Smith, Michael W. (Michael William), 1954-; Brooks, Wanda M., 1969-; Turner, Kristen Hawley; Fry, Katherine (Katherine G); Han, Insook (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      In order to prepare students to read for academic success and informed civic participation, teachers must give students practice in reading for argument in both born digital, printed texts, often digitized to be accessed on digital devices. However, instruction in school remains focused on texts that are not born digital, not least as academic assessments privilege reading for, and writing, argument in conventional, linear forms that do not involve born digital features. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an intervention designed to improve the reading and writing of argument of high school seniors at a neighborhood urban public school through focused attention to born digital texts. Through analysis of student performance in formal assessments, and open coding of class activities and stimulated recall interviews, the following research questions were explored: 1. To what extent does a curriculum focused on the writing of academic arguments supplemented by a focus on born digital texts affect students’ writing performance on a college placement test? 2 To what extent does a curriculum focused on the writing of academic arguments supplemented by a focus on born digital texts affect students’ performance on the reading and writing activities in which they engaged as part of that curriculum? Pre and post testing of writing indicated that teaching reading for argument in born digital texts benefitted students in a limited fashion. Analysis of classwork and stimulated recall interviews using an analytic tool that centers on students' construction of readers, texts, contexts, and authors, as well as their deployment of rules of notice offers a more nuanced picture of student reading practices and highlights increasingly sophisticated critical readings in the classroom exposed to born digital texts.

      Olino, Thomas; McCloskey, Michael S.; Alloy, Lauren B.; Chein, Jason M.; Giovannetti, Tania; Heimberg, Richard G. (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), defined as the deliberate damaging or destruction of body tissue without intent to die, are common behaviors amongst youth. Although prior work has shown heightened response to negative outcomes and dampened response to positive outcomes across multiple methods, including behavioral and physiological measures, little is known about the neural processes involved in NSSI. This study examined associations between NSSI engagement and responsivity to rewards and losses in youth with and without a lifetime engagement in NSSI. We employed a task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study to examine differences between regions of interest (ROIs; ventral and dorsal striatum [VS, DS], anterior cingulate cortex [ACC], orbitofrontal cortex [OFC], ventrolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex [vlPFC; vmPFC], and insula) and whole-brain connectivity (utilizing bilateral DS, mPFC, and insula seed ROIs) in youth with and without NSSI. We used two reward tasks, in order to examine differences between groups across domains of reward (i.e., monetary and social). Additionally, we examined the specificity of the associations by controlling for dimensional levels of related psychopathology (i.e., aggression and depression). Results from the current study found that NSSI was associated with decreased activation following monetary gains in all ROIs. Further, these differences remained significant when controlling for comorbid psychopathology, including symptoms of aggression and depression. Finally, exploratory connectivity analyses found that NSSI was associated with differential connectivity between regions including the DS, vmPFC, insula, parietal operculum cortex, supramarginal gyrus, cerebellum, and central opercular cortex. Weakened connectivity between these regions could suggest deficits in inhibitory control of emotions in individuals with NSSI, as well as dysfunction in pain processing in individuals with NSSI, whereby these individuals experience pain as more salient or rewarding than individuals without NSSI. Although results did not support our hypotheses, findings suggest disrupted reward processes in youth with NSSI, contributing to our understanding of the role that reward processes may play in NSSI, in the engagement and reinforcement of these behaviors. We also conducted an extensive systematic review of the studies indexing neural structure and function in NSSI, summarizing the literature on the neurobiological correlates of several psychological processes implicated in NSSI engagement, including emotion processes, pain processes, executive processes, social processes, and reward processes. Results of the review highlighted the neural regions most consistently associated with NSSI, including the amygdala, insula, frontal, prefrontal, and orbitofrontal cortices, and the anterior cingulate, dorsal striatum, and ventral striatum. Additionally, data showed that NSSI is associated with greater emotional responses in negative situations, poorer down-regulation of negative emotions, and poorer inhibitory control over impulsive behaviors. Overall, findings suggest that NSSI is associated with maladaptive coping, and that this down-regulation of negative emotion resulting from NSSI may be experienced as rewarding and may serve to reinforce engagement in these behaviors. Finally, this review highlighted the importance of standardizing the methods of indexing neural structure and function in NSSI, specifically in terms of how NSSI is categorized, which comorbid disorders are examined, and how neuroimaging data are collected and analyzed, so that research in this area is comparable and reproducible.
    • Examining The Pattern of Executive Functioning In Children Identified As Emotionally Disturbed

