Now showing items 1-20 of 3986

    • The Role of Intolerance of Uncertainty in the Treatment of Anxious Youth

      Kendall, Philip C; Olino, Thomas; Heimberg, Richard; Drabick, Deborah; Giovannetti, Tania; McCloskey, Michael (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Background: Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is a cognitive vulnerability implicated in the etiology and maintenance of pathological anxiety. Research has yet to examine IU during the course of treatment for anxious youth to inform whether IU may be an important construct to target to improve the effectiveness of available interventions. The current study evaluated whether IU mediates the relationship between anxiety severity pre- to post-treatment while controlling for levels of IU at pre-treatment. Methods: Participants were 69 youth aged 7 to 17 who participated in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety. Youth and their caregiver(s) completed a diagnostic interview administered by an Independent Evaluator (IE) and self- and parent-report measures pre- and post-treatment. Multiple regression mediation analyses examined the degree to which mid-treatment IU mediates the relationship between anxiety severity pre- to post-treatment while controlling for pre-treatment IU. Multiple regression mediation analyses also examined the degree to which post-treatment IU mediates the relationship between anxiety severity pre- to post-treatment while controlling for pre-treatment IU. For both analyses, three separate models were estimated to measure anxiety severity (a) by IE-report, (b) by youth self-report and (c) by parent-report. Results: There were no significant indirect effects for IE-, youth-, or parent-report models when mid-treatment IU or post-treatment IU were tested as potential mediators. Discussion: Additional work is needed to explore other potential mediators of CBT outcomes as well as the role of IU before attempts are made to target IU directly to improve current interventions. Study limitations and future directions are discussed.
    • Pubertal Stage and Depression: A Test of Within-Person Effects and Psychosocial Mediators

      Alloy, Lauren B; Olino, Thomas M; Drabick, Deborah; Kendall, Philip C; Chen, Eunice Y; Steinberg, Laurence (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      It has been hypothesized that pubertal development may contribute to the gender gap indepression that emerges during adolescence, but past work has been limited by the use of crosssectional analyses. The current study utilized multilevel parallel process growth models to test sex and racial differences in the association between within-person change in pubertal stage and within-person change in depressive symptoms across adolescence, controlling for age. Models were tested in a community sample of 608 youth aged 13 at baseline (Boys: M = 13.03, SD = 0.80; Girls: M = 13.08, SD = 1.00) balanced on sex and race (Caucasian/White and African American/Black). It also tested body esteem, stressful life events, and peer victimization as mediators of this relation. Results suggested that depression increased with adrenal stage among boys, but depression was unrelated to pubertal stage among girls. Further, there was no evidence of racial differences in these associations. We did not find any evidence for body esteem, stressful life events, or peer victimization as mediators of the association between pubertal stage (adrenal or gonadal) and depressive symptoms. Limitations such as the age and advanced development among participants may explain these findings.
    • Chronic Inflammation as a Pathway Leading to Cognitive Dysfunction in Depressed Youth

      Alloy, Lauren; Ellman, Lauren; Giovannetti, Tania; Olino, Thomas; Kendall, Philip; Murty, Vishnu (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Cognitive functioning is disrupted during a depressive episode and cognitive dysfunction persists when depression is in remission. A subtype of depressed individuals who exhibit elevated inflammatory biomarkers may be at particular risk for cognitive dysfunction. We examined whether an elevated inflammatory biomarker (C-reactive protein: CRP) in acute and/or remitted depression was associated with specific deficits in executive functioning, episodic memory, and verbal fluency. Data were drawn from a population-based sample of Dutch adolescents (N = 1,066; 46% male) recruited at the age of 11 and followed over the course of eight years. We tested whether adolescents with either, (i) a history of depression (Wave 1 – 3) or (ii) current depression (Wave 4), and elevated levels of C-reactive protein measured in blood at Wave 3 performed worse on cognitive assessments at Wave 4. Eight measures of cognitive functioning were hypothesized to load on to one of three dimensions of cognitive functioning (executive functioning, episodic memory, and verbal fluency) within a structural equation model framework. Higher levels of CRP were associated with worse future executive functioning in adolescents with and without current/prior depression. A current depression diagnosis also was associated with worse future executive functioning. There was consistent evidence linking low socioeconomic status and health-related covariates (high body mass index/sedentary behavior) with worse performance across multiple measures of cognitive functioning and, importantly, the association of depression/CRP and executive functioning was no longer significant when controlling for these covariates. Future studies may benefit from investigating whether specific depressogenic behaviors (e.g., sedentary behavior/substance use) mediate a relationship between depression and worse executive functioning, potentially via a prospective pathway through elevated inflammation.
    • Imaginal Exposure for Disordered Eating Related Fears: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

