Tag Archives: Social and Behavioral Sciences

Traditional Alcohol Production and Consumption in Rural Malawi

Brian Allen, Brigham Young University

Africa has seen increased alcohol consumption and public health problems and alcohol has been identified as the ‰ÛÏleading contributor to the burden of disease in Sub-Saharan Africa‰Û (Limaye et. al. 2014). Malawi, a small, landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa, is at a pivotal moment with potential for progress as it just passed a National Alcohol Policy through Parliament this March 2017 (Malawi 2017). Much of the alcohol produced and purchased in Malawi is done through the informal economy, with women typically brewing alcohol as a means of economic sustainment. The Malawian policy document admits that ‰ÛÏthe informal production of alcohol offers huge health risks as it is hardly monitored to assure quality control in terms of alcohol volume and amount of impurities (Malawi 2017). Informal alcohol is often difficult to track, and the World Health Organization has little information on the production and usage of informal alcohol. The WHO stresses the importance of further study to understand both the composition and production of informal alcohol, along with its regulation, both legally and culturally, in low-income countries (Limaye et al. 2014 & WHO). As little research has been done with traditional brewers as the target population, I conducted interviews the summer of 2017 in Dowa District, Malawi, with 20 traditional brewers. This number constitutes the largest number of brewers interviewed in any research endeavor. I partnered with two local Malawian NGOs, The School of Agriculture for Family Independence and Drug Fight Malawi for local expertise advise and logistical assistance. The interviews included both quantitative and qualitative questions and was focused on understanding the components and brewing process that traditional brewers utilized. Other interview sections included alcohol selling, community alcohol usage, and personal/family alcohol consumption. This research found patterns in both alcohol production and consumption in this area of Malawi, granted understanding about the community position of local brewers, and identified local brewers as a key stakeholder in the attempts to stem the harmful effects of alcohol use.

Britain’s Role in the Unification of South Africa and the South Africa Act in the Early 20th Century

Madelaine Campbell, Brigham Young University

This research looks at Britain‰Ûªs release of her former colonies during the 20th century, and the motivations behind their actions. South Africa moved towards unification in 1908 with Britain‰Ûªs support in the drafting of the South Africa Act and Lord Selbourne‰Ûªs involvement in the National Convention. By examining original communications within the British government regarding South Africa and the parliamentary papers surrounding the South Africa Act the British motivation towards its former colonies becomes apparent. In this case study of South Africa‰Ûªs movement towards independence, we see that Britain wanted to give as much control to the South African delegates as possible without relinquishing their hold on the natural resources and strong leadership that South Africa provided. In their quest to maintain a good relationship with South Africa, Britain overlooked some of the damaging decisions made by the South African leaders which led to racial and class conflict in South Africa later, during the rest of the 20th century.

Syntactic complexity of narratives produced by typically developing children ages 4-7

Madeline Peterson, Alison Barlow, Natalie Green, Madison Horrocks, Utah State University

Children with Language Disorder tend to demonstrate significant difficulty using multiple clause sentences. They often have difficulty using relative clauses. Kim and O‰ÛªGrady, (2015) compared 46 children ages 5;0 to 6;10 in their use of relative clauses. Findings revealed that children tended to favor subject relative clauses (i.e. the boy who has the bike is happy) over object relative clauses (i.e. the boy has a bike that is broken). Domsch et al., (2012) used conversational and narrative contexts to elicit discourse-level language from children to examine syntactic complexity for students with and without a history of late language emergence (LLE). They found that typically developing children outperformed children with a history of LLE in use of syntactically complex sentences during conversation, but not in narratives obtained from the contexts used in the standardized test (Domsch et. al, 2012). Our current study‰Ûªs goal was to extend findings from previous research in typically developing children by using narratives as the context for eliciting and examining the use of complex syntax. We studied the syntactic complexity of narratives of 260 typically developing children ages 4 to 7. These children were given 3 narrative tasks during the TNL assessment which included retelling a story, composing a story from sequenced pictures, and producing a story from a single picture. All three tasks were used in order to explore potential differences in story contexts. The narratives were transcribed and coded by student researchers who were at least 90% reliable using the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT; Miller, 2010). The syntactic complexity of these narratives was analyzed by coding for Subordination Index (SI) and the use of relative clauses. SI is a ratio of the number independent clauses to the number of C-units (i.e. independent main clauses and phrases/clauses subordinated to it) in each transcript. Subject and object relative clauses were identified and coded in each sample. It was expected that younger children would use fewer relative clauses than older children and prefer subject relative to object relative clauses. We hypothesized that children would use more complex syntax and relative clauses in sequenced scenes or retells as compared to those from a single picture. Implications for examining each context separately, rather than collapsing them are discussed. Data are discussed by age-group. Implications for how these data will inform our identification of students with language impairment by assessment of complex syntax will be discussed.