      Fiorello, Catherine A.; Rotheram-Fuller, Erin; DuCette, Joseph P.; Thurman, S. Kenneth; Rosenfeld, Joseph G. (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      Students who are diagnosed with an emotional disturbance experience the greatest levels of school failure and poor social outcomes after leaving school than any other disability group. Current diagnostic practices are subjective and often do not address the underlying cognitive processes associated with the disability. Because executive function skills are innately tied to the display of externalizing and internalizing behavior, an investigation into the pattern of executive function in children identified as emotionally disturbed may begin to determine the root of the problem and, in turn, properly address the needs of these students. Forty students diagnosed with an emotional disturbance along with a comparison group of 40 non-disabled students from inner-city public schools were selected for this quantitative investigation of teachers' reports of the executive function skills of these students with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Baron, 2000). T-test, MANOVA, ANOVA, and Mann-Whitney U test analyses comparing the students with an emotional disturbance to the comparison group of non-disabled students as well as to the normative sample of students used to standardize the BRIEF, revealed that students with an emotional disturbance do exhibit elevated levels of executive function skill deficits and get progressively worse as they get older. The non-disabled students, while not to the same extent, also exhibited elevated levels of executive function deficits. In addition, female students identified as having an emotional disturbance exhibited much more severe deficits in executive function skills than male students. Recommendations with regard to intervention as well as directions for future research in the area of assessment of executive function skill deficits in students with an emotional disturbance from more diverse backgrounds are also suggested.
    • Examining the relationship between cognitive control and nonsuicidal self-injury

      Alloy, Lauren B.; Olino, Thomas; McCloskey, Michael S.; Heimberg, Richard G.; Kendall, Philip C.; Giovannetti, Tania (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), the deliberate self-destruction of one’s own body tissue engaged in without associated suicidal intent, is a prevalent behavior among adolescents and young adults. The current study examined whether one aspect of cognitive control, inhibitory control in response to negative emotional stimuli, is associated with repetitive engagement in NSSI. It further sought to examine whether sleep deficiency/irregularity, stress, and reward sensitivity moderate this relationship. A multi-method approach (self-report, behavioral measures, actigraphy) was employed to sensitively probe these relationships among 114 late adolescents with and without a history of repetitive NSSI. Findings suggested no relationship between inhibitory control in response to negative emotional stimuli and NSSI, as measured by a behavioral measure, but a significant positive relationship as measured by self-report. Stress and sleep irregularity, but not sleep deficiency or reward sensitivity, were associated with NSSI group status. Interaction analyses suggested that sleep irregularity and stress moderated the relationship between inhibitory control in response to negative emotional stimuli and NSSI. Results are discussed in terms of conceptual and clinical implications. Findings highlight the necessity of examining the temporal dynamics between the study’s constructs and NSSI by employing an ecologically valid approach.

      Fisher, Jennifer O.; Coffman, Donna L.; Hart, Chantelle Nobile; Tucker, Carole A.; Bailey, Charles L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      Rates of immune-mediated diseases (IMDs) have rapidly increased. Although the exact etiology has not yet been fully elucidated, disruptions to the microbiome has been proposed as a potential mechanism. We conducted a retrospective, longitudinal, birth cohort study utilizing electronic health records (EHR) to investigate the association between early life antibiotic exposure and the risk of developing juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), pediatric psoriasis, or type 1 diabetes. Incident rate ratios (IRR) were estimated using modified Poisson regression models and adjusted for significant confounders. Children exposed to two or more antibiotics prior to 12 months of age had a 69% increased risk of developing JIA (1.69 IRR, 95% CI [1.04-2.73]), which rose to 97% when exposed prior to 6 months (1.97 IRR, 95% CI [1.11-3.49]). Children exposed to a penicillin antibiotic had a 62% increase in risk for psoriasis (1.62 IRR, 95% CI [1.06-2.49]), which rose slightly to 64% when exposure occurred between 6 and 12 months of age [(1.64 IRR, 95% CI [1.04-2.59]). We found a moderate to strong association between early antibiotic exposure and risk for JIA and psoriasis when exposure was examined by age, frequency, and type of antibiotic, but not for type 1 diabetes. Potential interactions effects between infection and antibiotics with an increased susceptibility to early life infections among children with an IMD was also observed. Overall, children exposed to antibiotics at an early age have an increased probability of developing an IMD after 12 months of age. However, alternative explanations for this association should be considered.
    • Examining the Relationship Between Family Involvement in the Juvenile Justice Process and Recidivism