      Heimberg, Richard G (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Exposure therapy has been investigated as a potential treatment for eating disorders, but prior research has largely neglected to target core fears driving the disorder. New research suggests that disordered eating behaviors may be driven by underlying feared consequences such as rejection, abandonment, disgust, and loss of control, among others. Targeting these core fears may be best achieved through imaginal exposure, a type of exposure that involves imagining the feared consequences to be true. To test imaginal exposure as an intervention for disordered eating related fears, we randomized participants (N = 47) with high scores on the Eating Disorder Examination - Self-Report Questionnaire to one of three conditions: imaginal exposure (IE), imaginal exposure preceded by a brief food exposure (IE + Food), or an assessment control (AC). Participants attended two in-person laboratory visits and completed pretreatment, posttreatment, and one-month follow-up questionnaires. Disordered eating symptoms, food and eating related fears, preoccupations, and rituals decreased following treatment, but no differences were found between conditions on the degree of change. Within- and between-session habituation occurred for subjective distress and believability of feared outcomes, suggesting that imaginal exposure effectively activates and targets disordered eating related fears. Distress tolerance and confidence in ability to change improved following the active interventions. Our study demonstrates that imaginal exposure is an acceptable intervention for disordered eating related fears, and future research must examine these questions within a longer course of treatment.

      Drabick, Debora; McCloskey, Michael; Taylor, Ronald; Xie, Hongling; Alloy, Lauren; Giovannetti, Tania (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Childhood mental health problems are considered to fall along internalizing and externalizing dimensions; however, this framing does not fully capture the complexity of the relations among these symptoms. Specifically, internalizing problems (Int), conduct problems (CP), and callous/unemotional (CU) behaviors frequently co-occur and may share emotion functioning and contextual correlates that differentially confer risk across these potential symptom profiles. Research is shifting toward testing models of shared vulnerabilities to childhood emotional and behavioral symptoms, but has yet to extensively examine CU behaviors concurrently with these symptoms. The culmination of findings across relevant literature, though sparse, identifies candidate shared child-specific correlates such as emotion function (i.e., recognition, regulation, lability, processing); exposure to community violence; parent emotion socialization practices; and peer processes (e.g., bullying/victimization, social support) as shared correlates of Int, CP, and CU behaviors that may further differentiate profiles that differ in the frequency, type, or severity of symptoms. Such information could facilitate identification of youth at risk for problematic symptoms and outcomes. The current study sought to identify profiles of Int, CP, and CU behaviors in a sample of 104 low-income (69% income < $19,999; all eligible for free school meals) urban youth (M= 9.93 ± 1.22 years old; 50% male; 95% African American). Teachers rated Int, CP, and CU behaviors; and caregivers rated their emotion socialization practices and youth emotion regulation and lability. Youth reported on bullying, peer victimization, social support, and exposure to community violence and completed two lab tasks to assess emotion recognition and processing. A latent profile analysis yielded three teacher-reported profiles: (1) high internalizing, moderate CU, and moderate CP (High-Int/Mod-CU/CP, n = 16; 51.7% male); (2) high generalized anxiety disorder symptoms, CU, and CP (High-GAD/CU/CP, n = 16; 80.9% male); and (3) low problematic behaviors (Low, n = 59; 45.5% male), with the first two profiles rated as having co-occurring presentations of anxiety, depression, and CU behaviors, with different levels of CP. Auxiliary analyses revealed that the High-Int/Mod-CU/CP and High-GAD/CU/CP profiles differed only in levels of recognition of sad facial expressions, whereas the High-GAD/CU/CP and Low profiles differed on witnessing community violence and emotion regulation. The High-GAD/CU/CP profile also reportedly exhibited the greatest engagement in bullying and emotional lability. Current findings add to the growing literature on profiles of youth emotional and behavioral problems that include different constellations with co-occurring CU behaviors among youth in contexts that place them at increased risk for poor functional outcomes.
    • The Physiometrics of Inflammation and Implications for Medical and Psychiatric Research: Toward Empirically-informed Inflammatory Composites