Community Reintegration of Children with an Acquired Brain Injury

Melissa Swedin, University of Utah

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is defined as damage to the brain done after birth with no association to a person‰Ûªs genetic background (World Health Organization, 1996). ABI may result in temporary or life-lasting damage to one‰Ûªs physical, social and psychological abilities, which can significantly impact a child‰Ûªs reintegration to their community (Holbrook, 2007). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half a million (473,947) emergency visits due to ABI are made annually by children between the ages of 0 to 14 years (n.d.). Once these children leave the hospital, often after an extended stay, they are faced with needing to reintegrate into their communities. Despite the prevalence of pediatric brain injury and the challenges it presents, there is not much research on the connections between outpatient services, family systems and community reintegration. Yet such an understanding is critical to develop effective reintegration plans and processes for children with brain injuries and their families. The study will take a broad approach that helps identify the needs of families with children with ABI. This will be obtained by interviewing caregivers of children who have an ABI. Daily diaries will also be given to caregivers to submit, the option of a daily diaries of children will be given if the ABI is not severe and their age exceeds 5 years. The long-term goal is to construct effective and practical intervention systems that will enable families to reintegrate into their communities more effectively.

Assessing the Contraceptive Needs of Homeless Women in Salt Lake City

Morgan Millar, Kyl Myers, David Turok, Zoe Kozlowski, Jessica Sanders, Matt Pierce, University of Utah

Nationally, 45% of pregnancies are unintended (Finer et al.) and these rates are disproportionately high for low-income women. As few health care providers assess reproductive planning and contraceptive needs outside of reproductive health visits, there is a missed opportunity to close the gap. This research aims to complete a needs assessment for contraceptive provision to support future clinical interventions and policy changes to meet this need for homeless women in Salt Lake City, and ultimately reduce rates of unintended pregnancy. This is being accomplished by administering surveys at Fourth Street Clinic, which serves the homeless community in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. (Citation: Finer LB, Zolna MR. Declines in Unintended Pregnancy in the United States, 2008-2011. The New England journal of medicine 2016;374:843-52.)

Disproportionate Minority Contact in Policing: Where does the bias lie?

Steiner Houston, Carrie Stone, Eric Young, Weber State University

Previous researchers have explained disproportionate minority contact (DMC) by utilizing two hypotheses. The first, differential treatment, is the theory that variations exist in policing whereby officers disproportionately focus on minority groups. The second, differential offense, is the theory that variations exist in patterns of offending whereby minority groups disproportionately place themselves within police focus. The current project involves a collaboration between a local police department and undergraduate students and faculty at a regional university to explore a heretofore underexplored explanation for DMC that we call differential civilian response. Differential civilian response is the theory that civilians disproportionately place minorities within police focus. This can occur when a civilian (such as a community member, a teacher, or a store owner) contacts the police more frequently in situations involving minority individuals than they would in situations involving other people. To determine if differential civilian response is having a measurable impact on levels of DMC, specific variables will be abstracted from a set number of police reports. The variables will then be coded and analyzed. The percentage of minority contacts will be compared to the percentage of minority in the applicable population to determine extent of DMC. If DMC is identified, then levels of proactive, officer-initiated contacts will be compared to levels of reactive, civilian-initiated contacts to determine how this element has affected the levels of DMC. By examining this previously underexplored explanation for DMC rates, findings from this study have the potential to enhance community education efforts, influence police training practices, and aid future researchers in understanding how civilian bias impacts rates of DMC within communities.

Marxism and Philosophy

Sam Cook, Southern Utah University

The relationship between philosophy and Marxism has been a complicated one. This relationship has changed and evolved overtime, beginning with Marx and continuing to this day in Chinese academia. What has influenced this relationship? How do Marxist Leninist states treat philosophy and philosophers? How have theorists interacted with philosophy and how has philosophy influenced Marxist theories?

Grammatical Accuracy of Narratives Produced by Typically Developing Children Ages 4-7

Sarai Holbrook, Sierra Browning, Amanda Miller, Cortney Hoffman, Natalie Johnson, Sierra Southwick, Utah State University

Guo & Schneider (2016) explored different approaches to identifying grammatical impairments in 128 children developing typically (TL) and those with language impairments (LI) between the ages of 6 and 8. Their participants were 61 six-year-olds (50 TL, 11 LI), and 67 eight-year-olds (50 TL, 17 LI). The measures that they explored included: calculating the finite verb morphology composite (FVMC), the number of errors per C-unit (Errors/CU), and the percent of grammatical C-units (PGCUs) in narrative samples. Each outcome measure was evaluated for its sensitivity and specificity. They found that all three outcome measures provided acceptable diagnostic accuracy when applied to six-year-olds, but PCGUs were found to be the most accurate tool with eight-year-olds. The purpose of the current study was to analyze the narrative samples of 260 typically developing children ages 4-7 to determine typical scores for the previously listed grammatical measures at each age level. This knowledge may provide more information on the performance of typical children and how to accurately identify students with LI. This study extends the literature by testing whether the findings remain the same with addition data from children aged 6-7 and whether the findings extend to children aged 4 and 5 years. The participants in this study included 42 four-year-olds, 57 five-year-olds, 68 six-year-olds and 93 seven-year-olds. The participants were selected as part of the normative sample for the Test of Narrative Language-2. For the study, the children were asked to produce stories in three varying contexts. These contexts consisted of: a story retell after a model story, sequenced pictures were then provided for another story retell after a model, and lastly children were asked to produce a story based on a picture after a model. These stories were transcribed using Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT). The transcriptions were double coded for grammaticality by two separate research assistants. Reliability was calculated by a graduate research assistant. The utterances were designated as grammatical or ungrammatical. Ungrammatical utterances were coded for the type of grammatical error present. The same three grammaticality outcome measures used in Guo & Schneider (2016) were used in this study. Data analysis will include examination of each outcome measure by age. Conclusions and clinical implications will be discussed.