      Belenko, Steven R.; Harris, Philip W.; Fader, Jamie J.; Mulvey, Edward P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      Recently within the juvenile justice system there has been a great deal of attention toward increasing family involvement, with the goal of enhancing the quality of service-delivery for youth active with the justice system and their families, and ultimately achieving better overall outcomes. Many states are adopting new initiatives and policies to improve the involvement and engagement of family members in decision-making, treatment, supervision and overall case management. To date, however, there is little published empirical evidence that demonstrates whether or how such involvement will translate into greater success, increased compliance with treatment and conditions, goal attainment, reduced length of stay/time on supervision, and ultimately lower recidivism rates, for youth active with the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, there is a need to clearly define and operationalize “family involvement” within a juvenile justice context, which has not yet been clearly conceptualized or operationalized in the literature. While there are a few studies that examine family involvement with justice involved youth, these are generally limited to youth in out-of-home placement facilities. With the majority of youth remaining in the community during their involvement with the juvenile justice system, conducting research within a community-based setting is an integral part of understanding family involvement. The current study sought to provide an understanding of how best to measure and operationalize family involvement in a broader juvenile justice context. In addition to developing a working definition of, and framework for, family involvement, this dissertation examined whether or not family involvement influences recidivism. To examine the relationship between family involvement and recidivism from a community corrections lens, the current study used case record data from a random sample of 300 youth referred to the Dauphin County Pennsylvania Juvenile Probation Department in 2010. In Pennsylvania juvenile probation officers are involved with a case from referral to case closing; therefore, in addition to providing a community corrections setting, the juvenile probation department provides the opportunity to measure family involvement from case beginning to end. Employing a longitudinal cohort design, two years of retrospective data were collected for the 97 females and 203 males included in the study sample. Multivariate analyses were used to measure the relationship between various indicators of family involvement and youth outcomes. Findings show that family member presence at court hearings is a significant predictor of recidivism. Youth whose family members missed at least one court hearing were significantly more likely to have a violation of probation filed, to recidivate, and to have a shorter time to rearrest. Additionally, when exploring familial characteristics that may contribute to family involvement, risk assessment results and family member criminal justice history were significantly related to various family involvement measures. This research helps lay the conceptual and empirical foundation for understanding and testing the impact of family involvement, and its findings contribute to the knowledge of the role of family in the juvenile justice system. This dissertation also suggests new areas of research to assess the effects of family involvement on juvenile justice outcomes. These initial findings assist in understanding the nature and impact of such initiatives, and provide important feedback to policy makers and program officials as they continue to shape the role of a family involvement strategy in juvenile justice, with the primary goal of increasing overall youth success and reducing recidivism.
    • Examining the Relationship Between Participation in a Math Science Partnership and Changes in Student Outcomes in High School Mathematics Using Activity Theory as a Lens

      Leonard, Jacqueline; Schifter, Catherine; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; DuCette, Joseph P.; Jordan, Will J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Using Activity Theory as both the theoretical and analytical framework, this study investigated whether participation in the Math Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia (MSPGP) had any relationship with changes in PSSA scores and math course taking patterns for students attending 23 partner district high schools. Participation included time spent attending professional development provided by the MSPGP and the level of engagement that a district had with the partnership. Results showed significant gains in PSSA achievement overall (t = 4.03, df = 22, p = .001) and for African American students in particular (t = 2.53, df = 13, p = .025). These results are similar to statewide results in Pennsylvania. The biserial correlation showed a relationship between the overall improvement in PSSA scores and the level of professional development in which schools participated (rp = .62, p < .05). Results also showed a significant gain in higher level math course completions for Latino/a students (t = 3.08, df = 19, p = .006). Although the gain in PSSA scores was not significant for Latino/a students, it was strongly correlated with the level of engagement schools had with the MSPGP (rp = .90, p < .05). Course completions, both overall and higher level, increased for the majority of schools. Achievement gaps persist for many of the schools even though the majority of African American and Latino/a students had increases in PSSA achievement as well as increases in course completions. The study also investigated whether other independent school district variables had any relationship with changes in outcomes. Results of the Pearson Correlation showed a significant relationship between the use of reformed curriculum and changes in PSSA achievement (r = .43, p = .04).
    • Examining the Relationship Between Students' Life Satisfaction and School-Based Social and Behavioral Success

      Rotheram-Fuller, Erin; Fiorello, Catherine A.; DuCette, Joseph P.; Farley, Frank; Thurman, S. Kenneth (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      Life satisfaction is key indicator of psychological well-being, a central component of positive psychology, and an important correlate of positive development. Concurrent and predictive validity of global and domain-specific life satisfaction reports were explored with respect to social success within the classroom, peer rejection, and externalizing behavior problems. The Brief Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale (BMSLSS), which yields an overall subjective life satisfaction score in addition to five domain-specific satisfaction scores (family, friends, self, school, living environment), was administered to a sample of 198 3rd through 8th grade students in an urban public school in a northeastern U.S. city during the fall of 2008 (Time 1) and spring 2009 (Time 2). A friendship survey was also administered at both time points; peer nominations from these surveys were used to calculate individual peer acceptance and peer rejection scores, as well as to identify classroom social networks and students' salience within them. Data were also collected on individual disciplinary incidents throughout the year resulting in a total number of office discipline referrals (ODRs) for each student. Given the abundance of literature suggesting that low levels of self-reported life satisfaction are linked to poor social and behavioral outcomes, it was expected that subjective satisfaction ratings would demonstrate an inverse relationship with peer rejection and disciplinary referrals, and a positive relationship with social success, as measured by peer acceptance and social network centrality. At Time 1, in contrast with the hypothesis, none of the domain-specific or global life satisfaction variables were found to demonstrate any significant relationships with peer rejection or acceptance. However, as expected, Time 1 social network centrality demonstrated a small but significant correlation with satisfaction with self and a moderate correlation with satisfaction with friends. This relationship remained significant with respect to satisfaction with friends and Time 2 social network centrality, but decreased in magnitude. Regression analyses revealed that Time 1 life satisfaction variables were not able to predict a significant portion of the variance in any of the established outcome variables. This research was limited by its use of a single school with a homogenous student population; nevertheless, it provides an exploratory look into the potential of subjective life satisfaction profiles to serve as a screening tool for identifying students that may benefit from targeted social or behavioral interventions. Future research should examine this potential with larger and more diverse samples of students.
    • Examining the Relative Influence of Peer and Parental Attachment on School Victimization