      Alloy, Lauren B; Ellman, Lauren M; Olino, Thomas; McCloskey, Michael; Smith, David V; Bangasser, Debra (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Most psychoneuroimmunology research examines individual proteins; however, some studies have used summed score composites of all available inflammatory markers without evaluating the appropriateness of this decision. Using three different samples (MIDUS-2: N = 1,255 adults, MIDUS-R: N =863 adults, and ACE: N = 315 adolescents), this study investigates the dimensionality of eight inflammatory proteins (C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), fibrinogen, E-selectin, and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1) and compares the resulting factor structure to a) an “a priori” factor structure in which all inflammatory proteins equally load onto a single dimension (a technique that has been used previously) and b) proteins modeled individually (i.e., no latent variable) in terms of model fit, replicability, reliability, temporal stability, and their associations with medical history and depression symptoms. A hierarchical factor structure with two first-order factors (Factor 1A: CRP, IL-6, fibrinogen; Factor 2A: TNF-α, IL-8, IL-10, ICAM-1, IL-6) and a second-order general inflammation factor was identified in MIDUS-2 and replicated in MIDUS-R and partially replicated in ACE (which unfortunately only had CRP, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α but, unlike the other two, has longitudinal data). Both the empirically-identified structure and modeling proteins individually fit the data better compared to the one-dimensional “a priori” structure. Results did not clearly indicate whether the empirically-identified factor structure or the individual proteins modeled without a latent variable had superior model fit. Modeling the empirically-identified factors and individual proteins (without a latent factor) as outcomes of medical diagnoses resulted in comparable conclusions, but modeling empirically-identified factors resulted in fewer results “lost” to correction for multiple comparisons. Importantly, when the factor scores were recreated in a longitudinal dataset, none of the individual proteins, the “a priori” factor, or the empirically-identified general inflammation factor significantly predicted concurrent depression symptoms in multilevel models. However, both empirically-identified first-order factors were significantly associated with depression, in opposite directions. Measurement properties are reported for the different aggregates and individual proteins as appropriate, which can be used in the design and interpretation of future studies. These results indicate that modeling inflammation as a unidimensional construct equally associated with all available proteins does not fit the data well. Instead, empirically-supported aggregates of inflammation, or individual inflammatory markers, should be used in accordance with theory. Further, the aggregation of shared variance achieved by constructing empirically-supported aggregates might increase predictive validity compared to other modeling choices, maximizing statistical power.

