• Early Childcare Settings and the Parental Enrollment Process: Insights from the Maternal Primary Caregivers of Children Attending High-Poverty Urban Childcare Centers

      Horvat, Erin McNamara, 1964-; Cucchiara, Maia Bloomfield; Hindman, Annemarie H.; Jordan, Will J.; Najera, Kristina (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Every day in the United States, millions of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods are dropped off at a variety of early childcare settings and arrangements. When those settings are high quality, early childhood education can produce both short and long term benefits for this population, including increases in school achievement and in literacy attainment and decreases in grade retention, the likelihood of early dropout, and behavioral issues (August & Hakuta, 1997; Barnett, 1995; Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997; Entwisle & Alexander, 1993; Korenman, Miller, & Sjaastad, 1995; McLoyd, 1998; Wertheimer & Croan, 2003; Zill, 1999). Early childhood education, however, is neither a formalized nor mandatory educational level, which gives parents significant latitude in deciding when and where to enroll their children. Consequently, it is important to better understand the quality, availability, distribution, and use of non-parental childcare across different settings. A more nuanced perspective is also necessary because there is great variation in the types of and tendencies toward childcare enrollment along the lines of socioeconomic status, race, and geographical location. This research study presents the findings of a qualitative, interview-based study that explored what maternal primary caregivers were influenced by when they enrolled children of color in high-poverty urban childcare centers. Building upon the current literature, the study explores the ways structural, parental, and child-level factors intersected in the decision-making process and how choices continued to effect parents after initial enrollment decisions had been made. This study also addresses parental satisfaction levels. Through a series of interviews conducted with the maternal primary caregivers of children enrolled in one of three early childhood centers in a single metropolitan region, this study captures and describes childcare enrollment as a complex and nuanced process. The findings of the study speak to the nature of navigating and managing childcare decisions from the perspective of the parent. Specifically, the study found that networks of trust, maternal instincts, and lessons learned from past childcare experiences influenced the choices of the maternal primary caregivers interviewed. Educational value and children's futures were also important, as were logistics and cost. As the mothers in the study made their choices, they also negotiated structural, parental, and child factors. The literature supports these factors as influencing choice, but they have largely been examined in isolation. This study adds to the literature by describing how levels of factors intersected and overlapped with one another. More exploratory findings of the study support that maternal primary caregivers continued to manage their childcare choices long after enrollment and that childcare satisfaction is both subjective and nuanced. The experiences of the women who participated in this study shed light upon directions for future research and areas of need in terms of resources, information, and support. The mothers in this study made childcare choices based on their realties, using who or what they knew and how they felt. Further, the local governance where this study was conducted proved highly disjointed and participants showed little faith in the system. The greatest area of need, which would stand to most benefit all parents, is for meaningful increases in support, resources, and cohesion at the local level.
    • Early College Academic Performance: Studying the Effects of Earning College Credits from Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment

      Caldwell, Corrinne A.; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; DuCette, Joseph P.; Jordan, Will J.; Gross, Steven Jay (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      This quantitative study examined the impact of Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment (DE) on early college academic performance by analyzing and comparing first year and sophomore year persistence rates and grade point averages (GPAs) of four student cohorts who began their education at a large urban research I university in fall 2007. These cohorts of fall 2007 first year and first time college admits comprise students who earned college credits in high school by participation in Credit Based Transition Programs (CBTPs), specifically AP and DE, and students who did not earn college credits during high school. This study has contributed to literature examining the relationship between earning college credits in high school and early college academic performance. CBTPs were created for the benefit of high school students and the K-16 educational system. These programs were specifically created and implemented to introduce students to the rigors of college and ease the academic and social transition from high school to college. Student AP and DE participation increases yearly (The Fifth Annual, 2009; Kleiner & Lewis, 2005) and the first year of college is pivotal in terms of student retention (Astin, 1984; Bailey & Karp, 2003; Bailey, Hughes, & Karp, 2002; Cohen & Brawer, 1996; Coomes & Debard, 2004; Klekotka, 2005; Kuh, 2005; Light, 2001; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Plucker, Chien, & Zaman, 2006; Tinto, 1987). These are the two primary impetuses for studying this phenomenon. This study utilized multiple chi-square, Pearson correlation, multiple regression, oneway ANOVA, and ANCOVA statistical analyses. These analyses provided ample data for answering the research questions. The sample comprised four cohorts of first year, first time college, students entering a large urban research institution in fall 2007. 1) students entering with only Advanced Placement (AP) credits ("AP" cohort), 2) students entering with only Dual Enrollment (DE) credits ("DE" cohort), 3) students entering with both AP and DE credits ("AP and DE" cohort), and 4) students entering with no college credits ("Non AP and/or DE" cohort. Statistical analyses presented results showing no statistically significant difference in early college academic performance amongst the cohorts in the study.
    • Early Language Learning and Teaching of Toddlers from Mexican Immigrant Homes

      Hammer, Carol Scheffner; Iglesias, Aquiles; Cucchiara, Maia Bloomfield; Reilly, Jamie; Grasmuck, Sherri (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      This two-part dissertation investigated the home language experiences and language development of 35 toddler-aged children from low-income Mexican immigrant families. These children represent a rapidly growing demographic in the United States. Because early language abilities are closely linked to later academic success, understanding the characteristics of the early language learning experiences provided in the homes of Mexican immigrant children is a foundational step to supporting their strengths and needs prior to formal school entry. In the first study of this dissertation, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the children’s mothers regarding the everyday activity settings of their young children. Degree of maternal acculturation was also assessed. Commonalities and variations in mothers’ values, beliefs, and practices regarding language teaching and learning were revealed. The commonalities included attention towards children’s early behavior and social skills, collective child-rearing practices, emphasis on the family unit and Mexican identity, and support for Spanish-English language learning and educational success, among others. A limited number of variations were also found to be associated with mothers’ affiliation with Anglo-American culture. In the second study, naturalistic recordings of the toddlers' language input in the home were analyzed in-depth to describe features of the quantity and quality of the input to which children were exposed. A wide range of variability in children’s quantity and quality was found. In addition, the relative amount of Spanish and English spoken to children was determined. Spanish was the primary language used with children, although English was also used in most homes. Children’s productive vocabulary in both languages was further measured contemporaneously; total vocabulary size ranged widely across children. There were no associations revealed between the characteristics of children’s language input quantity and quality and their productive vocabulary, although quantity and quality were related to one another. Implications of both studies to early childhood researchers and practitioners focused on early language development, including speech-language pathologists, are discussed.
    • Early Nineteenth Century German Idealism and Historical Perspectives in Beethoven's Eroica Variations, Op. 35