      Rotheram-Fuller, Erin; Jones, Tricia S.; Farley, Frank; DuCette, Joseph P.; Fiorello, Catherine A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      There is considerable evidence showing that attachment to parents and peers serves as a protective factor against adolescent anti-social behavior. However, less is known about whether the strength of these attachments serves as a protective factor against being victimized at school. Furthermore, no study has examined the relationship between primary language spoken at home and victimization experienced at school. In a sample of 1200 middle and high school students from an urban-fringe school district, the current investigation examined links between the strength of attachments to parents and peers and the frequency of victimization reported by students. Participants completed surveys in their classrooms as part of a random stratified sampling of classrooms from 6th-12th grades, which included self-report measures of the strength of attachment to primary caregivers and peers, frequency of victimization experienced at school, and primary language spoken in the home. Students who reported stronger attachments to parents and peers, reported less frequent victimization, though results appear to be clinically insignificant. Furthermore, students who reported speaking a language other than English in the home reported more frequent victimization, though attachment did not mediate this finding. These findings suggest the need for interventions which foster the development of strong attachments, and which address improving tolerance for students who speak languages other than and in addition to English.
    • Examining the Role of Social Resources in Diabetes Control among Middle-Aged and Older Adults

      Davey, Adam; Fisher, Jennifer O.; Traino, Heather Marie; Gillespie, Avrum (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      Diabetes is a rapidly growing health issue in the United States and across the globe, and is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to other health complications, including coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes also attributes to a large financial burden in the United States, costing an estimated $245 billion among individuals diagnosed with diabetes in 2012 and a 41 percent increase from 2007. Blood glucose control is essential to reducing diabetes complications and related health care costs. Social resources are central to adherence of these self-management practices, particularly in middle-aged and older adults. Past research has examined the effect of social resources on health behaviors and health outcomes, but little has been done to examine the role of chronic stress on this relationship. Chronic stress is important to diabetes control because stress can impair an individual’s ability to perform diabetes self-management behaviors. The purpose of this research was to fully identify: 1.) predictors of four diabetes control typologies, 2.) if chronic stress mediates the relationship between social embeddedness and diabetes control, and 3.) whether perceived social support moderates the relationship between chronic stress and diabetes control. Data from the 2006-2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally-representative study of adults in the United States, was utilized for these analyses. Study 1 found that perceived diabetes control predicted objective diabetes control. Multinomial logistic regression was employed to determine that age, race, income, self-rated health, perceived control over health, presence of ADLs and IADLs, duration of diabetes, restless sleep, smoking status, and taking oral medication and insulin to treat diabetes were significant predictors of at least one of the four diabetes control typologies, 1.) truly controlled, 2.) falsely controlled, 3.) falsely uncontrolled, and 4.) truly uncontrolled. The results of Study 1 suggest that other factors are associated with the disconnect between perceived and objective diabetes control. Study 2 found limited evidence of a relationship between social embeddedness and 1.) perceived and 2.) objective diabetes control. Generalized structural equation modeling was used to examine the mediating effect of 1.) number of chronic stressors and 2.) perceived stress on the relationship between social embeddedness and both types of diabetes control. One social embeddedness factor, contact with children through meeting in person and speaking on the phone, was fully mediated by perceived stress in its relationship with perceived diabetes control. However, perceived stress did not mediate the association between this social embeddedness factor and objective diabetes control. The results of Study 2 suggest that social embeddedness does not impact diabetes control in the presence of chronic stress, but that support from a social network may. Study 3 examined the relationship between perceived stress and five diabetes control outcomes, 1.) perceived diabetes control, 2.) objective diabetes control, 3.) use of oral medication to treat diabetes, 4.) use of insulin to treat diabetes, and 5.) insulin compliance based on doctor’s recommendation. This study also explored the moderating effect of perceived social support on the relationship between perceived stress and the five diabetes control outcomes. Overall, the findings from Study 3 suggest that perceived negative social support in the presence of high stress may hinder diabetes control and control-related behaviors, and that total social support from a spouse in the presence of high stress was predictive of insulin compliance. The project ultimately illustrated how perceptions of stress and support may impact perceptions of diabetes control and control-related behaviors, but not objective control. However, results of this study should be interpreted with caution because many of the psychosocial measures analyzed were not from validated survey instruments. Overall, future research must focus on how perceptions, whether of control, stress, or support, impact diabetes-related behaviors, and ultimately objective diabetes control. Public health programming can help to improve accurate perceptions of diabetes control by strengthening access to social resources and mitigating the impact of chronic stressors.
    • Examining the use of Academic Vodcasts to Support Vocabulary Acquisition in Students with Learning Disabilities