      Drabick, Deborah D; Kendall, Philip C; McCloskey, Michael; Heimberg, Richard G; Giovannetti, Tania; Xie, Hongling (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      There is a particularly robust relation between neighborhood disadvantage and youth conduct problems. Given conduct problems are heterogeneous, it is likely that distinct subgroups of youth who differ in conduct problems and related correlates may be identifiable. The present study identified profiles of youth from a low-income, urban community participating in the Coping Power Program. Profiles were characterized by teacher-reported psychosocial and behavioral functioning assessed at pre-intervention among a sample of 61 fourth-grade students (98% Black/African American; M age = 9.87 ± 0.50; 58.3% female). Auxiliary analyses investigated whether and how these profiles differ on concurrent child-reported conduct problems and contextual (i.e., neighborhood, peer) factors and whether profile membership was associated with post-intervention teacher-reported outcomes. Latent profile analysis identified four profiles: (1) Moderate Conduct Problems (Mod CP; n = 6); (2) Moderate Conduct Problems/Callous-Unemotional Behavior with Moderate Peer Victimization (Mod CP/CU+Mod PV; n = 9); (3) High Conduct Problems/Callous-Unemotional Behavior with Low Prosocial Behavior (High CP/CU+Low Pro; n = 7); and Typically Developing (TD; n = 37). Profiles differed on child-reported outcome expectations for aggressive behavior, such that Mod CP/CU+Mod PV and High CP/CU+Low Pro were more likely to expect aggression to reduce aversive treatment from others. The High CP/CU+Low Pro profile had the most consistent post-intervention improvement across outcomes, though profile responsiveness to the intervention was variable and differed based on how outcomes were operationalized. Findings inform identification of youth from low-income, urban communities who may be at risk for negative outcomes and/or more amenable to preventive interventions for conduct problems.

      Olino, Thomas M.; McCloskey, Michael; Alloy, Lauren; Chein, Jason; Giovannetti, Tania; Heimberg, Richard (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.

      Olino, Thomas M; Kendall, Philip; McCloskey, Michael; Jarcho, Johanna; Giovannetti, Tania; Alloy, Lauren (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Extensive work has examined the relationship between rumination and executive functioning (EF) mainly in adult samples, lending support for theory that rumination is characterized by poorer shifting, inhibition, and/or working memory updating abilities. However, literature on the relationship between rumination and EF in youth is more equivocal. Further, the directionality of this relationship is somewhat unclear, and may differ as a function of EF type. The present study conducted a longitudinal, bidirectional examination of the relationship between rumination on both negative and positive affect and several types of EF in a sample of 175 youth (aged 9-13) at baseline, 9-month, and 18-month follow-up assessments. Although rumination was not associated with shifting, inhibition, and/or working memory, support generally emerged for significant concurrent relationships between rumination and greater problems with inhibition, planning/organization, and monitoring. There was minimal support for significant longitudinal relationships between rumination and EF, and no evidence emerged for relationships between rumination on positive affect and EF. The present study provides some support for a “common cause” model of the relationship between rumination and EF (e.g., depressive symptoms; shared neurobiological dysfunction), although more research is needed to examine longitudinal relationships between these constructs.
    • The Other Dreamers: International Students, Temporary Workers, and the Limits of Legality in the United States

      Stankiewicz, Damien, 1980-; Lazarus-Black, Mindie; Gould-Taylor, Sally A.; Schiller, Naomi, 1978-; Nair, Vijayanka (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Over one million international students enter the United States each year. By definition, international students are nonimmigrants, ineligible to settle permanently in the United States. Yet, more than 45% of graduating international students extend their legal status with a temporary work permit that paves a path to legal permanent residence and ultimately naturalization. This dissertation examines how people unauthorized to immigrate learn about, navigate, and take advantage of scant opportunities for legal permanent residence. This long-term, multi-sited ethnographic research follows international students as they traverse a complex legal rite of passage that transforms aliens into citizens. People with nonimmigrant status move and are moved through rites of separation, liminality, and incorporation, which are highly interwoven with and contingent upon other unfolding ritual processes. Identification of imbricated rites of passage, and the rituals therein, then works to demystify migrant incorporation as a discrete, linear process. Examination of the holistic nonimmigrant to immigrant rite of passage also serves as an intervention against indiscriminate theorizations of sustained or permanent liminality, which perpetuate violence by confusing marginalizing social contexts for the inherent qualities of individuals. Utilizing an interpretive policy analysis approach, the dissertation moves beyond tracing the nonimmigrant figure to map the everyday people—including higher education staff, employers, and romantic partners—who become de facto immigration enforcement agents, constructing policies and procedures that transform students’ legal and social identities according to a diverse range of legal, cultural, political, and moral commitments.Interrogation of this underexamined guest labor and naturalization program reveals compounding contradictions between international students’ economic, political, and physical belonging, which produce devastating material, biological and psychological consequences. Despite their legal status, people with nonimmigrant status face family separation, restricted mobility, delegitimated labor, and deportation, yet are left out of proposed and implemented policies focused on legalization, Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status, as well as local inflections of sanctuary. The dissertation identifies ableism, the legal production of dependence, and exclusion from adjustment of status as untheorized strategies which work in coordination with illegality to subordinate individuals and labor. This research pushes beyond the lawful/unlawful, deserving/undeserving, and citizen/noncitizen binaries, advancing anthropological understandings of governance, governmentality, and the processes of making and unmaking immigrants.

