covariates influence tactical adoption as expected, but macro-structural network measures also significantly impact the probability that an organization will adopt a new tactic, net of other contextual controls. Future researchers should consider and measure the impact of whole network characteristics on the social processes they investigate.
    • Saving "Black Portland": Organizational Roles in Responding to a Disintegrating Community

      Galaskiewicz, Joseph J.; Addae, Angela Esi; Stryker, Robin; Abramson, Corey (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Gentrification is an emerging phenomenon that transforms the social, economic, and physical structure of urban neighborhoods across the nation. Using historically Black neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon as the setting, this project explores how neighborhood organizations employ diverse strategies to address the geographical dispersing of the cultural community that was once concentrated within their neighborhood. Though urban scholars have examined market-based gentrification, this dissertation assesses gentrification in a context that is predominantly state-led—that is, gentrification perpetuated by federal, state, and local urban redevelopment policies. Using in-depth interviews, content analyses, and GIS mapping, this dissertation identifies mechanisms employed by neighborhood organizations in “Black Portland” that complicate notions of community as spatial boundaries dissolve. This project explores neighborhood organizations along two dimensions: type (enterprises and institutions) and sector (for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid institutions). The data reveal that while neighborhood enterprises are predisposed to engage in the neutral, arms-length provision of goods and services, when faced with the displacement of longtime residents, neighborhood enterprises appropriate cultural symbols to access race-specific resources. On the other hand, neighborhood institutions are predisposed to reinforce community values, norms, and rules. Accordingly, when displaced residents fail to resettle in a concentrated area, neighborhood institutions invoke methods of physical expansion to remain engaged with displaced residents and to combat the ‘placelessness’ that former residents associate with gentrification. Similarly, the data show that neighborhood institutions that occupy different sectors adopt differing ‘post-gentrification’ strategies: nonprofit neighborhood institutions adopt a collaborative approach to survive gentrification, for-profit neighborhood institutions adopt an authenticity approach, and hybrid neighborhood institutions adopt a cross-subsidization approach. By expanding theoretical understandings of urban neighborhoods as socially organized, this dissertation contributes to existing literature by assessing the new and existing avenues utilized by Black neighborhood organizations to maintain community cohesion. The themes of “place” and “space” for cultural communities—or alternatively—the social, economic, and policy consequences of “placelessness” for cultural communities are prevalent throughout the narrative. Because neighborhood organizations form the core of urban neighborhoods, they are uniquely positioned to understand and respond to neighborhood change.
    • Congregation Among the Least Religious: The Process and Meaning of Organizing Around Nonbelief