      Abramovic, Charles; Buechner, Sara Davis, 1959-; Wright, Maurice, 1949-; Cannata, David Butler (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      This study argues that the dialectic and the metamorphosis of the basso del tema and tema in Beethoven’s Eroica Variations, Op. 35 mirror the stages of the philosophical thought of German Idealism. The philosophical systems of the post-Kantian generation were housed in the values of the Goethezeit, in which the concept of self was regarded as fundamental for the worldview. In Germany these systems generated a new intellectual ethos that merged cultural nationalism with the glorification of the self (Burnham). Beethoven’s music gave reliable expression to the values of the Goethezeit, depicting the self as a spiritual entity with a constitutive autonomy, a possibility for self-transcendence, and a fundamental condition of struggle for freedom. While research has focused on Beethoven’s heroic style (Broyles) and the philosophy of his music (Adorno), there is very little literature on the relationship between Beethoven’s music and the philosophical thought of the time. In 1930 Schenker discussed the use of the Eroica theme in the Eroica Variations (Marston): first, the material is stated in its simple form; then, rhythmic structure, dynamics, tempo, texture, and key transform it. Schenker considers the large-movement form rather than the theme, giving emphasis to the basso del tema. This study proposes an analysis of Op. 35–focusing first on the first fourteen variations and then on the fifteenth variation and on the fugue individually–as the musical statement of the philosophical thought of the Goethezeit and offers a discussion on the historical perspectives in Op. 35. Then, the study applies the proposed philosophical and historical analysis of the Eroica Variations to explain how an interpretation based on critical theory can help concert performers develop a deeper understanding of such a demanding piece of repertoire. Finally, the study examines the Eroica Variations as one of the most substantial concert pieces for piano by Beethoven and of the beginning of the nineteenth century, and offers suggestions on how to meet the musical and technical challenges of the piece.
    • Eastern European Immigrant Youth Identity Formation and Adaptation in an Urban University Context

      Grasmuck, Sherri; Vila, Pablo, 1952-; Espinal, Rosario; Goode, Judith, 1939- (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      This study examines the childhood emigration, cultural and linguistic transitions and adaptation pathways of Eastern European immigrant students on an urban university campus. Although Eastern Europeans and immigrant children represent a substantial segment of the immigrant population in the U.S. they are understudied groups. After the collapse of the Soviet Union large numbers of migrants emigrated from the former Soviet Republics, but less is known about their experiences compared to other immigrant groups. Immigrant children have historically come to the U.S. since its inception but compared to the adult experience their status has been rendered ambiguous and their experiences marginalized to such an extent that they have largely been invisible in the literature. Commonly children are referred to as "children of immigrants" rather than assigned their own category of "immigrant children." While it is generally acknowledged that primary socialization of children influence their secondary socialization, the influences of child migrants' inculcation in the first culture, migration, acculturation and integration experiences with associated emotions have not been sufficiently considered. There is a general assumption in much of the immigrant scholarships that the cultural influences of the first country on child migrants are essentially negated by the acculturation process in the U.S., and this conjecture leads scholars to construct various generational categories that collapse immigrant children with the second generation native-born youth in their analysis thereby potentially skewing or obscuring critical outcome information. Since immigrant children's voices have largely been missing in the research process, through 34 in-depth interviews with Eastern European immigrant college students, we examined the extent to which the child migrants experienced the migration dislocation and incorporation as well as the possible lasting consequences in their adaptation pathways, self-identifications, social interaction, and standpoints on societal issues associated with emotional acculturation. Collectively, the Russian and Ukrainian immigrant students' narratives about their college experience indicated that they were meeting with success academically, were focused on individual goals, expressed appreciation for diversity, and were integrated into the social and professional organization on the university campus. However, most of the participants who emigrated during childhood reported that they had difficult or traumatic migration transitions in their first U.S. schools and neighborhoods, and often they recounted emotionally the memories of these profound events associated with their acculturation during the interviews. As a group, the Eastern European students expressed that both positive and negative immigration and transitional experiences, perspectives gained from the shared struggle with their parents, openness to diversity, achievement orientation, and work ethic are some of the differentiating characteristics that set them apart from their native-born American siblings, and the second-generation Russian and Ukrainian children of immigrants. Most of the Russian and Ukrainian immigrant students on campus socialized with other immigrants of diverse backgrounds, mainstream American students, least often with co-ethnics and rarely with second-generation co-ethnics or native minorities. When we conceptualize the social interaction boundary to include all immigrants, then the participants in this study may be considered "immigrant in-groupers" following in a modified form some of the findings of Grasmuck and Kim (2010) that investigated the social mixing patterns of four ethno-racial groups on the same campus. Although most of the participants had reported overall positive high school experiences, those who contended with social development issues, understanding the American culture, and the English language on the campus disproportionately represented those who had reported overall traumatic childhood integrations. As a group they embraced the ideology of meritocracy, and those who had reported traumatic childhood acculturation experiences more often adhered to the standpoint that white people were not more privileged and that equal opportunity exists for all. When we considered identity formation we found substantial complexity in the Eastern European immigrant students' self-identifications with a tendency to resist labels. Salient non ethnic (cosmopolitan/global/role) identity claims, hybrid or multi layered ethnic self-identifications that included salient non ethnic components emerged from their narratives. None of the participants identified solely as "American" but included it or referred to degree of "Americanization" as an element in their self-identification. The totality of the dominant patterns that emerged from the Eastern European immigrant students' narratives lend support for the standpoint that in research concerning outcomes for immigrant children, methodologies are warranted that take into account age at arrival, developmental stages, engendered emotions during childhood acculturation, and the standpoint of the foreign-born children. Concomitantly, the model of segmented assimilation does not theorize the potential impact of emotions on school age children who negotiate divergent peer contexts of reception without their parents. This investigation indicates that children's reaction to the nature of their acculturation may be manifested differentially when considering social psychological adjustment, adaptation, and mobility, and that the emotional legacy of childhood migration experiences ought to be considered at least equal to structural features such as governmental policies toward them, the composition of their enclaves, and labor market conditions.
    • Eating Potato Chips with Chopsticks: Nikkei Latin Americans Making Home, Shaping Family and Defining Selves