      Metz, Andreas; Constantinou, Martha; Surrow, Bernd; Cichy, Krzysztof (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      It has been known since the 1930’s that protons and neutrons, collectively called as nucleons, are not “point-like” elementary particles, but rather have a substructure. Today, we know from Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) that nucleons are made from quarks and gluons, with gluons being the elementary force carriers for strong interactions. Quarks and gluons are collectively called as partons. The substructure of the nucleons can be described in terms of parton correlation functions such as Form Factors, (1D) Parton Distribution Functions (PDFs) and their 3D generalizations in terms of Transverse Momentum-dependent parton Distributions (TMDs) and Generalized Parton Distributions (GPDs). All these functions can be derived from the even more general Generalized Transverse Momentum-dependent Distributions (GTMDs). This dissertation promises to provide an insight into all these functions from the point of view of their accessibility in experiments, from model calculations, and from their direct calculation within lattice formulations of QCD. In the first part of this dissertation, we identify physical processes to access GTMDs. By considering the exclusive double Drell-Yan process, we demonstrate, for the very first time, that quark GTMDs can be measured. We also show that exclusive double-quarkonium production in nucleon-nucleon collisions is a direct probe of gluon GTMDs. In the second part of this dissertation, we shift our focus to the “parton quasi-distributions”. Over the last few decades, lattice QCD extraction of the full x-dependence of the parton distributions has always been prohibited by the explicit time-dependence of the correlation functions. In 2013, there was a path-breaking proposal by X. Ji to calculate instead parton quasi-distributions (quasi-PDFs). The procedure of “matching” is a crucial ingredient in the lattice QCD extraction of parton distributions from the quasi-PDF approach. We address the matching for the twist-3 PDFs gT (x), e(x), and hL(x) for the very first time. We pay special attention to the challenges involved in the calculations due to the presence of singular zero-mode contributions. We also present the first-ever lattice QCD results for gT (x) and hL(x) and we discuss the impact of these results on the phenomenology. Next, we explore the general features of quasi-GPDs and quasi-PDFs in diquark spectator models. Furthermore, we address the Burkhardt-Cottingham-type sum rules for the relevant light-cone PDFs and quasi-PDFs in a model-independent manner and also check them explicitly in perturbative model calculations. The last part of this dissertation focuses on the extraction g1T (x,~k2⊥) TMD for the very first time from experimental data using Monte Carlo techniques. This dissertation therefore unravels different aspects of the distribution functions from varied perspectives.

      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.
    • GT-shadows related to finite quotients of the full modular group

      Dolgushev, Vasily; Lorenz, Martin, 1951-; Stover, Matthew; Combe, Noémie (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      GT-shadows are tantalizing objects that can be thought of as “approximations” to elements of the mysterious Grothendieck-Teichmueller group GT introduced by V. Drinfeld in 1990 [5]. GT-shadows [4] form a groupoid whose objects are certain finite index normal subgroups of Artin’s braid group B4 on 4 strands. In this thesis we introduce GT-shadows for the gentle version GTgen of the Grothendieck-Teichmueller group. These entities are morphisms of a groupoid GTSh whose objects are certain finite index normal subgroups of Artin’s braid group B3 on 3 strands. We explore the connected components of GTSh for sub- groups of B3 coming from the standard homomorphism from B3 to SL2(Z/qZ), where q is a power of an odd prime integer > 3.
    • Bronzino in Duke Cosimo I de' Medici's Court: Manufacturing Propaganda in Sixteenth-Century Italy