      Zavisca, Jane; Schutz, Amanda; Galaskiewicz, Joseph; Sallaz, Jeffrey; Edgell, Penny (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Every week in Houston, Texas, hundreds of atheists meet all over the city to socialize, attend educational talks, volunteer, protest injustice, or meditate in the company of other nonbelievers. That people congregate based on a lack of belief may seem counterintuitive, yet in Houston, a growing number of nonbelievers are participating in local groups that cater explicitly to those who do not believe in God. Researchers have produced recent work on atheist stigma, personal identity development, and collective identity, while work that addresses nonreligious organizations usually focuses on action within a single organization, or presents many organizations as a united collective without investigating the specific and diverse functions that different organizations may serve. To this point, little sociological research has investigated the variation that exists among nonreligious organizations at the local level. This dissertation addresses the question of why nonbelievers join these organizations when there are many alternatives that also have nothing to do with religion. Additionally, with numerous options available, how do nonreligious organizations distinguish themselves from one another? To answer these questions, this dissertation draws on data collected during eight months of participant observation in eight nonreligious organizations in Houston, as well as interviews with 70 nonbelievers who exhibited varying levels of commitment to the organizations—including some who were not involved at all. I employ theories of identity and boundary-work at both the individual and organization levels to further explore the process and meaning of organizing around nonbelief. I find that one significant way nonreligious organizations differ from other voluntary associations is that members share the experience of having a stigmatized identity. For some nonbelievers, joining a nonreligious organization is a form of stigma management, in that it provides a space where they can meet like-minded others and express themselves without reservation. Although this is one of the main reasons nonbelievers give for seeking out nonreligious organizations, I find that these organizations offer a variety of activities beyond social gatherings, and may include events that are educational, charitable, political, or spiritual in nature. Nonreligious organizations resemble religious congregations in many ways, but some capitalize on this familiar approach to community building more explicitly than others. Some nonbelievers are drawn to these “godless congregations” because they emulate churches, some participate despite this resemblance, and others avoid the congregation model while choosing to participate in other nonreligious organizations instead. I find that participation in these groups is not necessarily a clean, linear progression, and that nonbelievers display varying degrees of commitment to organizations. Finally, I find that nonbelievers differentiate themselves from conservative religious believers by constructing strong moral boundaries based on a set of common secular values. If nonbelievers wish to communicate their values to outsiders, they may do so in the context of organized nonreligion, thereby mitigating the popular assumption that atheists are amoral. My findings show that organized nonreligion is as diverse a phenomenon as organized religion, and that nonreligious organizations can vary considerably in their activities, goals, and appeal to potential members. Compelling evidence suggests that the American religious landscape is undergoing a significant transformation as numerous outlets report steady declines in affiliation, participation, and belief. An increasingly secular United States, evidenced in part by the organizations described in this dissertation, could have wide-ranging implications—including shifts in public policy and cultural values—since nonreligious worldviews are correlated with a multitude of social factors, from socioeconomic status to beliefs about social justice.
    • Multilingual Undergraduates' Perceptions of Their Academic Literacy Experiences

      Staples, Shelley L.; Tardy, Christine M.; LaMance, Rachel; Wildner-Bassett, Mary (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This project builds upon the foundation of previous ethnographic work on academic literacies in order to gain a clearer picture of current university students in the US. Foundational ethnographic work in academic writing and academic literacy development has shown that learning to navigate university discourses can be a complex process that is unique for each person (Beaufort, 2007; Casanave, 2002; Chiseri-Strater, 1991; Leki, 2007; Prior, 1998; Spack, 1997). These studies have revealed the dependence of academic writing expectations on context and the extension of “literacy” beyond the mere acts of reading and writing, but they have not sought to simultaneously examine the experiences of international and domestic students. In the decades since much of this work was carried out, the landscape of higher education, in the US and elsewhere, has shifted and academia has recently seen the emergence of a conversation about better understanding the experiences of our students, both domestic and international (Goldrick-Rab & Stommel, 2018). To better understand students’ perceptions of their writing and academic experiences, this project followed three international and two domestic undergraduates over the course of a year to two and a half years. Through monthly interviews and analysis of participants’ writing samples, I identified the range of academic literacies encountered by participants and explored one participant’s situated writing practices more specifically through analysis of individual assignments. Findings highlight the complex network of literacies, both within and beyond academia, that students learn to navigate. This project’s simultaneous exploration of domestic and international student experiences provides new perspectives on the diversity and development process of both groups and offers a counter to the deficit view of non-traditional populations.
    • Writing Instructors as Arbiters of Language Policy