      Goode, Judith, 1939-; Grasmuck, Sherri; Winegar, Jessica; Takenaka, Ayumi (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      This dissertation examines the effects of return migration on Nikkei (of Japanese descent) sending communities in the Soconusco Region (Acacoyagua), Chiapas, Mexico and Lima, Peru. Massive numbers of Nikkei Latin Americans have been returning to Japan in the last two decades filling a shortage in low-skill labor. The Nikkei mass exodus is indicative of the global economic pattern that has caught Latin American countries in a downward economic spiral resulting in joblessness and class polarization. For many, transnational migration is the only viable option for economic survival. This research illustrates how Nikkei are strategically making home, shaping family and defining selves through return migration. Nikkei Latin Americans (those who go and those who stay) approach return as Ganbatteando (doing one's best) embracing and making-their-own the Japanese concept of Ganbarimas. This study examines the local impacts of a global phenomenon broadening the traditional anthropological approach on spatially localized groups to address identity-formation as a discursive phenomenon situated in-between, across and outside, yet still connected to fixed or bounded locations or nations. I explore how Japanese in Latin America reconcile their Japanese roots with their embedded experience in their Latin American birthplace as well as their newest and current experiences in Japan to construct variable, changing and unique identities. Nikkei, situated in and creating a temporal and spatial borderzone are forming, reforming, and transforming home, family and identity as their local communities and marriage options, are depleted. By incorporating non-Nikkei-but-Nikkei-enthusiasts, Nikkei are sustaining and reinforcing endogamous marriage at a time when the emigration of large numbers of marriageable-aged Nikkei make that otherwise impossible. In this process, they are making intimate choices: reasserting ethnic strongholds in the homes of their choice, shifting and strategically broadening kinship and community boundaries, and at the same time more strictly regulating inclusion and exclusion. Nikkei are eating potato chips with chopsticks at the same time that non-Nikkei in Latin America are frying sushi.
    • Ecological and physiological constraints of deep-sea corals in a changing environment

      Cordes, Erik E.; Sanders, Robert W.; Helmus, Matthew R.; Etnoyer, Peter J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      Deep-water or cold-water corals are abundant and highly diverse, greatly increase habitat heterogeneity and species richness, thereby forming one of the most significant ecosystems in the deep sea. Despite this remote location, they are not removed from the different anthropogenic disturbances that commonly impact their shallow-water counterparts. The global decrease in seawater pH due to increases in atmospheric CO2 are changing the chemical properties of the seawater, decreasing the concentration of carbonate ions that are important elements for different physiological and ecological processes. Predictive models forecast a shoaling of the carbonate saturation in the water column due to OA, and suggest that cold-water corals are at high risk, since large areas of suitable habitat will experience suboptimal conditions by the end of the century. The main objective of this study was to explore the fate of the deep-water coral community in time of environmental change. To better understand the impact of climate change this study focused in two of the most important elements of deep-sea coral habitat, the reef forming coral Lophelia pertusa and the octocoral community, particularly the gorgonian Callogorgia delta. By means of controlled experiments, I examined the effects of long- and short-term exposures to seawater simulating future scenarios of ocean acidification on calcification and feeding efficiency. Finally In order to understand how the environment influences the community assembly, and ultimately how species cope with particular ecological filters, I integrated different aspects of biology such functional diversity and ecology into a more evolutionary context in the face of changing environment. My results suggest that I) deep-water corals responds negatively to future OA by lowering the calcification rates, II) not all individuals respond in the same way to OA with high intra-specific variability providing a potential for adaptation in the long-term III) there is a disruption in the balance between accretion and dissolution that in the long term can shift from net accretion to net dissolution, and IV) there is an evolutionary implication for certain morphological features in the coral community that can give an advantage under stresfull conditions. Nevertheless, the suboptimal conditions that deep-water corals will experience by the end of the century could potentially threaten their persistence, with potentially negative consequences for the future stability of this already fragile ecosystem.