      Boyle, Joseph R.; Hindman, Annemarie H.; Tincani, Matt; Byrnes, James P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      The purpose of this experimental research study was to investigate the effects of using academic science-term vodcasts to provide vocabulary instruction, and more specifically, comprehension support in science to middle-school adolescents with and without LD. A total of 105 suburban middle school students, of which 17 presented with LD, were randomly assigned to one of two conditions, with direct instruction occurring over a one-week period. The two experimental conditions; the first which required students to use a traditional “dictionary approach” to learning and studying a list of prescribed science terms, and a second condition which required students to use a vodcast strategy to learn and study the same list of prescribed science terms. The vodcast strategy included the student viewing a researcher-constructed vodcast; a multimedia construction which employs the tenets of CTML, focusing on a prescribed grade-level vocabulary list, drawn from current curriculum, and evidence-based practice as presented in a mnemonic graphic organizer, for the recording of fundamental components of vocabulary acquisition; e.g. the term, it’s definition as delivered in the vodcast, its correct usage in a sentence, and an example of the prescribed term. The results indicated all students, with and without LD, performed better using the vodcast strategy, when compared with their peers, who used a dictionary-focused approach, with writing down the same components for term acquisition as the vodcast strategy. Anecdotal information in the form of a student satisfaction survey, completed with each class orally indicated an almost universal preference for the vodcast strategy over the more traditional approach to science-term vocabulary acquisition exercises.

      Ibrahim, Jennifer; Collins, Bradley N.; Wu, Jingwei; Sarwer, David B. (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Tobacco use remains a significant issue in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC), a political and economic union consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Tobacco is responsible for 11.6% and 5.3% of mortalities among men and women, respectively, and causes US$ 34.5 billion financial loss. Tobacco use is expected to slightly decline in GCC countries by 2025, except in Oman, where tobacco use is expected to increase. In GCC countries, tobacco use is influenced by similar socio-cultural and environmental factors acting independently or interacting with other factors. In 2006, the six GCC countries ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) treaty, which was developed by the World Health Organization. The FCTC is composed of evidence-based policies that address environmental and behavioral factors. While FCTC policies have shown a positive effect in many countries, little is known about the impact of the FCTC in GCC countries. Given the past influence of the tobacco industry in culturally and politically connected countries, it becomes necessary to examine tobacco use in the GCC region to prevent the initiation of use and reduce the economic burden associated with tobacco use. The goal of this study was to examine the impact of tobacco control policies on preventing tobacco use among youth in the GCC countries. The study used a mixed-method approach to investigate tobacco control policies. The specific aims of the study were: 1) evaluate the implementation of FCTC measures in the six GCC countries at the national level; 2) examine the relationship between youth susceptibility to initiate tobacco use and key FCTC provisions in five GCC countries; and 3) investigate the occurrence of tobacco use in Arabic media to assess compliance with the FCTC provision on banning tobacco advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship in the GCC region. The longitudinal review of tobacco control measures in the six GCC countries between 2008 and 2020 showed progress in implementing measures related to tobacco packaging, smoking cessation, and tobacco sale to minors in most GCC countries while much less progress in implementing measures related to tobacco prices and taxes and eliminating illicit tobacco trade. Examining the self-reported intention to initiate tobacco use by youth indicated that a person’s susceptibility to begin tobacco use statistically declined over time from the pre- to post-FCTC ratification in Bahrain (15.6% in 2002 to 8.9% in 2015) and Qatar (11.3% in 2004 to 7.3% in 2018), while it increased in the UAE (4.9% in 2002 to 9.3% 2013). Consistent with previous literature, exposure to smoking in public places and tobacco marketing activities increased susceptibility to initiate tobacco use among youth at a statistically significant level. In contrast, exposure to anti-tobacco education in media statistically reduced susceptibility. Finally, the in-depth examination of incidents of tobacco use in Arabic media showed a total of 32,084 incidents of tobacco use in 92 TV series broadcasted between January 2017 and December 2019, suggesting that on-screen tobacco use has not been completely banned in Arabic media. The findings of this study should lead to more collective action in the region. Policymakers should dedicate more efforts to address environmental factors that influence tobacco use, and anti-tobacco advocacy groups should enhance youth engagement in tobacco control activities. Policy surveillance remains the ultimate solution to assess the impact of legal intervention in health outcomes and amend interventions when unintended consequences occur. Future research should continue tracking tobacco control measures at the national and local levels and share policy surveillance data across countries to better assist with the decision-making process. Researchers should examine the implementation process and enforcement activities related to tobacco control policies. Moreover, it is critical to understand the history of the influence of the tobacco industry in the GCC region and examine the current activities of the tobacco industry in order to counter them effectively. Mixed methods research may be an optimal option for researchers to examine the cause-effect relationships and uncover gaps that hinder tobacco control policies from addressing the issue.
    • Exchange-Correlation Kernels Within Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory For Ground-State and Excited-State Properties