      Tardy, Christine M.; Slinkard, Jennifer Rae; Fielder, Grace E.; Brochin, Carol; Combs, Mary Carol (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This ethnographically-oriented (Blommaert, 2007; Hornberger & Johnson, 2007; Ramanathan & Atkinson, 1999) research project explores the language ideologies, practices, and policies in the Writing Program of Southwestern University, a land-grant institution located in the American Southwest. Following the recent trend in language policy research to consider policy from the bottom up (e.g., Johnson & Johnson, 2015; Shohamy, 2010), I focus on how individuals interpret, operationalize, and develop language policies for students in a foundational writing program. While previous research has considered teachers’ operationalization of language policy in elementary and secondary institutions (Johnson, 2013), and other research has considered the monolingual standard language ideology predominant throughout higher education and writing programs in particular (Horner & Trimbur, 2002; Wiley & Lukes, 1996), relatively little research has looked at connections between writing program administration language policy and individual writing instructor practices. To address this gap, I conducted a year-long ethnographic study of one institution’s writing program, including interviews with instructors and administrators, analysis of policy and other documents, and observations of policy-making meetings. Also included are the stories of two case study instructors I observed and interviewed over the course of the year. Foundational writing classrooms can be important sites of language policy negotiation, acting as both gateways and gatekeepers to post-secondary education (Bridwell-Bowles, 2007). These classes are often taught by lecturers and graduate students with diverse motivations and purposes, professional experiences, disciplinary backgrounds or training, as well as varying levels of investment and involvement in the program itself. It follows, then, that instructors’ ideologies and classroom practices concerning language and language variety in writing courses will be diverse, especially with regard to users of English as an additional language. With this recognition, my research considers how the development and communication of writing program policies, as well as the policies themselves, influence instructors’ beliefs and classroom practices, while raising questions about the role of writing program administration in the field of language policy and planning.
    • A Holistic Picture of the Relations Between Dietary Intake with Physical and Behavioral Health in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

      Perfect, Michelle M.; Beardmore, Megan; Erbacher, Monica; Yoon, Jina (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Both physical and mental health concerns are becoming increasingly prominent among youth with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM). Nutrition has been identified as an element that influences these non-diabetes related outcomes, but the role of specific food groups and nutrients have not been elucidated in the T1DM population. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the relations between dietary intake, physical health, and teacher-reported socialemotional functioning in children with T1DM. Canonical correlation analysis demonstrated a statistically significant multivariate shared relationship between these variable sets, and suggested that youth in this sample who had lower glycemic load, consumed more sugar, dairy, meat/poultry/fish, but less legumes, fruit, and saturated fat, were associated with less Externalizing Problems and higher BMI. Additionally, multiple regression analysis implicated diet in uniquely accounting for a modest amount of variance in physical and emotional health while controlling for gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, duration of T1DM, and glycemic control. These findings call for the need to emphasize diet in T1DM management, not only for healthful eating in maintaining glycemic control, but also to reduce the physical and mental health morbidities for which individuals with T1DM are most at-risk. Moreover, physical and behavioral health services in the schools should be considered in supporting the social-emotional well-being of these students. Given the novelty of the present study, directions for future research are also discussed, which include more exhaustive assessment of physical health parameters, multi-rater psychosocial functioning, and comprehensive dietary intake patterns, as well as dietary RCTs that utilize whole, nutrient-rich foods to investigate physical and behavioral outcomes.
    • Value, Identity, & Identifying Value: Exploring Meta-Cognitive Value in SLA Contexts

      Panferov Reese, Suzanne; Dees, Cody James; Ferdinandt, Nicholas; Wildner-Bassett, Mary (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      The introduction of Social Cognitive Theory to the realms of pedagogy and language instruction was a pivotal point in developing the concept of learner identity in second language research. It became the cornerstone for cognition-based understandings of learner social dynamics, and perceptions of their own abilities and performance (Graham, 2006). It afforded us the avenue through which to recognize the impact of Self-Efficacy and Social Capital on both identity formation and learning (Mills, 2014). However, it is likely then, that we must attempt to engage with identity in a broader context of perception as opposed to action, if we are to explore higher levels of influence which may be affective of identity formation and performance. This research seeks to explore one potential influencer of identity development and performance; value. As such, the following research questions were designed to guide this study: 1) How do experts in learner identity, SLA, and related fields define Value as a meta-cognitive concept? 2) How do experts in learner identity, SLA, and related fields identify links (if any) between Value and learner identity? 3) Should experts in learner identity, SLA, and related fields identify links between Value and learner identity, how might these relationships be demonstrated? As value is a highly abstract concept which has suffered from decades of educational silo-ing this Delphi study initially sought to identify value as an interdisciplinary concept, as a foundation for future value research. Additionally, key aspects of value as identified by study participants, demonstrated linkages to various aspects of identity formation, development and performance. These linkages were demonstrated in this study as multiplicitous and interactional Value-Belief Systems which might be thought to represent individual and intersubjective world views, which have a profound effect on subjectivity and the development and maintenance of individual and group identity through ideals of Belonging. The significance of such findings reside in their implications for Language Program Administration (LPA), Language Program Evaluation (LPE), Educational Culture, and Critical Pedagogy. As this study demonstrates, iterative value systems may be constructed in academic contexts to instill designer classroom cultures, which limit the subjectivity of learners regarding perceptions of what might constitute valuable education, student behaviors, and learner identity characteristics. This realization may of course aid in the development of language programs and best practices, but it also highlights a previously unrealized responsibility to preserve learner identities when considering stakeholder needs.
    • An Examination of Emotional Intelligence on Academic and Social Adjustment Among College Students