      Lee, Seoki; Basu, Sudipta, 1965-; Roehl, Wesley S. (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      Even though many stock markets in the world adopted involuntary cross-listing with minimal application procedures, the cross-listing literature has widely ignored this activity. The gap in the literature is critical to U.S. restaurant companies since the number of involuntary cross-listings has significantly increased during the last ten years, despite the corporations' decisions not to cross-list or to change strategies to eliminate cross-listings. Direct communication with those foreign-listed U.S. restaurants reveals that they are unaware of involuntary cross-listing. This research uncovers the phenomenon of U.S. restaurants' involuntary cross-listing with a focus on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in which a majority of U.S. restaurant shares have cross-listings. Specifically, the current dissertation provides trajectories of U.S. restaurant companies' cross-listing, discovers determinants of involuntary cross-listing that are specific to U.S. restaurant companies, and investigates the consequences of informational asymmetry in the U.S. and Germany, specifically the dynamics of stock prices in the two stock markets. The current dissertation finds that U.S. restaurant companies have widely chosen not to list their shares on foreign exchanges, while many of their shares are subject to involuntary cross-listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by German financial institutions. This study also finds that German financial institutions consider U.S. restaurant companies' sizes, industry growth opportunities, and overall U.S. economic conditions. In addition, the current research finds that U.S. stock prices of U.S. restaurant companies lead the German stock prices of cross-listed U.S. restaurant firms. Empirical findings of this study have valuable theoretical, managerial, and regulatory implications. Theoretically, the research advances understanding of the economic consequences of involuntary cross-listing, to which the cross-listing literature has paid little attention. Specifically, this dissertation provides sharp insights into German financial institutions and German investors involved in the involuntary cross-listing. The current research also confirms the role of information asymmetry and trading volume on the dynamics of stock prices in multiple stock markets. Practically, this study's contribution to U.S. restaurant industry occurs through acknowledgement and evidence of the involuntary cross-listing phenomenon in which more and more U.S. restaurant companies unknowingly engage. The findings also prompt the Frankfurt Stock Exchange to reconsider their policies regarding involuntary cross-listing, and assist U.S. and German investors to understand better the dynamics of stock prices in both countries.

      Balsam, Steven; Basu, Sudipta, 1965-; Elyasiani, Elyas; Gordon, Elizabeth A. (Associate professor) (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      In this dissertation, I investigate the economic consequences of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 158 (SFAS 158). SFAS 158 requires firms to move pension funding status from the footnotes to the balance sheet. Moving pension funding status from a footnote to the balance sheet improves the transparency and understandability of pension accounting, however it at the same time increases the pension liability recognized and decreases the shareholder's equity reported for firms with underfunded pension plans. I investigate whether firms take actions to mitigate the impact of SFAS 158. I also examine whether the market perceptions of the risk and cost of capital differ because of SFAS 158. I first find that while firms reduce the non-pension debt to equity ratio to minimize the cost of SFAS 158, they did not use discretionary accruals to offset the impact of SFAS 158. One interpretation of these findings is that firms' potential responses to the rule depend on the costs and benefits associated with that discretionary behavior. While accrual manipulations do not affect either real operations or cash flows, aggressive accrual manipulations can increase the probability of a qualified opinion from auditors, and financial penalties from regulators (SEC litigation). In contrast, real activity manipulation is more opaque than accounting earnings management, making it more difficult to detect by shareholders, SEC regulators, or auditors. I then find that the market perceived risk proxied by total equity risk increased after SFAS 158. However, I fail to find that the increased total equity risk is generally priced by the equity capital markets. Further analysis indicates that bond spread yield decreases after SFAS 158 for firms with underfunded pension plans, suggesting different behavior of debt investors and equity investors. This finding might be explained by the rich information environment specific to the debt market. Compared with the equity market, the debt market includes mainly sophisticated investors. Sophisticated investors have access to more firm-specific information than other investors. Given their access to potentially more informative data, the debt market response to SFAS 158 is different from the equity market. This dissertation contributes to the debate regarding the effectiveness of the pension accounting reforms incorporated in SFAS 158, and is useful to legislators, regulators, and researchers in assessing the anticipated costs and benefits of SFAS 158. In addition, this study lends support to the stream of research which documents that managers take actions to achieve certain financial reporting goals in response to new accounting rules. This study also provides insight into how firms take real actions to minimize the cost of having an under-funded defined benefit pension plan. Understanding these relationships have implications for interpreting pension numbers reported in the financial statements and designing pension accounting rules that prevent or minimize the possibility that managers take advantage of the complexity and subjectivity associated with pension accounting to influence reported earnings. Finally, this study contributes to the existing literature by highlighting the importance and necessity of considering investor sophistication in studies on recognition vs. disclosure.
    • Economic Determinants and Consequences of Voluntary Disclosure of Internal Control Effectiveness: Evidence from Initial Public Offerings

      Krishnan, Jagan; Basu, Sudipta, 1965-; Gordon, Elizabeth A. (Associate professor); Krishnan, Jayanthi; Sarkar, S. K. (Sanat K.) (Temple University. Libraries, 2008)
      This dissertation investigates the economic determinants of firms' decisions to voluntarily disclose internal control weaknesses, and the economic consequences of such disclosures, in the context of companies' initial public offerings (IPOs) of equity securities. I find that IPO firms with greater potential litigation risk and restated pre-IPO financial statements are more likely to disclose internal control weaknesses over pre-IPO financial reporting. In addition, I find that voluntary disclosure of internal control weaknesses and the related remediation procedures is negatively associated with underpricing, indicating that ex ante uncertainty about the new issues' value is reduced. Further, IPO firms benefit from such voluntary disclosure through increased IPO proceeds. The results also suggest that the new internal control disclosure requirements under SOX sections 302 and 404 have induced IPO firms to voluntarily disclose internal control weaknesses, contributing to lower information asymmetry between IPO firms and uninformed investors.
    • Economic Freedom for the Free: How Neoliberalism is Leading to Greater Income Inequality Within Countries