      Ruzsinszky, Adrienn; Perdew, John P; Yan, Qimin (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
      The exact exchange-correlation kernel is a functional derivative of the exact time-dependent exchange-correlation (XC) potential with respect to the time-dependent density, evaluated at the ground-state density. As the XC potential is not known, the exact kernel is also unavailable. Therefore, it must be modeled either using many-body perturbation theory or by satisfying the exact constraints for various prototype systems such as the paradigm uniform electron gas (UEG). The random phase approximation (RPA) neglects the kernel, therefore, fails to provide the accurate ground- and excited-state properties for various systems from a simple uniform electron gas to more complex periodic ones. There are numerous corrections to RPA available, including kernel-corrected RPA, often called the beyond-RPA (bRPA) methods. In this work, we employed various bRPA methods for a diverse set of systems together with RPA. At first, we applied RPA based methods to study the phase stability of the cesium halides. Cesium halides phase stability is one of the stringent tests for a density functional approximation to assess its accuracy for dispersion interaction. Experimentally, CsF prefers the rocksalt (B1) phase, while the other halides CsCl, CsBr, and CsI prefer the cesium chloride (B2) phase. Without dispersion interaction, PBE and PBE0 predict all halides to prefer the B1 phase. However, all RPA based methods predict the experimental observations. The bRPA methods usually improve the quantitative prediction over RPA for the ground-state equilibrium properties of cesium halides. Next, we explored binary intermetallic alloys, where we showed that RPA successfully predicts the accurate formation energies of weakly bonded alloys. However, a kernel corrected RPA is needed when dealing with strongly bonded alloys with partially filled d-band metals. We utilized the renormalized ALDA (rALDA) and rAPBE kernel as bRPA methods. Exact constraints and appropriate norms such as the uniform electron gas are very useful to construct various approximations for the exchange-correlation potentials in the ground-state, and the exchange-correlation kernel in the linear-response theory within the TDDFT. These mathematical formulations not only guide us to formulate more robust nonempirical methods, but they also have more predictive power. We showed the importance of these constraints by calculating plasmon dispersion of the uniform electron gas using the non-local, energy-optimized (NEO) kernel using only a few constraints. More predictive power comes with more constraint satisfaction. As a result, we developed a new wavevector- and frequency-dependent exchange-correlation kernel that satisfies all the constraints that it should satisfy with a real frequency. It gives accurate ground-state correlation energy and describes the charge density wave in low-density UEG. It also predicts an accurate plasmon dispersion with a finite lifetime at wavevectors less than the critical one, where the plasmon dispersion meets the electron-hole continuum.
    • Excited state charge redistribution and dynamics of flavins, flavorproteins, and their cofactors

      Stanley, Robert J.; Spano, Francis C.; Matsika, Spiridoula; Peteanu, Linda Anne, 1961- (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      The excited state electronic structures of several biologically important chromophores were studied by Stark spectroscopy. The extent of charge redistribution upon excitation to the lowest excited states of the oxidized and semiquinone forms of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) bound to the light activated DNA repair enzyme DNA photolyase have been studied previously by this technique. This work focuses on the catalytically active form, the two-electron reduced anion. To facilitate analysis of this experiment, the Stark spectra of a simple flavin derivative that is soluble in organic solvents was measured. The results of the analysis of these data are in agreement with previously a published linear dichroism experiment that found the absorption spectrum of flavins in this redox state arises from two distinct electonic transitions in the visible/near-ultraviolet spectral range, a fact that has not been incorporated into the analysis of many ultrafast spectroscopic experiments of reduced anionic flavins/flavoproteins. The difference dipole moment of the second, more intense, transition was found to be about twice as large as that of the lowest energy transition. With the aid of ab initio calculations, the directions of these dipole moments in the molecular frame were assigned. For both transitions, it was found that negative charge density is shifted toward the xylene ring of the flavin upon excitation. Another important consideration for the correct analysis of the photolyase spectra is the possibility of contamination by small amounts of the antenna chromophore, which also has absorption intensity in the near-ultraviolet region. We chose to study the cofactor for E. coli photolyase, 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate, and its photodecomposition product, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate. The difference dipole moments for the lowest energy transitions of both of these chromophores were found to be quite large, ranging from 9-12 D fc and lying primarily along the transition dipole moment. Additionally, the difference polarizability of both chromophores was large, on the order of 200-300 Å3 fc2 . The Stark spectra of reduced anionic FAD in photolyase agrees well with the findings of the experiments on flavin in organic solvent; the magnitude of the difference dipole moments in both cases match within experimental error. While the direction of the difference dipole moment for the lowest transition is also the same in both cases, that of the second transition is changed in the protein matrix. The assignment of these vectors in the molecular frame shows that the two dipole moments are coincident for the cofactor bound to photolyase. This finding, where electron density is shifted toward the point of the flavin ring closes to the DNA lesion bound to the enzyme, is strong evidence that direct electron transfer takes place from the isoalloxazine ring of FAD to the DNA substrate in the catalytic cycle. The usefulness of Stark spectroscopy in investigating photoinduced charge redistribution was also shown for the donor-π-acceptor flavin dyad, azobenzylflavin (ABFL). The difference dipole moment was found to be 22 D, an approximately three-fold increase from the largest difference dipole moment found in naturally occurring flavins. This extensive charge redistribution corresponds to a large hyperpolarizability of the chromophore that suggests that ABFL may be useful in nonlinear optical applications. Transient absorption was used to supplement these experiments by monitoring the decay kinetics of ABFL after excitation. It was found that ABFL undergoes ultrafast charge recombination within 6 ps after excitation, leading to depopulation of the charge separated state before useful work can be performed for applications requiring electron transfer. These studies provide the ground work for rational design of other ABFL-like derivatives for use in a variety of applications.