      Hall, Marcia B.; Cooper, Tracy Elizabeth; West, Ashley D.; Lingo, Stuart, 1964- (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      My dissertation “Bronzino in Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici’s Court: Manufacturing Propaganda in Sixteenth-Century Italy” challenges entrenched scholarly approaches on the artist which developed during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Bronzino (1503-1572) is best known for his autograph portraits and the painting Allegory with Venus and Cupid; yet the scholarship on the artist has suffered due to the inordinate focus on this very select portion of his artwork. The portraits and allegory have been scrutinized so intensely because they have been deemed masterpieces of the Western canon. However, almost three-quarters of his oeuvre, in particular the copies of the ducal portraits made by Bronzino and his workshop, as well as the religious paintings, have been neglected due to their non-masterpiece status. To bring a fresh approach to Bronzino scholarship, my research hinges on the matter of how the painter’s artistic practices changed when he began to manufacture propaganda for the court of the second duke of Florence, Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574). This topic elicits questions such as how an artist transformed their workshop to a salaried court studio as well as the complicated realities of manufacturing propaganda for a principality. By focusing my dissertation on this topic, my study offers a different way of understanding Bronzino and a way to think with the painter on broader questions related to the life of an early modern court artist.

      Praticò, Domenico; Fossati, Silvia; Drosatos, Konstantinos (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Neurodegenerative disorders occur when neurons, in the brain and spinal cord, begin to decline. Instabilities in these cells cause them to function irregularly and eventually result in death. A subset of these diseases is called tauopathies. Tauopathies are characterized by a filamentous accumulation of hyper-phosphorylated tau, in neurons and glial cells. Currently, it is unknown how tau becomes hyper-phosphorylated and/or it accumulates in the brain. Tau is a highly soluble natively unfolded protein, closely associated with the proper functioning of the cytoskeletal network. However, in tauopathies, tau becomes an insoluble protein that forms intracellular fibrillar deposits in neurons and glial cells. Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between the abnormal increase in tau phosphorylation, the cell cycle, and MiRNA-22-3p. There have been several strategies and targets developed in order to treat tauopathies, but there are no known consistent, effective treatments. Recently, miRNAs have emerged as a potential target to manipulate the tau protein. MiRNAs are small noncoding RNAs, that control major cellular functions by binding to the 3’ untranslated region of messenger RNAs, causing inhibition of their translation or promoting their degradation. We have hypothesized that miRNA-22-3p halts abnormal tau phosphorylation levels, in brain endothelial cells. To test this hypothesis, we transfected a miRNA-22-3p mimic, into a brain endothelial cell line. Then, we ran a western blot experiment to look at the proteins, related to tau. We looked at total tau, tau phosphorylation at different epitopes, and P21, a cell cycle marker. Our data demonstrated that miRNA-22-3p halts abnormal tau phosphorylation. In conclusion, we have shown a relationship between miRNA-22-3p and tau phosphorylation. We have highlighted a possible therapeutic benefit that, when investigated further, could serve as a potential treatment on tauopathies and accentuated favorable targets against abnormal tau phosphorylation. We hope to be able to provide others with the information needed to manipulate miRNA-22-3p and downregulate the expression of the tau protein.
    • Design of the electron spectrometer for the HUNTER experiment and timescale of electron thermalization in liquid Argon for directional detection of WIMP dark matter