      Kaufman, Robert L.; Ritter, Moritz B.; Zhang, Lu, 1979-; Krivo, Lauren Joy (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      Many observers have noticed a sharp divergence of household incomes in the last few decades that seems unrelated to the traditional explanations of inequality like economic development. My dissertation examines the question of how the rise of neoliberalism—or the market über alles—impacts this inequality in countries around the world. High inequality is known to hinder economic growth, social mobility, democratic functioning, social capital, and to adversely affect health and education outcomes, as well as to exacerbate racial and residential inequality. Equality, meanwhile, is seen as desirable in its own right as a matter of social justice. Neoliberalism is a likely suspect because it emerged at the same time and in the same places that inequality began to rise after three postwar decades of decline. It is also a particularly competitive form of capitalism, and thus produces more winners and losers at both ends of the income distribution. With its focus on profits, it is much more beneficial to income derived from capital gains at the expense of wages, deepening the typical class divide under capitalism. Finally, neoliberalism is an elite consensus formed without any public participation, and these special interests shape the economy and society to the benefit of this privileged minority. I find four major shortcomings of existing research related to my research question. First, all but the most recent research has had to rely on sub-standard data for cross-national comparisons, which I address using Frederick Solt’s (2009) Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIID). Second, past analyses of cross-national data have improperly handled between-country variation, which I address using a dual fixed-effects modelling approach. Third, there are operationalization problems with neoliberalism, in which past research has failed to capture the phenomenon in its entirety. I address this by developing a new multi-dimensional measurement approach. Moreover, there is a determined failure by many to fully consider neoliberalism as a likely explanation because it contradicts the myth of liberal democracy and capitalist benevolence. Along these lines, the fourth shortcoming is that most popular explanations of rising inequality blame otherwise benign trends such as globalization and technological advancement. This obscures the political nature of neoliberalism, especially how the rich are able to dominate political economy at the expense of the masses. In doing so, it makes it appear that inequality is just a byproduct of progress, that we must accept it as inevitable, and that only palliatives are available. The reality, however, is that neoliberalism is neither inevitable nor progressive and requires systemic change to rectify. I address the research question with three research components. First, I develop a definition of neoliberalism in contrast to existing theoretical narratives, namely globalization, neo-Keynesianism, dependency theory, and economic freedom. I argue neoliberalism is a social and political project that emerged in the economic stagnation of the 1970s—a way for corporate elites to revitalize profits by whatever means necessary, regardless of the consequences. These means have included tax cuts, social spending cuts, deregulation, neoliberal monetary policy, corporate and industrial restructuring, free trade agreements and increased foreign investment, export-led growth, and the growing power of global economic institutions. I operationalize this definition using the Economic Freedom for the World Index (42 variables) and other World Bank data. Empirically, I show that many neoliberal variables correlate and thus may embody a wider phenomenon, but they also show moderate independence which supports the multi-dimensional approach rather than a single neoliberal metric. In the second part of the dissertation, I use the measurement developed in part one to analyze neoliberalism’s relationship with inequality. I find a relatively robust relationship in the expected direction, with some exceptions, and the dual-model approach underscores the importance of analyzing both between- and within-country variation. The latter is useful because it inherently controls for cross-country heterogeneity, but it comes at a substantial loss of variability. The former has regrettably been derogated, but it provides much explanatory power and complements within-country analysis well. In other words, between-country variation captures deep institutional and cultural differences across countries, while the other captures more superficial but flexible policy shifts and trends within countries at various points in time. I also explore the nonlinear effects of neoliberalism on inequality. Generally, the analysis showed that more developed countries had a stronger association between various neoliberal dimensions and greater inequality. I speculated this was because more developed countries historically have more institutional protection from the adverse effects of markets, and by weakening these, neoliberalism generates more inequality than in countries whose public intervention is already less robust, especially in unmeasurable ways. The analysis also generally showed that at low levels of neoliberalism the relationship sometimes reversed, creating a U-shaped curve that was typically centered left of the mean. I speculated this was due to the fact that very low scores of neoliberalism occur in underdeveloped countries usually suffering from serious state corruption, which translates into greater inequality. In such cases, moving away from a corrupt state and toward market institutions generates relatively less inequality. In the third part, I expand on the above model to establish competitive testing of alternative explanations of rising inequality using contingency effects. The alternatives include globalization, technological advancement, industrial restructuring, human capital/skills, and female employment. The test asks whether the effects of these alternatives are actually contingent on above average levels of neoliberalism, and thus not responsible for inequality per se. Instead neoliberalism makes globalization, technology, and the other trends more inegalitarian than they would have otherwise been. In general, the analysis showed that the alternatives are robustly contingent in the expected direction. Greater levels of neoliberalism drive many ordinarily benign trends and processes toward greater inequality. Remarkably, even basic education, long thought to be the great equalizer, can actually exacerbate inequality at high levels of neoliberalism. In fact, at average levels of neoliberalism, the alternatives mostly had weak relationships to inequality. And below the average, many alternatives actually appeared to generate less inequality—that is, inequality was lower where and when neoliberalism was less embedded. Overall, the findings demonstrate that neoliberalism is an important if not predominant explanation for rising income inequality that many countries have experienced in the last several decades. It suggests that superficial solutions like more education spending or job creation may be insufficient without addressing, at least to some extent, the deeper issue of neoliberal capitalism. I provide suggestions for this, but ultimately it means shifting our major institutions away from market logic toward public interests, control, and orientation. A future economic crisis more severe than the Great Recession could advance such systemic change, but popular protest will likely also be needed to ensure that addressing today’s challenges becomes more egalitarian.
    • Economic Shocks and Financial Vulnerability