      Stanley, Robert J.; Valentine, Ann M.; Nicholson, Allen W.; Yang, Weidong, Dr. (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      Repair mechanisms for damaged DNA are essential for the proliferation of nearly all forms of life. Although DNA is quite robust, the vital information-storing molecule can often be damaged from environmental exposures such as ultra-violet (UV) light. Exposure to UV light can result in various types of mutagens creating structural damages. One specific type of UV-induced damage is the creation of a cyclobutylpyrimidine dimer (CPD). This specific type of lesion can be efficiently repaired by the flavoenzyme DNA photolyase (PL). DNA photolyase is an ancient protein found across kingdoms and plays a crucial role in preventing mutagenesis and cell death. DNA photolyase is a monomeric flavoprotein that utilizes blue light to repair UV-induced CPD lesions in DNA via an electron transfer mechanism. All photolyases contain at least one flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) molecule as the catalytic cofactor responsible for initiating the electron transfer induced repair process. Flavin cofactors are intriguing because of their unique ability to donate one or two electrons. The conservation of FAD and the unique U-shaped configuration of FAD in PL led researchers to question if the adenine moiety of the FAD molecule was essential in the DNA repair mechanism and generated a spectral signature indicative of a radical adenine species. The importance of the adenine moiety could be linked to structural changes associated with environmental temperature. The rate of electron transfer is exponentially dependent on temperature and DNA photolyase is found in organisms which thrive in harsh environments that vary in temperature, pH, ionic strength etc. Photolyase presents a unique opportunity to study the adaptations that are required for proteins to function in extreme environments where temperature dependent processes should show dramatic differences. We have used ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy to compare the similarities and differences in excited state dynamics of the FAD cofactor. Photolyase isolated from the hyperthermophilic archaea Sulfolobus solfataricus (SsPL) is compared to PL isolated from the mesophilic E. coli (EcPL). These results indicate differences in the dynamics of fully reduced flavin between enzymes as a function of temperature. We present evidence for charge separation in the FAD cofactor in the thermophilic enzyme previously seen in computation studies of photolyase. To investigate the excited state charge redistribution of flavin which is critical to its role in nature, the charge redistribution of the precursors to flavin biosynthesis were examined. Lumazine is a precursor in the biosynthetic pathway of flavins. As such, lumazine could have served as an enzymatic cofactor prior to flavins. Lumazine has been identified in biological processes, however it is not as prevalent as flavins. We utilize Stark spectroscopy to examine the charge redistribution in excited state lumazine to understand
    • Excited state electronic properties of DNA photolyase and fluorescent nucleobase analogues (FBA): An experimental and theoretical study

      Stanley, Robert J.; Nicholson, Allen W.; Matsika, Spiridoula; Schelvis, Johannes Petrus Maria, 1966- (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      An overexposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause sunburn and some forms of skin cancer. UV light causes many different photoproducts. The cys-syn cyclobutylpyrimidine dimer (CPD) is the major photoproduct upon UV irradiation. DNA photolyase (PL) is a light-driven flavoprotein that repairs CPD in UV-damaged DNA. This repair process occurs in the presence of blue light through ultrafast photo-induced electron transfer from reduced anionic flavin adenine dinucleotide (FADH¯) to the CPD by an unknown mechanism. Since the excited state flavin transfers an electron to repair the damaged DNA, it is of utmost importance that we understand better the excited state properties of the flavins. In this work the excited state electronic properties of all three-oxidation states of flavin: oxidized form (FAD), semiquinone radical form (FADH•) and reduced anionic form (FADH¯) were studied using Stark spectroscopy and complimented by time dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations. These results are presented and discussed in Chapter 3 and 4. The difference dipole moments (Δμ) and the difference polarizabilities (Tr(Δα01)) were experimentally determined for first two lowest optically accessible states. The results are discussed in the context of photoreduction of flavins in wider class of flavoprotein blue light photoreceptors and catalytic electron transfer process in DNA repair. In the later part of this thesis (Chapters 5 and 6) the excited state electronic properties of monomeric 2-Aminopurine (2AP), 8-Vinyladenine 8VA were presented. These 8VA, 2AP are examples of fluorescent nucleotide analogues of adenine that can be incorporated into DNA with little perturbation of the normal double-helical structure. The fluorescence of these analogues is quenched when incorporated in double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). The basic mechanism underlying the fluorescence quenching by base stacking of 2AP and 8VA are is not well understood, and thus exploring the excited state electronic structures of these bases is an important first step. We have explored the excited state properties of 2AP and 8VA in frozen LiCl and ethanol solutions using Stark spectroscopy. High-level ab initio and TD-DFT calculations were performed to compliment the experimental results.
    • Exclusive Production of Quarkonia and Generalized Parton Distributions