      Martoff, Charles Jeffrey; Metz, Andreas; Meyers, Peter; Surrow, Bernd (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      Neutrino physics has been going through rapid developments since the particle was first proposed by Pauli. The observation of neutrino oscillations has prompted an investigation of the issue of neutrino mass, with the "seesaw" mechanism garnering theoretical support. The HUNTER (Heavy Unseen Neutrinos from the Total Energy-momentum Reconstruction) experiment brings together AMO, nuclear physics and high energy physics researchers from Temple University, Houston University, UCLA and Princeton University to develop an apparatus capable of probing the keV-mass range of sterile neutrinos with high precision. The HUNTER detector makes use of the well-established COLTRIMS techniques for the collection of all the decay products of a neutrino-producing decay, and the reconstruction of their initial momenta and energies. Energy and momentum conservation allow then for the reconstruction of the missing neutrino mass.Electrons produced in the decay are guided towards their detector by an optimized set of electrodes paired to a magnetic field to confine their trajectories into spirals. A magnetic shield protects the electron from external stray fields that could alter their trajectories. A thorough study on the main source of background, namely the source scattering of ions, was conducted. As an additional topic, the feasibility of a directional-sensitive dark matter search experiment has been studied. Simple models of galactic dark matter distribution suggest that the motion of the Earth in space might introduce a directional anisotropy in the WIMPs momentum distribution at the Earth. The shape of a WIMP-like recoil in a target material could be be used to extract directional information for the incident WIMP, and thus confirm the anisotropy. The peculiar microphysics of liquid Argon requires thermalization of ionization electrons for a signal to form. To determine if directional information can be extracted, one needs to understand the energy spectrum of the electrons emitted in recoil event. Then, one needs a model to determine the time scale of the thermalization, and the distance to which the electrons travel.
    • Measuring the Effect of Immigrant Legal Status on Socioeconomic Outcomes: Variations by Legal Status Assignment Approach

      Bachmeier, James D.; Klugman, Joshua; Goyette, Kimberly A.; Altman, Claire E. (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      This dissertation examines the association between immigrant legal status and several key indicators of socioeconomic wellbeing in the United States. The objective is to test whether estimates of these associations vary depending on the method used to infer legal status in survey data. Specifically, I compare estimates from the following legal status assignment approaches: (1) inferring legal status using a logical imputation method that ignores the existence of legal-status survey questions (logical approach); (2) defining legal status based on survey questions about legal status (survey approach); (3) using statistical models to assign multiple possible legal statuses in the framework of combined sample multiple imputation (CSMI approach); and (4) using administrative records from the Social Security Administration’s Numident database to assign “official” status information to survey respondents (Numident approach). Each chapter can be read as a stand-alone study that uses nationally representative survey data to compare estimates of the association between legal status and a given outcome between two or more assignment approaches. Results from these analyses show that methodological decisions about how to infer the legal status of survey respondents have significant impacts on conclusions about the association between legal status and socioeconomic outcomes. The findings call for a more cautious approach to interpreting research results based on legal status imputations and for greater attention to potential biases introduced by various methodological approaches to inferring individuals’ legal status in survey data.

      Jones, Nora L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Since the early nineteenth century, physicians have been offering the tracheostomy as a second chance at life. This procedure both saves and inextricably changes lives. Medical providers have barely scratched the surface of understanding the complexities of offering this technology. Ethically, however, we have an obligation to improve the process. We must support the patients and their caregivers and utilize everything at our disposal to ensure that we are safeguarding their quality of life.