      Collier, Benjamin; Grace, Martin Francis, 1958-; Shi, Tianxiang; Jerch, Rhiannon (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      This three-chapter dissertation explores firms' responses to financial shocks in three settings: severe climate events, market crash, and unexpected loss shocks. The first chapter examines how severe climate events affect small business financing outcomes and how they use credit to finance losses, using Hurricane Harvey as my setting. By using the credit reports data of 8,219 small businesses in the Harvey affected area, I estimate a treatment intensity difference-in-differences model where flooding at a firm’s location is the measure of treatment. I find that Harvey-related flooding increased credit delinquencies, especially short-term delinquencies approximately one year after Hurricane Harvey. Delinquencies also increased among firms in the disaster area whose properties were not flooded, suggesting spillover effects from flooded areas. I also find that firms without existing debt took on debt following Harvey. Firms with existing debt lowered loan balances while applying for new credit. The second chapter considers the funding challenges facing multiemployer defined benefit pension plans. I first explore whether the current funding rules have unintended consequences -- triggering employer withdrawals. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires that a multiemployer pension plan with an actuarial funded percentage of less than 80% must take corrective actions to improve financial health. In this paper, a regression discontinuity design is used to establish the causal effect of funding rule requirements on employer withdrawals from multiemployer pension plans. I find that multiemployer pension plans subject to funding rule requirements are about 14 percentage points more likely to experience employer withdrawals. Next, I investigate whether employer withdrawals exacerbate the funding challenges of multiemployer pension plans. Using an event study methodology, I find that plans with ex-ante employer withdrawal experiences are more vulnerable to financial shocks such as the 2008 financial crisis. This study provides important policy implications for regulators concerning best practices to build pension plan resilience to insolvency events. The third chapter investigates how rivals' loss shocks affect a firm's pricing decisions. I develop a simple theoretical model and predict that a firm's relative financial position matters. Unaffected firms may benefit from rivals' loss shocks by charging a higher price. I empirically examine the relationship in the setting of the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry. I find that insurers who only write personal lines outperform their adversely affected rivals and charge a higher price following rivals' commercial-line loss shocks. The competitive effects of loss shocks are more pronounced in states where rate regulation is not stringent.
    • Educating for What Kind of Democracy? Examining the Potential of Educating for Participatory Democracy with a Case Study of Drexel University's First-Year Civic Engagement Program

      Davis, Heath Fogg; Ferman, Barbara; Arceneaux, Kevin; Flanagan, Constance A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      Youth today are participating in political and civic life in new and emerging ways -- some positive and some negative -- but there is scant evidence that these new forms of engagement spawn enduring forms of participation to enhance democratization at all levels in society. How, then, do we educate for democracy and for what type of democracy, especially in a society that struggles with persistent inequality and injustice? Universities clearly have an important role—and, some insist, an obligation—in guiding the so-called millennial generation into civic pathways that can produce meaningful advancement of democracy. Adopting a participatory democratic theoretical framework, this work presents a case-history study of and survey data from a civic education program at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, PA, an institution that strives to be the “most civically engaged university” in the U.S, according to its President. In addition, and arguably equally important, this study examines the assumptions and conceptions students bring to the table when they are first exposed to civic education in college. How do students conceptualize democracy and civic and political engagement now and in the future? On what foundation are we building concepts of civic education for democracy when we design curricula? Do students view democracy in participatory democratic ways and does Drexel educate students for a participatory democracy, albeit implicitly? The study finds both the students and the program embrace participatory democratic norms, strengthening normative theoretical arguments that participatory democratic theory is increasingly relevant, useful and salient to understand and nourish democracy in the U.S. today.
    • Education as a Path to Health Equity: Lessons for Medical Education in the Development of a High School Health Careers Curriculum

      Jones, Nora L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      Compared to other developed countries, the United States has healthcare spending that far outpaces other nations, but achieves below-average life expectancy. In urban cities, this disparity is most striking among predominantly black and Latino communities. There is increasing recognition that the reason for this is improper allocation of resources; we have a system that funds clinical services which contribute to only 20% of health outcomes, while providing inadequate support for social and environmental factors which account for 80% of the impact. When one considers the history of the United States, it becomes clear that such a system is not only inefficient, but also fundamentally unjust. African American patients have been used (often without consent) to obtain much of our current medical knowledge, but suffer most from healthcare disparities. Medical school is a fascinating lens from which to view this healthcare system, as students stand at the threshold between layperson and physician. Medical students, who predominantly come from backgrounds of privilege, benefit from access to institutions of medical knowledge. They often practice their fledgling skills on urban underserved patients who are disproportionately cared for in academic medical centers. Medical students also participate in service projects in the surrounding community, with common projects involving schools, churches, and free clinics. As a medical student, I spent nearly 100 hours with a class of ninth grade students at a Philadelphia public high school as I developed and implemented a health careers elective program. Through this experience, I gained a firsthand appreciation for the incredible barriers that prevent urban underserved students from equal representation in our medical schools and health care workforce. Here, I reflect on my experiences over the course of medical school, review relevant literature in the fields of ethics, medicine, education, and history, and present recommendations to move us closer to a just healthcare system by increasing investment in underserved communities and instilling in medical students a moral imperative to reduce health disparities, as well as the tools to do so effectively.

      Atkinson, Dwight; Beglar, David J.; Sawyer, Mark; Casanave, Christine Pearson, 1944-; Fujioka, Mayumi (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      This research explores issues involving gender, education, and learning/using English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL) by investigating three Japanese women's experiences of fashioning their lives in ways that made them feel satisfied and happy. In order to develop an emic point of view--one derived from grounding myself as strongly as possible in the three women's worlds and views, I adopted a situated qualitative research approach, and collected the data mostly through multiple interviews with the women and participant observation of their work life situations. I then interpreted the data focusing on the women's identity constructions, their gendered struggles, and the roles of education and English in their lives and gender transformations. The findings common across the three women are as follows. First, the women developed a high degree of self-worth and an ethos of studying hard for self-cultivation in the family discourses that they grew up within. Second, the women's professional interests (i.e., in English education, physical fitness education, and dance, respectively), and the lives they aspired to craft for themselves were produced at the intersection of local and global discourses. Third, at some points in their married lives, they faced severe difficulties in seeking professional satisfaction and at the same time conforming to gender norms. However, their struggles to play multiple gender roles as "Japanese women" produced their agency to take up educational opportunities and re-craft themselves. The three women therefore chose to attend professional educational programs offered at Western institutions for self-crafting in the midst of their respective gender struggles. Fourth, the women used English to participate in Western educational and globalized professional discourses. Fifth, the women's prolonged and intensive participation in these discourses contributed to their acquisition of new knowledge to alternatively perform as "Japanese women" and transform their gendered lives. This study reveals that the three women used educational opportunities and English for their identity work--that is, to become who they desired to be, and to expand the boundaries of their freedom as "women" as well as to act socially as members of globalized cultural worlds.