      Metz, Andreas; Burkhardt, T. W. (Theodore W.), 1940-; Meziani, Zein-Eddine; Riseborough, Peter; Gamberg, Leonard P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      The understanding of the nucleon is as of yet not complete. In particular, the contribution of the gluon content is not well understood. Utilizing the framework of Generalized Parton Distributions enables predictions to be made if some information on them is known. We investigated exclusive photo and electroproduction of heavy vector mesons (the quarkonia J/ψ and ϒ), which can give access to the currently poorly constrained gluon distribution Eg. For this reason, we implemented a model for it with several variants in order to represent a spread of plausible distributions. We used current experimental results for exclusive φ and ρ0 production to test our variants for Eg. For quarkonium production, the analytic calculation of the Leading Order production amplitudes was performed, verifying results published previously, in particular confirming that in the non-relativistic collinear approximation there is no access to the polarized or gluon helicity flip distributions, i.e. Hg and HgT. Numerical results for both the Leading Order and, in the case of photoproduction, also Next-to-Leading Order amplitudes were calculated, based on our Leading Order amplitudes and already existing Next-to-Leading Order expressions. The observables we looked at are the unpolarized cross section, spin density matrix elements, and two spin-asymmetries --- the transverse single-spin asymmetry An, and a newly discussed double-spin asymmetry ALS, which we identified as a very promising observable for measuring Eg. We find that in the case of J/ψ photoproduction higher order corrections seem not well under control, while for ϒ production the numerical results become much more stable.
    • Executive Control Function and Emotion Regulation Processes in the Developmental Pathway from Childhood Maltreatment to Alcohol Use Problems

      Drabick, Deborah A.; Giovannetti, Tania; Chen, Eunice Y.; Olino, Thomas; Gould, Thomas John, 1966-; Xie, Hongling (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      Experiencing maltreatment during childhood has been implicated in numerous and diverse developmental impairments, including problematic alcohol use and alcohol use disorders. However, little research examines the processes by which childhood maltreatment confers risk for alcohol use problems, or potential risk or protective factors in the emergence of problematic alcohol use among individuals experiencing childhood maltreatment. To address this gap, the current study investigated executive cognitive functions and emotion regulation as probable risk or protective factors linking childhood maltreatment and subsequent problematic alcohol use, given that deficits in both executive cognitive functions and emotion regulation are associated with maltreatment and problematic alcohol use. Participants were drawn from a longitudinal sample of children at both high and low risk for substance dependence, based on their paternal history of psychiatric or substance use disorder (N = 475; 70% male; 74% Caucasian, 23% African American, 3% multiracial; M = 11.38±.93 years at Time 1). Analyses involved both person- and variable-centered approaches. The person-centered approach identified groups of individuals based on maltreatment experiences, executive cognitive functions, and emotion regulation, and then examined whether and to what extent these classes differed on concurrent and longitudinal problematic alcohol use. Findings suggested that there are distinct risk groups consisting of abuse/neglect, neglect only, executive control function deficits, and emotion regulation deficits. These groups did not differ on levels of alcohol use, counter to prediction. Variable-centered approaches involved a longitudinal examination of pathways from childhood maltreatment to alcohol use frequency and symptoms of alcohol use disorder that included executive cognitive functioning and emotion regulation. Results of these variable-centered structural equation modeling analyses indicated that maltreatment, executive control function, and emotion regulation concurrently predicted problematic alcohol use. Investigating the current models allows for a better understanding of pathways to alcohol use in both adolescence and adulthood, which has implications for prevention and intervention, particularly in identifying groups at highest risk for problematic alcohol use outcomes and in treatment selection or modification.

      Kotabe, Masaaki; Hamilton, Robert D. (Robert Devitt); Balsam, Steven; Blau, Gary J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      This dissertation consists of three papers examining managerial decision theory, executive compensation, and firm performance. The first paper examines the relationship between executive pay and common equity holdings and risk-adjusted performance; the second paper examines the relationship between executive pay and common equity holdings and strategic decisions, specifically entry mode decisions; and, the third paper develops theory related to the relationship between organizational constitution, valuation constitution, and executive compensation.

      Tobin, Ren�e Margaret; Booth, Julie L.; Schneider, W. Joel; Farley, Frank; Newton, Kristie Jones, 1973- (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      As procedural flexibility, previously understood as adaptive reasoning, emerges as an important consideration in math skill development, it is important to account for executive functioning in that process as well, as executive functioning a well-researched factor in math performance. The current study, a secondary data analysis, explores how students rate themselves on the Executive Skills Questionnaire – Revised (ESQ-R), an informal executive skills measure, and how those scores relate to procedural flexibility scores, which accounts for students’ efficiency in math problem solving. Using the factor structure relevant to the current sample, which varies significantly from the current ESQ-R, findings indicate that procedural flexibility is lower in seventh grade when compared to sixth and eighth grades. Perceived executive skills vary positively across sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, indicating more perceived difficulties with executive skills as students move up in grade. Additional analyses explored the relationships between procedural flexibility and ESQ-R scores. Although there was no evidence of a significant relationship between procedural flexibility and ESQ-R scores, the relationship varied across grade level, yielding a negative relationship for sixth grade, a neutral relationship fore seventh grade, and a positive relationship for eighth grade. This pattern indicates that procedural flexibility may become more readily demonstrated, and possibly more valuable, as students gain mastery of skills and procedures and students may become more critical of their executive skills. Procedural flexibility is also highly sensitive to context and curriculum, based on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.