      Yoon, Jina; McKinney, Ariel; Sulkowski, Michael; Vega, Desiree (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      The transition from adolescence to young adulthood has been recognized as a significant time in an individual’s life. This period in development requires adjustment, highlighted for many by the transition from high school to college. Emotional intelligence (EI) has been identified as a potential protective factor for emerging adults during this period of transition. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of EI on social and academic adjustment among college students and to investigate the moderating role of EI on the relation between perceived discrimination and college adjustment. Regression analysis found statistically significant effects of Global EI and Self Control on academic adjustment and of Well Being on social adjustment. Further, a moderation analysis found that Global EI and the four factors of EI (Well Being, Self Control, Emotionality, and Sociability) were not significant moderators in the relation between perceived discrimination and social and academic adjustment. These findings demonstrate the importance of EI for academic and social adjustment among college students. These findings also highlight the need to explore other facets of EI beyond a global score and determine which facets of EI can serve as protective factors for students during this transitional period. Future directions for research are also discussed to highlight the importance of collecting data across university campus around the country to compare results from different environments (i.e., HSI vs. PWI vs. HBCU; public vs. private) as well as how university and college administrators can support the social-emotional wellness of students.
    • Kai(e)rotic Moments: Resistance and Alternate Futures in Burlesque Performance

      Licona, Adela C.; Coan, Casely Emma; Stryker, Susan; Troutman, Stephanie (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This dissertation examines the ways performance offers opportunities to resist sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, fat phobic, and ableist narratives. Through ethnographic research with the Tucson Libertine League (TLL) burlesque community in Tucson, AZ, I argue that the erotic desire/s of narrative striptease reveal the rhetorical possibility in burlesque performance – its capacity to be politically persuasive. Engaging an intersectional feminist methodology, I use interviews, observation, performance as method, and act analysis to study acts by a heterogenous group of woman-identified performers who identify as lesbian, queer, trans, fat, of color, and/or disabled, and center their performances around these intersectional subjectivities. My inclusion in this community as a performer allowed me to participate and observe from backstage, on stage, and in the audience. I also produced and performed in a 16-act show, “Tucson Libertine League presents: Future Fantasies” as a part of this project. Following Audre Lorde’s characterization of the erotic as a source of personal power and the Ancient Greeks’ depiction of the god Eros as foundational to human existence, I utilize a complex understanding of erotic desire beyond simply the sexual, to its reflection of deeper knowledges and self-determination. The nature of live performance means that burlesque performers have access only to their brief time on stage and the particular audience in front of them in order to utilize burlesque’s rhetorical potential. In response to a paucity of literature at the intersection of desire and kairos, the propitious moment for action, I develop the concept “kaieros:” the interpretation of the erotic (eros) as a kairotic opportunity for rhetorical intervention that signals a potential re/negotiation of meaning around performers’ intersectional subjectivities. The rhetorical encounter of performer-audience interaction during narrative striptease holds the potential to shift conceptualizations about what and whom can be desired, desirable, and desirous, and by whom. This momentary rhetorical potential is made possible by erotic desire’s mutability, its characterization as a fluid entity and experience (for both audience and performer). Desire becomes multivalent and powerful, capable not only of putting bodies and subjectivities in dynamic relationship with one another but also, by extension, of re/negotiating meanings around those bodies and subjectivities. This dissertation reveals two ways in which burlesque performers employ the rhetorical possibility of narrative striptease’s kaierotic exchange: by staging rageful resistance to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fat phobia, and ableism, thereby recruiting the audience into their protest; and by offering snapshots of potential alternate futures, utopic times and spaces where racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fat phobia, and ableism no longer exist, and where these intersectional subjects are valued and desired. Not only do I underscore performance’s role in rhetorical efforts to re/negotiate narratives around intersectional subjectivities, but I also demonstrate how burlesque performance, specifically, urges more extended study, within the field of rhetoric, of bodies and desire/s as rhetorical actors. Finally, I discuss the ways in which this research reveals the benefits of collaborative projects between artists and academics concerning minoritarian subjects and social transformation.
    • Believing Critically: Re-Envisioning Student Belief Structures as Foundations of Critical Thinking