      Jones, Nora L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Studies have shown that the rates of incarceration in the United States of America have skyrocketed over the course of the last several decades. Furthermore, the extremely high rate of incarceration in the United States has become a destructive force on children, families and entire communities and has disproportionately affected and targeted young men from low-income communities of color. Studies have also shown that mass incarceration is generally harmful to the health of the individuals that are imprisoned, the health of formerly incarcerated individuals, and harmful to the health of families and communities. The true cost of mass incarceration on society is estimated to be as high as over $1 trillion per year and studies indicates that more than half of those costs are ultimately levied upon families, children, and community members that are not incarcerated. This paper discusses policy reforms that have been implemented in recent years and that are currently being implemented to help mitigate the harmful impacts of mass incarceration, prevent recidivism, and reduce the population of incarcerated individuals. It also outlines higher education and positive development programs as effective strategies to further achieve these goals, lists current programs and interventions that have been effective, and discusses policies that would improve access to education for justice-involved populations as an effective tool to combat mass incarceration.

      Kaplan, Avi; Anderson, Gregory (Gregory Mark); DuCette, Joseph P.; Nichols, Sharon Lynn (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
      Educational decision-makers influence the opportunities, experiences, and outcomes for all invested in public education. Given the increasingly complex social, cultural, political, and economic landscape within the United States in the 21st century, it seems more important than ever to better understand and appreciate who educational decision-makers are and the process by which these public education stewards make decisions. But while scholarship pertaining to educational decision-making is vast, only scarce research focuses explicitly on the decision-makers themselves. Specifically, extant research tends to overlook the way educational decision-makers understand their role and how they engage in educational decision-making. Therefore, this study set out to inquire into educational decision-makers’ meaning-making of themselves, their role, and the process by which they make educational decisions. This study’s guiding question was: how do educational decision-makers’ role-identity(ies) manifest and frame their educational decision-making? The study followed a phenomenological approach to investigate educational decision-makers perceptions and actions: the content, meaning-making, and process by which the participants construct their educational decision-maker identity and understand their decision-making process. The guiding theoretical frame for this study is the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (DSMRI; Kaplan & Garner, 2017). The DSMRI conceptualizes decision-making to emerge from people’s contextualized and dynamic role interpretation—their role identity. According to the DSMRI, four interdependent multi-elemental components comprise role-identities: ontological and epistemological beliefs, purpose and goals, self-perceptions and self-definitions, and perceived action-possibilities. These components emerge within social-cultural contexts and function in a non-linear, non-deterministic, emergent manner to guide decision-making. The study investigated the content, structure, and process of formation of educational decision-makers’ role identities and how these elements frame the meaning of impactful decisions they made in their role. Seven educational decision-makers (5 women, 2 men) participated in this study. Each held either a state or a municipal educational decision-making position, with all positions located in the same educational context. Each participant partook in three life-story phenomenological interviews. The interviews followed Seidman’s (2013) protocol focusing on their past to the present (interview 1), their decision-making role (interview 2), and their insights from the previous two interviews (interview 3). Interviews were transcribed and analyzed with Kaplan and Garner’s (2016) DSMRI Codebook and Analysis Guide. The findings highlighted the complex and dynamic constellation of role-identities and role-identity elements that framed each educational decision-maker understanding of him- or herself and their decision-making. The findings depicted the participating educational decision-makers as unique individuals; highlighting their varied lived-experiences, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational degrees, professional expertise, and interpretations of their present self. Yet, the findings also highlighted the very similar process and content the participants engaged in for constructing their educational decision-maker role-identity. Specifically, despite their differences, all the decision-makers construed their current role-identity as grounded in perceived stable value-based personal aspects from their past role identities. In addition, all used similar cultural materials, meanings, and strategies to form their decision-making identity. This manifested most clearly in the shared underlying theme of their varied and dynamic role-identities as educational decision-makers who are “advocates.” The findings across these educational decision-makers paint a collective educational decision-making landscape within which the different decision-makers shared cultural themes and means for interpreting past personal events as forming their identity and decision-making. These insights may provide researchers, public education advocates, and even students and their families better insights into the way educational decision-makers approach their role and tasks. It may further guide stakeholders in strategies to engage these educational decision-makers by considering the fit of their agenda within the life-story educational decision-makers construe as foundational to their role identities and decision-making. The findings may also provide educational decision-makers a framework for reflection on their role and actions, and for further developing their identity and decision-making. Fundamentally, this research contributes to the efforts to improve educational experiences and opportunities for students attending public schools.
    • Educators' Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Strategies to Close the Reading Achievement Gap of Black Boys

      Gross, Steven Jay; McGinley, Christopher W.; Jordan, Will J.; DuCette, Joseph P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      The Crumpton School District (CSD) is a high performing school district in suburban Philadelphia that has expended a great deal of energy and work to close gaps in the achievement of its Black students. Despite these efforts, 2016 standardized test data reflect a reading achievement gap of 28 percentage points for Black boys attending four of the CSD schools with the largest percent of Black boys enrolled. This qualitative study was designed to provide the CSD with implications for practice to continue and improve its work related to increasing the reading achievement of Black boys. More specifically, this study examined educators’ perceptions of the effectiveness of strategies and conditions in place to close the reading achievement gap of third grade Black boys. This study also examined the roles of CSD administrators in their efforts and plans for closing the reading achievement gap of third grade Black boys. Individual interviews of 11 third grade teachers, seven reading specialists, four special education teachers, four curriculum specialists, three principals, one assistant principal, one supervisor of special education, and one supervisor of communication arts, as well as the review of principal’s school improvement plans and goals, were the sources of the qualitative data. Detailed analyses of the qualitative data collected provided recommendations for teachers and educators of CSD to improve the manner by which they provide Black boys with equitable opportunities to achieve in the area of reading. These recommendations, hopefully, could benefit similarly situated districts in the state and nation.

