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Collection Description

Collection of student theses and dissertations from as early as 1939, but mainly from 2010 to present.

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Youth gangs and repressive anti-crime measures: The role of zero tolerance policing in Northern Central America
Includes bibliographical references (pages 53-59), El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have some of the highest homicide rates in Latin America. After the formal end of civil conflicts and authoritarian regimes throughout the 1990s, violence on a massive scale continued as an issue of great concern for the citizens of these countries. The youth gangs of the region, who have members in the tens of thousands, were blamed as the sole perpetrators of violence by media outlets and politicians. A decade after the transition to civilian rule, politicians chose to remedy their countries high homicide rates by initiating zero tolerance policies under the name Mano Dura or the heavy hand. This thesis explores the origins of the region's pervasive youth gang problem and the subsequent use of hardline anti-crime measures. I argue that the region's new violent manifestations and use of zero tolerance measures is rooted in economic conditions. Neglect, inequality and marginalization make up the main factors that drive youths to gangs. Political leaders unable to tackle these structural problems turned to the states security and penal institutions as a way of remedying their criminal problems. However, I argue that these measures are ineffective in reducing crime, promote human rights violations, and have pushed for a reemergence of the military in civilian affairs.
Youth participatory action research shapes adolescents to be civically engaged communicators
The development of autonomy is a key characteristic among adolescence, which can result in positive and negative psycho-social outcomes. Research suggests that Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) is an effective approach towards encouraging adolescent autonomy through a community context by engaging individuals in a research and action group project focused on improving upon socio-political issues within a local community. This study aims to determine how YPAR can support the development of adolescents in becoming independent change-makers within their local communities. Building on existing literature on YPAR, it asks: what is YPAR’s role in encouraging autonomy among adolescents and how does it influence the learning process of a socio-political issue within the context of a youth-led research project on food insecurity. In this context, autonomy is defined as the capacity for a person to have a sense of control over their own life according to their own authentic motives, free from the influence from any nefarious or controlling external parties. Based on a social constructivist approach, focus groups were conducted with adolescent members of a YPAR-based after-school program, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), located in an urban neighborhood in Southern California. Participants were divided into two sample groups (new vs. experienced members) and were asked about their perceptions of YPAR and food insecurity in a community context. Analysis of the responses observed participants’ perceptions about YPAR in that it encourages the development of civically engaged communicators, consists of challenges in its utilization, and allows youth to envision the complexities of a socio-political issue. The results indicate that YPAR is a powerful approach to adolescent development that potentially influences cognitive and emotional autonomy and can be utilized to educate on a range of issues impacting a community. On this basis, it is recommended that YPAR be considered for adolescent development that incorporates the realistic contexts of a community because of its ability to not only encourage the self-governance of individuals, but empowers them to make changes to improve their community. Future research is needed to identify YPAR’s adaptability in supporting the diverse contexts of adolescents and various socio-political issues., San Diego State University
Youth's Perceptions of Legitimacy and Procedural Justice in Juvenile Corrections: A Qualitative Study of the Transition From Confinement to Community
Includes bibliographical references (pages 82-89)., This study explores juvenile probationers' perceptions of legitimacy and procedural justice in juvenile corrections through content analysis of eleven interviews concentrating on their experiences in a community reentry program affiliated with the San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego County Probation Department's Camp Barrett. The present study helps track the attitudes of juveniles in confinement with the hope that those administering the programs can better understand juveniles' perspectives. It also seeks to answer the following research question: Does Camp Barrett and its programs provide an environment that is legitimizing, delegitimizing or neutral for its participants' The study's findings support literature that indicates the second-generation boot camp style of confinement at Camp Barrett is not legitimizing, nor delegitimizing, but is neutral in this regard.
