Interdisciplinary Centers, Units, and Projects

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 200
  • Publication
    Interrelations Between Religiosity, Mental Health, and Children
    (2015-01-01) Cranney, Stephen
    This dissertation consists of three independent but related research articles dealing with religiosity, mental health, and children. The first uses the General Social Survey to perform the first large-N, non-convenience-sample analysis of the relationship between belief in God and sense of purpose. Using logistic regression analysis I find that there is a positive association, expanding our knowledge of the association between religious frameworks on a particular facet of mental health. The second article uses OLS to test the relationship between belief in God and fertility intentions in the Czech Republic and Slovenia using the European Fertility and Family Survey, once again finding positive relationships between belief in God or belief in a higher power and fertility intentions. This finding is theoretically important because the prior literature has tended to invoke directly institutional mechanisms in the fertility/religion relationship without considering the possibility that more individuated forms of religiosity may have independent associations. Finally, the third article uses the General Social Survey (and, once again, OLS) to test the role of religiosity as a moderator in the relationship between number of children and happiness. The literature on children and happiness has progressed beyond simple associations, but the literature incorporating concrete social moderators is still in its infancy, and especially social moderators whose influences are vectored through ideational, and not necessarily material, associations. I make the theoretical argument that, as religiosity in the United States tends to be associated with pronatalist norms and culture, and as happiness is positively associated with fulfilling sociocultural imperatives, then, all things being equal, the more religious will have a higher happiness effect (or lower unhappiness effect) from their children than the less religious. Using General Social Survey data, my empirical analyses empirically confirm this hypothesis, showing a positive and significant interaction term between religion and child number, representing a higher happiness association with child number for the religious. This interaction is partially explained by another interaction term between higher ideal family size (measuring pronatalist tendencies), but this second interaction does not explain all of the religiosity/children interactive effect.
  • Publication
    Parallelism in the Hodayot from Qumran
    (1991-11-19) Williams, Gary R
    The dissertation aims to analyze parallelism in the Hodayot from Qumran and to compare it with parallelism in early biblical poetry, Isaiah 1-18, and Isaiah 40-45. Particular attention is given to basic units of composition (couplets, triplets, quatrains, etc.), grammatical parallelism, semantic parallelism, and the relationship between these last two. A topic of secondary importance is the length of poetic lines. After a few paragraphs on the purpose, importance, and overview of the dissertation, the first chapter reviews recent research on the central issues to be dealt with in the study, and then explains the method and terminology to be used in the analysis of parallelism. Chapter II analyzes 266 basic units from the Hodayot, consisting of 647 poetic lines. The third chapter is a statistical summary of the results obtained in Chapter II concerning kinds of basic units, line length, degree of semantic parallelism between the lines, degree of congruence between grammatical and semantic parallelism, grammatical rewrites, internal parallelism, ellipsis and compensation, repetition, parallel unit set structures, and categories of semantic parallelism. The fourth and final chapter compares the statistics from the Hodayot with those from similar studies in early biblical poetry, Isaiah 1-18, and Isaiah 40-45. Enough similarities are found among the four corpora to show that they all belong to the same basic prosodic tradition. Among the differences that distinguish the Hodayot from the biblical corpora are the following: larger ratio of triplets to couplets, more strophes of more than four parallel lines, fewer lines of three grammatical units, more lines of more than four grammatical units, more triplets with a 2:2:2 grammatical unit count, a greater variety of grammatical unit counts, less repetition in consecutive lines, more parallelism of grammatically divisible semantic compounds, less surface level grammatical parallelism, more semantic parallelism and deep level grammatical parallelism between verbal clauses and infinitive phrases, and less parallelism between single words (as opposed to phrases and clauses).