      McAllister, Ken S.; Brown, Christopher Michael; Miller-Cochran, Susan; Abraham, Matthew; Ringer, Jeffrey M. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This project argues that college writing pedagogy can encourage and facilitate critical thinking by enabling students to pursue inquiries grounded in, and guided by, their own strongly held beliefs. Chapter 1 introduces my definition of critical thinking as the practice of examining received knowledge from a distance necessary to question and, if necessary, revise that knowledge. I proceed to show how beliefs, or ideas taken for granted, can serve as foundations for critical thinking. Extending Jeffrey M. Ringer’s notion that belief in the truth of an idea may prompt inquiry into the reality behind that idea, I show how inquiry rooted in belief can entail questioning and revising existing accounts of the realities to which belief lays claim. Chapter 2 shows how James Berlin’s writing pedagogy grounds critical thinking in students’ beliefs by positioning critique of ideology in the discourses of mass media as a necessary step in students’ production of those same discourses. Chapter 3 shows how an assignment called a “conversion narrative” grounds critical thinking in belief by requiring students to explain how their beliefs have changed over time. Working through multiple drafts of their writing, students identify the unstated assumptions on which the logical cohesion of their narratives rest and, based on their findings, revise their narratives to construct a believable and compelling account of conversion. Chapter 4 outlines an assignment called a community profile, in which students analyze a genre of communication used within a community who shares their beliefs, in preparation for creating their own, original document in that genre. Students explain how the rules, conventions, and rhetorical strategies that characterize their chosen genre reflect and reinforce the beliefs of the community who uses that genre. Here, belief is grounded in critical thinking insofar as genre analysis provided students with new insight into their beliefs—specifically, into the ways that fellow believers communicate to achieve shared goals. In Chapter 5, I acknowledge that writing pedagogy that grounds critical thinking in preexisting student beliefs may become complicit with those beliefs. At the same time, I argue that such complicity is likely an inevitable feature of pedagogies that prioritize the teaching of academic inquiry.
    • Social Environmental Factors that Influence Adolescent Substance Misuse on the U.S.-Mexico Border