      Churchill, Eton, 1964-; Churchill, Eton, 1964-; Beglar, David; Burrows, Lance; McLean, Stuart (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      ABSTRACTThis study is an investigation of Japanese university students’ use of metacognitive knowledge for reading an English narrative text for general comprehension and their inference generation while reading. Research in second language (L2) reading and reading comprehension has advanced over the past three and half decades (Grabe & Stoller, 2020). Many studies focusing on L2 reading comprehension have shed light on the strong correlation of linguistic knowledge such as vocabulary and syntax with reading comprehension (e.g., Jeon & Yamashita, 2014). In addition, the literature on L2 reading has shown a strong interest in the role of higher-order processing and metacognition. However, there is a paucity of research on higher-order processing and metacognitive knowledge in L2 reading in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts. With these gaps in mind, this study draws on Flavell’s (1979) model of cognitive monitoring and Nelson and Narens’ (1990) model of metacognition. It also draws on Kintsch’s (1988) Construction-Integration (CI) Model that elaborately describes the process of reading comprehension. Ten intermediate- and advanced-proficiency Japanese EFL learners voluntarily participated in this multiple case study, read a narrative text for general comprehension, and reported on their reading. The data collected from the participants’ course assignments, class oral presentation, class discussion, semi-structured interviews, and the think aloud and stimulated recall protocols were transcribed and coded for analysis. The transcribed data together with the written data were analyzed thematically clustering the data into categories manually using Flavell’s (1979) framework of metacognitive knowledge, person, task, and strategy, and by the types of inferences made. This study provides a descriptive account of the participants and contributes to the literature on EFL learners’ strategy use, metacognition, and inference-making in L2 reading. The findings reveal that intermediate- and advanced-proficiency Japanese EFL learners used strategies in combination to solve the difficulties they encountered, and metacognitive strategies to monitor and evaluate their strategy use while reading. Accordingly, this study supports the conclusion that metacognitive strategies are essential to self-regulated reading to achieve comprehension. In addition, the participants’ positive beliefs about themselves as EFL learners appeared to positively contribute to their motivation to read. In particular, their beliefs about good L2 readers helped them set goals with regards to the areas that they problematized. For example, the participants aspired to read faster because they recognized that their present L2 reading speed was slow. The findings also provide a detailed account of how readers constructed situation models for their reader comprehension. In particular, re-reading helped enhance participants’ ability to draw inferences, identify causal relationships, remove irrelevant or contradictory elements, and integrate relevant background knowledge to the textbase in the interest of updating their situation models. The rich description of the multiple cases in this study contributes to our understanding of difficulties intermediate- and advanced-proficiency Japanese EFL learners encounter while reading, how they use strategies to address them, how they draw inferences to connect information, and how they evaluate their comprehension on an ongoing basis.

      Wengryniuk, Sarah E.; Dobereiner, Graham; Wang, Rongsheng; Watson, Mary P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      The development of new strategies and associated reagents that enable previously inaccessible synthetic disconnections is largely attributing to the remarkable progress in exploring new chemical space for drug discovery and innovative complex molecule syntheses. In the Wengryniuk laboratory, we are devoted to discovering new synthetic methodologies that are based on umpolung or reverse polarity, strategies, enabled by Nitrogen-ligated (bis)cationic hypervalent iodine reagents (N-HVIs). I(III) N-HVIs represent an attractive new class of oxidant as they are environmentally benign, highly tunable, and have shown ability in enabling distinguished modes of reactivity. This dissertation focuses on demonstrating the synthetic utility of these N-HVI reagents towards C–O bond formation via a reverse polarity approach.In Chapter 1, a summary of the reactivity and characteristics of hypervalent iodine reagents is provided. Chapter 2 describes a mild and metal-free strategy for alcohol oxidation mediated by I(III) N-HVI reagents. This method demonstrates the first method for chemoselective oxidation of equatorial over axial alcohols and was the first in situ synthesis and application of N-HVIs for a simple one-pot procedure. Chapter 3 discusses a novel strategy for a dual C–H functionalization to access functionalized chroman scaffolds via an umpolung oxygen activation cyclization cascade. Computational studies in collaboration with Prof. Dean Tantillo (UC-Davis) along with experimental probes in our laboratory, support the formation of an umpoled oxygen intermediate as well as competitive direct and spirocyclization pathways for the key C–O bond forming event. The utility of the developed method is demonstrated through a downstream derivatization of the iodonium salt moiety to access C–H, C–X, and C–C substitution via established Pd-catalyzed cross couplings. Total synthesis of (±)-conicol natural product was performed in 8 steps and 23% overall yield, further demonstrating the synthetic utility of the developed method. Key synthetic steps include a smooth construction of the chroman core via N-HVI mediated C–H etherification of a pendant alcohol followed by a late-stage double bond installation. Overall, this dissertation summarizes the current state of research enabled by N-HVI reagents, with a focus on their utility in reverse polarity heteroatom activation strategies, and it serves as a practical guide for future development in the field.