  • Publication
    Family And School Impact On Psychological Functioning From Childhood To Late Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study Of Rural Chinese Youth
    (2018-01-01) Yue, Yang
    The transition from childhood to adolescence can be a significant stressor for youth, leading to increases in internalizing problems for those who are vulnerable. Compared to the mounting research conducted on U.S. youth, children and adolescents in China have received less attention on their psychological adjustment. As Chinese youth constitute roughly 15% of the world’s population (World Health Organization, 2010), and the disproportionate quantity of longitudinal investigation on Chinese youth psychological functioning, understanding the influence of risk and protective factors, and their interactive effects on internalizing problems among Chinese youth is critical. According to Life Course Theory, Ecological Systems Theory, and Risk and Resilience Framework, we need to look beyond one snapshot, one risk or protective factor and analyze the interactions among multiple factors nested in multiple environments across time. Unfortunately, the longitudinal investigation of perceived family and school experiences on youth psychological functioning in rural China is rare. Thus, this study investigated four research questions: 1. What is the nature of internalizing problems among rural Chinese youth? 2. Are gender and perceived school experiences associated with internalizing problems in childhood among rural Chinese youth? Are they associated with changes in internalizing problems from childhood to late adolescence among rural Chinese youth? 3. Do perceived parental behaviors moderate the effect of gender on internalizing problems in childhood among rural Chinese youth? Do perceived parental behaviors moderate the effect of gender on changes in internalizing problems among rural Chinese youth? 4. Do perceived parental behaviors moderate the effect of school experiences on internalizing problems in childhood among rural Chinese youth? Do perceived parental behaviors moderate the effect of perceived school experiences on changes in internalizing problems among rural Chinese youth? This study used data from Wave I (2000) to Wave III (2007) of the Gansu Survey of Children and Families, which is one of the first projects to obtain data at the individual and village levels in four waves from 2000 to 2009 in rural China (Gansu Survey of Children and Families [GSCF], 2010a). The time-varying dependent variable was internalizing problems measured by a summative scale adapted from the Child Behavior Checklist and Youth-Self Report. The Level-1 time-variant predictor was youth age. The Level-2 time-invariant predictor was child gender, and the Level-2 time-variant predictors included perceived parental warmth, lack of teacher support, and adverse classroom climate. Research questions were examined using two-level growth curve models with time nested in individuals. All multivariate data analyses were conducted using PROC MIXED in SAS v9.4. The results showed that on average levels of internalizing problems decreased over time among rural Chinese youth from childhood to late adolescence. In addition, youth gender was not associated with internalizing problems, there were no differences between boys and girls in childhood in internalizing problems nor were their differences between boys and girls in changes in internalizing problems. As for perceived lack of teacher support and adverse classroom climate, both had positive effects on childhood internalizing problems. Youth who reported less lack of teacher support and adversity in their classrooms were predicted to have lower levels of internalizing problems. In addition, teacher support was also related to changes in internalizing problems from childhood to adolescence. Youth who reported more lack of teacher support were predicted to have a steep downward trajectory of internalizing problems in the developmental period examined, which indicates the effect of lack of teacher support is more detrimental in childhood compared to adolescence. Furthermore, parental warmth moderated the relationship between lack of teacher support and childhood internalizing problems. Lack of teacher support had a less impact on internalizing problems in childhood when youth perceived higher levels of parental warmth. Also, parental warmth moderated the relationship between adversity in classroom and changes in internalizing problems from childhood to adolescence. Adverse classroom climate had a less impact on the internalizing problems trajectory when youth perceived higher levels of parental warmth. The current investigation adds to the literature by examining the unique and interactive effects of individual characteristics, family and school experiences on internalizing symptoms from childhood to late adolescence. Results of the current study emphasize the importance of fostering responsive and supportive relationships within the family and school contexts early on and continually. Social workers in China have the potential to engage large teachers, students and school personnel to promote changes in rural school contexts and consult parents on strategies to improve family context. Social workers in China are also well positioned to advocate for national mental health policies that recognize and address mental health problems among rural youth.
  • Publication
    Essays on Health, Education, and Behavioral Choices
    (2010-01-01) Zhao, Meng
    My dissertation is composed of two essays that investigate the interrelationship between consumers’ health, education, behavioral choices, and perceptions. The first essay evaluates the impact of teenage smoking on schooling and estimates the lifetime income loss due to lower educational achievement and attainment caused by youth smoking. Using unusually rich data from China, the study shows that youth smoking can biologically reduce learning productivity and discourage motivation to go to school (where smoking is forbidden), resulting in lower educational outcomes and, consequently, reduced lifetime income. The second essay empirically analyzes the effect of a doctor diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) on food demand and nutrient intake. The study shows that three quarters of the hypertensive population in China are unaware of their condition. A doctor’s diagnosis can lead consumers to update their perceptions about their health and, therefore, make better decisions for their food choices. The study finds that, after a diagnosis of hypertension, consumers significantly reduce their daily fat intake, especially the consumption of animal oil and pork. The effect is stronger for 2004 data, compared to the 1997 and 2000 data. This suggests that consumers have become more health conscious in recent years.
  • Publication
    Labaya of Shechem and the Politics of the Amarna Age
    (1974-03-18) Kufeldt, George
    The Amarna Letters have been the object of many studies since their accidental discovery in 1887 at El-Amarna in Middle Egypt. Beginning with text copies and collations such as those by H. Winckler and L. Abel in 1889-90,1 C. Bezold and E. A. W. Budge in 1892,2 and Otto Schroeder in 1914-15,3 it was not long until what has come to be the definitive edition of these texts was published by J. A. Knudtzon in 1915.4 Since that time, another seven important tablets which were part of the original find at El-Amarna have been published by F. Thureau-Dangin and G. Dossin.5 The site yielded some dozen or so more tablets and fragments in the course of later excavations by German and British archaeologists.6 Similar documents have been added to the total Amarna corpus by discoveries at various locations in Palestine, including Tell el-Hesi, Taanach, Gezer, Shechem,7 Jericho,8 Megiddo,9 and Hazor.10
  • Publication
    Semitic Phonemes with Special Reference to the Ugaritic and in the Light of the Egyptian Evidence
    (1949-05-11) LaSor, William S
    Our task is to study the phonemes of the Semitic language, including, so far as is reasonably certain, the Egyptian language, and paying particular attention to new evidence made available by the discovery of Ugaritic. This task will require dealing with descriptive phonemics, which is the analysis of the phonetic nature of each phoneme in each stage of development in the several languages.