      Carvajal, Scott; Sabo, Samantha; Salerno Valdez, Elizabeth; Garcia, David O.; Stevens, Sally; Korchmaros, Josephine (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Introduction: Mexican-origin adolescents living on the U.S.-Mexico border experience higher prevalence rates of substance misuse-related problems compared to non-border Mexican-origin populations and their non-Hispanic white counterparts. The unique environmental context of the U.S.-Mexico border may exacerbate the risk of substance misuse for Mexican-origin adolescents residing there. Exposure to nearby drug trafficking, cross-border mobility, increased availability of alcohol and tobacco, and high unemployment may contribute to these comparatively higher rates. However, the sociocultural characteristics of the border region may be protective against substance misuse among adolescents, such as the presence of Mexican culture, social support, and religiosity. Methods: The author and a local youth health coalition engaged in Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) using Photovoice and qualitative methods to examine the perceived factors that increase risk of, or protect against, substance misuse among adolescents living at the border. Photovoice findings were used to develop the Border Adolescent Substance Use Survey (BASUS), which was then administered at the community’s high school. Logistic regression evaluated the associations between the socioenvironmental risk factors and tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use in the past 30 days, respectively. Results: Photovoice findings identified novel risk factors for adolescent substance misuse on the border included the normalization of drug trafficking, normalization of substance misuse, and cross-border access to substances. Novel protective factors included living in a close-knit binational community and having strong binational family and social support systems. BASUS results indicated that border community and immigration stress was related to both past 30-day tobacco and alcohol use. Perceived disordered neighborhood stress also was associated with past 30-day alcohol use. The normalization of drug trafficking was associated with past 30-day marijuana use. Conclusion: This mixed methods study fills a critical gap in knowledge regarding the factors that influence adolescent substance misuse on the border, as well as provides epidemiological data on an under-studied population. The examination of these protective and risk factors provides a more complete understanding of the experiences of youth living on the border and informs the field of the importance of considering the border experience for future prevention and risk reduction efforts with adolescents living on the U.S.-Mexico border.
    • Disability as an Identity: Disability Cultural Centers in Higher Education

      Hartley, Michael T.; Saia, Toni Ann; Kraus, Amanda; Johnson, Philip; Tashjian, Amanda; Mapes, Aimee (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      Focused on the role of a disability cultural center in higher education from the perspective of disabled students, this qualitative study used a social constructivism lens to examine how disability is conceptualized through a medical versus social model on a college campus. Framing disability as an identity and social justice issue, the intent of this study was to explore the disability experience as well as the role that a disability cultural center could play in addressing social inequities faced by disabled students. Importantly, this study was one of the first to focus on how a disability cultural center can create a more welcoming campus climate for disabled students within higher education. Based on the perspectives of six disabled students, the themes that emerged from the qualitative interviews highlighted a clear distinction between how participants believed the institution viewed the disability experience compared to the disability cultural center. Recognizing disability as a form of diversity, generative insights from the interviews revealed broad benefits of a disability cultural center beyond the accessibility role of a disability resource center. In particular, a disability cultural center is an avenue to: (a) increase disability leadership on campus, (b) promote more welcoming attitudes toward disability, (c) improved faculty training regarding the disability experience, (d) cultivate pride in disability culture, and (e) embrace disability as a valid human identity. Moving forward, the results of the present study may inform the development of new disability cultural centers across the United States to challenge ableism, including non-disability privilege and oppression. With this in mind, implications for institutions are presented to inform higher education and shift the narrative of disability from a medical diagnosis to a valid social identity on campus.
    • Visual Integration and the Role of Structural and Functional Brain Changes in the Age-Related Associative Memory Deficit