      Wang, Hong, 1956 September 19-; Yang, Xiao-Feng; Ashby, Barrie; Scalia, Rosario; Liu, Ming-Lin; Song, Wenchao (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Both HHcy and insulin resistance (IR) are associated with atherosclerotic CVD. Recent studies have confirmed that insulin is not only a principle regulator of glucose homeostasis but also an important vasoactive hormone involved in the modulation of vascular tone. Epidemiological studies and animal studies have demonstrated the positive correlation of HHcy with IR and diabetes. Nevertheless, the effect and mechanism of HHcy on endothelial insulin signaling and insulin resistance has not been studied. In this study, we investigated the role and mechanism of HHcy on endothelial IR in vivo using transgenic mouse model of HHcy (Tg-hCBS Cbs -/- mice, plasma Hcy levels of 102.6 ± 9.1µmol/L) and in vitro using human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). Using bioinformatics approach, we found tissue differential expression of Insulin/PI3K pathway genes in human and mouse. Furthermore, we measured tissue Hcy, S-adenosyl methionine (SAM), S-adenosyl homocysteine (SAH) levels in Tg-hCBS Cbs +/+ mice and examined correlation of insulin signaling genes with tissue Hcy, SAH levels and SAM/SAH ratio. We found negative correlation of Insulin/PI3K signaling genes with Hcy and SAH levels and positive correlation of Insulin/PI3K signaling genes with SAM/SAH ratio. These results led us to hypothesize that HHcy might negatively regulate insulin signaling and further contributes to IR. We found that HHcy impaired glucose metabolism (p<0.01 vs controls [CT]) and insulin sensitivity (p<0.05 vs CT) in Tg-hCBS Cbs -/- mice compared to their littermate controls (Tg-hCBS Cbs -/+ or +/+ mice). Furthermore, HHcy impaired insulin-induced vasorelaxation (31% vs CT, p<0.05) and endothelium-dependent relaxation (26% vs CT, p<0.05) in Tg-hCBS Cbs -/- mouse mesenteric arterioles. HHcy did not affect endothelium-independent relaxation and potassium chloride (KCl) & phenylephrine (PE)-induced contraction responses. Moreover, we found that HHcy significantly inhibited insulin-stimulated Akt and eNOS phosphorylation and activation in HAEC, mesenteric arterial tree, and in aorta. Pre-treatment of mesenteric arterioles with Wortmanin (PI3K inhibitor) and L-NAME (Nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) significantly inhibited insulin-induced vasorelaxation in controls (p<0.05 vs vehicle pre-treatment) but not in Tg-hCBS Cbs -/- mice, suggesting that HHcy impairs insulin-induced PI3K/Akt/eNOS signaling pathway. Moreover, we found that HHcy augmented insulin-induced MAPK pathway in HAEC, mesenteric arteries, and in aorta. In addition, pre-treatment of mesenteric arterioles with MEK inhibitor (PD98059) and endothelin-1A receptor blocker (BQ123) significantly improved (p<0.05 vs vehicle pre-treatment) insulin-induced vasorelaxation in Tg-hCBS Cbs -/- mice. Further analysis of upstream insulin signaling genes show that HHcy downregulated insulin receptor substrates (IRS) 1/2 mRNAs and protein expression but did not affect insulin receptor mRNA expression. Moreover, reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger restored HHcy induced vascular IR. In summary, our results suggest that HHcy impairs vasodilator actions of insulin by impairing IRS/PI3K/eNOS-dependent signaling pathway and amplifying MAPK-dependent pathway leading to systemic IR and endothelial dysfunction via oxidative stress related mechanism. Our work will greatly improve our understanding by which HHcy contributes to diabetic vascular disease. Our work is supported by grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

      Jones, Nora L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      Importance – The homeless face higher rates of morbidity and mortality than the general population, and have lower rates of end-of-life care planning. An effective and sustainable intervention, to provide living wills and durable power of attorney, is required to protect the autonomy of a vulnerable population. Objective – To determine if medical student-led 1:1 counseling is as effective as social worker-led counseling as reported in the literature, determined by rate of advanced directive completion. Design – A focus groups and educational sessions on EOL care and ADs were conducted at 2 shelters, after which participants were offered the opportunity to sign up for a 1:1 counseling session with a medical student volunteer. Rates of sign-ups and completion were recorded. Setting – 2 North Philadelphia homeless shelters, requiring either an Axis I or current substance abuse diagnosis for residence. Participants – A convenience sample of 20 homeless men were approached; 10 enrolled in the study. Interventions – Educational sessions, focus groups, and 1:1 AD completion counseling sessions Main Outcomes – Interest in and completion of an advanced directive. Results – 9 participants signed up to complete ADs after an informational session. At the conclusion of the study, 8 of them (88.8%) completed ADs. 40% of the total participants completed an AD. Conclusions – Similar rates of advanced directive completion were achieved with the student-led intervention compared to a previous intervention in the literature. Further study with a larger sample including homeless women should be conducted to provide a generalized conclusion.