  • Publication
    Three Essays On Early Childhood Development In Chile
    (2017-01-01) Abufhele Milad, Alejandra
    Early childhood development literature has emphasized the role that parental investment and early life conditions play on human capital formation. Still, there is little evidence on the mechanisms driving such dependence. This dissertation examines potential mechanisms explaining the relationship between parental investments, early life conditions and children’s outcomes. The first chapter exploits a plausibly exogenous variation on the timing at which a maternity leave extension reform was implemented to estimate the causal effect of additional weeks of maternity leave on breastfeeding duration in Chile. By using data from the Chilean Longitudinal Survey of Early Childhood (ELPI), I find that additional weeks of maternity leave increases significantly breastfeeding duration; however, the effects show substantial heterogeneity by socioeconomic status in favor of low-educated mothers, suggesting that the reform has equalizing effects. The second chapter examines how parental investments respond to differences in the initial endowment between siblings within families, and how parental preference tradeoffs vary between families with different maternal education. Using ELPI twins data, I find that preferences are not at the extreme of pure compensatory investments to offset endowment inequalities among siblings nor at the extreme of pure reinforcement favoring the better-endowed child with no concern about inequality, but that parental investment preferences are neutral, so that they do not change the inequality on endowment differentials, a result that is consistent across families with low- and high-educated mothers. The third chapter provides empirical evidence on the effects of birth weight on cognitive and non-cognitive development. Results from singletons births show a positive association. The first-difference models for identical twins, show that birth weight does not have a significant effect on the developmental test scores. However, twins estimates stratified by age of the children show that birth weight effects are positive and significant but only for children between 3 and 7 years old. Overall, I conclude that endowments at birth, parental investments and policy interventions are all key determinants to unravel children’s outcomes, and exploring the role that age and socioeconomic heterogeneity play in the production of these outcomes seems to be key for a thorough understanding of early childhood inequalities.
  • Publication
    Urbanization and Demographic Change in Sub-Saharan Africa: Three essays on fertility and child mortality differentials in a rapidly urbanizing context
    (2014-01-01) Corker, Jamaica
    Nearly all demographic research on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) utilizes a strict urban/rural dichotomy, which implicitly assumes homogenous demographic outcomes within these categories. In this dissertation, I use data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to demonstrate that using an urban continuum reveals substantial differences in the demographic outcomes among SSA's growing urban settlements. In the first chapter, I use event-history analysis to examine whether SSA's long-held urban child survival advantage is diminishing, accounting for differentials in city size and potential bias in survival rates due to migration. I find the overall under-5 survival advantage of urban over rural areas persists but that there is a widening of the advantage in the largest cities over smaller urban areas. In the second chapter, I model annual birth probabilities to examine whether there is a discernible "urban effect" of lower fertility among internal migrants in West Africa. Results suggest an association of urban residence and lower fertility, as women who moved either to or from urban areas have lower annual odds of a birth compared to both rural non-migrants and rural-to-rural migrants. I also find that women who relocate to the largest cities have lower fertility than do women who move to smaller urban areas, suggesting that the influence of urban residence on fertility is strongest where fertility rates are lowest. In the final chapter, I estimate total fertility rates and under-5 mortality probabilities for cities of different size in West Africa by linking DHS cluster data to census and geographic information systems (GIS) data for four distinct urban sub-categories. Results show a clear gradient in fertility and child mortality in urban areas according to size, with the largest cities most advantaged; this gradient is as steep between the largest and smallest urban areas as it is between the smallest urban and rural areas. I use the findings from this dissertation to argue for wider use of urban continuums in demographic research on SSA instead of the continued reliance on a strict urban/rural dichotomy that obscures important nuances in the interrelationship of urbanization and demographic change in this rapidly-urbanizing region.
  • Publication
    Institutions for the Education of the Modern Rabbi in Germany (During the Nineteenth Century)
    (1954-04-28) Perlow, Bernard D
    This study deals with the modern rabbinical institutions in Germany during the nineteenth century. After summarizing the influence exeryed on the formation and development of these institutions by changes in modern Jewish life, the writer portrays their growth, indicates their educational innovations, and evaluates their achivement.
  • Publication
    The Ideology of the Sabbath: A Study in Comparative Religion
    (1967-04-04) Hansen, Clifford W.P
    it is the purpose of this study to interpret the ideas associated with the Sabbath in the Old Testament in the light of relevant aspects of the culture of the ancient Near East, thus to clarify and relate the several motivations behind the emphasis with which the Sabbath was finally presented in the Hebrew Bible. As informative as it might be, later Jewish Sabbath ideology is specifically excluded from this study.