      Ryan, Lee; Memel, Molly; Glisky, Elizabeth; Alexander, Gene; Grilli, Matthew (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      In the present set of experiments, we investigated the effects of visual integration, and age-related changes in brain structure and function on associative memory for objects and scenes. The results of experiment 1 demonstrated improved associative memory when objects and scenes were visually integrated, through an increase in hits without a corresponding increase in false alarms. This profile was interpreted to reflect an increase in recollection-based responding when associative pairs were visually integrated. Although processing of visually integrated stimuli resulted in greater activation across medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures (e.g. hippocampus (HC), perirhinal cortex (PRC), parahippocampal cortex (PHC)) compared to non-integrated pairs and their respective controls, no difference in MTL or prefrontal (PFC) activation was observed after accounting for control activation. In young adults, activation across all three MTL structures predicted discrimination for non-integrated pairs, but only PRC activation predicted discrimination for visually integrated pairs. In older adults, MTL activation was not related to performance for non-integrated pairs, but HC and VLPFC activation predicted performance for visually integrated pairs. In experiment 2, we investigated differences in reaction time based on visual integration, and the neural correlates of associative recognition. Both young and older adults responded faster to visually integrated than non-integrated pairs, reflecting increased recollection-based responding. However, the difference between conditions was greater in older adults. While both groups exhibited a reduction in right HC and left PRC activation during recognition of visually integrated compared to non-integrated pairs, an interaction occurred in left medial HC. Young adults exhibited reduced activation in this region for visually integrated pairs, whereas high functioning older adults activated this region more for visually integrated than non-integrated pairs. Similar to results from encoding (Experiment 1), HC activation was associated with recognition of non-integrated pairs in young adults, but no MTL region predicted performance for visually integrated pairs. In contrast, HC and PHC activation was only related to memory for visually integrated pairs in older adults. Contrary to findings from the verbal unitization literature that demonstrate improved memory in older adults through increased familiarity-based responding (Zheng et al., 2015; Ahmad et al., 2015), our findings suggest that visual integration improves performance across age-groups through an increased reliance on recollection. Notably, the neural correlates of this shift vary based on age. Finally, in experiment 3, we examined the role of white matter integrity in the tracts connecting frontal and temporal brain regions in predicting associative memory. White matter integrity in the fornix, uncinate fasciulucs, and PHC cingulum predicted associative memory in older adults, even after controlling for global white matter changes. The present findings demonstrate the benefit of visual integration as a strategy to improve associative memory across age groups. Further, we identified age-related changes in brain function and structure that are related to memory for visual pairs of objects and scenes.
    • Alterations in Stress Physiology Following Yogic Breathing and Cognitively Based Psychosocial Workshops for College Students

      Allen, John JB; Goldstein, Michael R.; O'Connor, Mary-Frances; Ruiz, John; Bailey, Elizabeth F. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      College and graduate school present a number of challenges for students, often while they are also juggling other major life transitions that impact social relationships, sleep, physical health, and overall well-being. In this study, students were randomized to one of two psychosocial stress-management interventions. One workshop, Your Enlightened Side (YESplus), taught a yogic breathing and acceptance-based approach to stress-management in a rich social environment. Wisdom On Wellness (WOW), in contrast, targeted cognitive approaches to stress-management while matching YESplus in terms of scheduling and duration (4 consecutive days, 18 hours total), group size, amount of material, general format, and involving some level of social interaction. Outcomes were evaluated across self-report domains of stress and wellness, as well as psychophysiological response to a laboratory stress induction at pre, post, and 3-month follow-up. Forty-five students completed all timepoints and were used for analysis. YESplus and WOW participants reported similarly high ratings of the workshops, along with similar retention rates from first to last day of workshop (92% vs. 91%), as well as from post to 3-month follow-up (79% vs. 70%). YESplus demonstrated significant decreases in perceived stress at post (-24.6% average change, p=.017, d=-0.58) as well as 3-month follow-up (-22.3%, p=.002, d=-0.84) relative to pre-workshop, in contrast to no significant changes for WOW (0.8% average change at post and -10.5% at follow-up). A number of other improvements in self-report measures of well-being including sleep, social connectedness, depression, self-esteem, and life satisfaction were observed for YESplus, but not WOW, after correcting for multiple comparisons. At laboratory visits, WOW demonstrated anticipatory stress-related increases in resting breathing rate and heart rate from pre to post-workshop, while YESplus demonstrated a protective effect and did not change. Decreases in heart rate during stress induction were evident for both groups at post-workshop as well as 3-month follow-up relative to pre-workshop (d’s=-0.52 to -0.92). However, improvements in heart rate variability were significant after correction for multiple comparisons only for WOW. These findings have implications for understanding changes in subjective well-being and acute stress physiology in response to brief psychosocial and breathing-based versus cognitively based interventions.