Youth-Therapist agreement on therapeutic alliance and youth treatment engagement in the context of cultural competence
Therapeutic alliance (TA) has been associated with therapy effectiveness and treatment outcomes, but findings may differ based upon whether the client or therapist is providing the TA rating. Client-therapist agreement on TA ratings has been associated with symptom change and session smoothness in previous research with adults, and it may also be important in the context of culturally competent care. This study aimed to expand the limited literature by examining client-therapist TA agreement in relationship to youth treatment (YT) engagement in the context of cultural competence. It was hypothesized that youth-therapist TA agreement would be positively related to YT engagement, but that engagement would be better when youths and therapists agreed on higher ratings of TA rather than lower ratings. It was also hypothesized that YT engagement would be better when youth TA ratings were higher than therapist TA ratings. The current study examined the relationship between youth-therapist TA agreement and YT engagement in a culturally diverse sample of 229 outpatient mental health service- using youths aged 12-18 years old and their therapists. Youth and therapists completed separate TA ratings at Time 1 interview, and therapists completed YT engagement ratings at Time 2. Response surface analysis by polynomial regression was used to examine the relationship between youth-therapist TA agreement and YT engagement. The polynomial regression model included five predictor variables and controlled for three service-related variables. Response surface features and test values indicated that the hypotheses were not fully supported. Although the slope along the Line of Agreement suggested that engagement increased as agreement increased, and engagement was better for agreement on high TA ratings compared to low, peak engagement was not along the Line of Agreement. Along the Line of Disagreement, engagement was higher when therapist TA rating was higher than youth TA rating. Findings suggest that TA rating agreement was not the primary driver of YT engagement. Rather, this holistic analytical method provided support for a strong relationship between therapist TA ratings and therapist YT engagement ratings. Future research may examine different ways of analyzing youth-therapist TA agreement and its relationship to treatment engagement and other outcomes., San Diego State University
Zircon uranium-lead isotopic ages of the Santiago Peak volcanics and spatially related plutons of the Peninsular Ranges batholith, Southern California
The Santiago Peak Volcanics are weakly metamorphosed volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks exposed discontinuously along the western margin of the Peninsular Ranges batholith. These rocks have been assigned a Late Jurassic age based on Tithonian Buchia Piochii fossils found in isolated marine volcaniclastic sections that are not representative of the generally andesitic flows and breccias that make up the bulk of the formation. Zircon U/Pb isotopic dates are presented for ten samples from widely separated exposures of the Santiago Peak Volcanics, as well as for five samples of plutonic rocks from the western part of the Peninsular Ranges batholith. Data from the metavolcanic rocks yield variably discordant ages with the 206*Pb/238U values ranging from 137 Ma to 119 Ma. Four of the ten Santiago Peak Volcanics samples yielded only slightly discordant results that suggest an Early Cretaceous crystallization ages for the zircon. The youngest well-determined age is 122 Ma. The new U/Pb age data combined with field relations and composition suggest that the Santiago Peak Volcanics represent a Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous volcanic arc. Zircon U/Pb ages also indicate a closer relationship between the mostly subaerial Santiago Peak Volcanics and the mainly marine Alisitos Group of Aptian-Albian age, which crops out along the western edge of the Peninsular Ranges batholith in Baja California. These two formations are interpreted as different segments of the same volcanic arc, with the northern part having been more emergent than the southern part. All of the plutonic rocks yielded Cretaceous zircon U/Pb ages ranging from 137 Ma to 108 Ma. The 137 Ma age is based upon a single fraction from a hornblende-biotite granite from the Mission Gorge plutonic complex, and represents one of the oldest dated granitic plutons in the western part of the batholith. The new U/Pb zircon ages from metavolcanic and plutonic rocks of the batholith indicate that the extrusive and intrusive events overlapped in time. This provides support for previously proposed models that interpret the Santiago Peak Volcanics as the cover rocks of shallowly emplaced plutons along the western margin of the Peninsular Ranges batholith., San Diego State University
Zonal and tidal effects on trace gas flux from a mangrove ecosystem In B.C.S., Mexico
Includes bibliographical references (pages 33-40)., Mangrove forests are ecologically important ecosystems that have been identified as one of the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Given predicted range expansion, anthropogenic inputs, and destruction due to shrimp aquaculture, mangrove ecosystems will play a changing role in trace gas budgets. While various studies have measured CO2emissions from mangrove forests, few studies have measured CO2in conjunction with other radiatively important trace gases or quantified spatial patterns in emissions. This study quantifies the fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O and also identifies whether there were tidal and zonal, referring to low, mid, and high intertidal zones, patterns in trace gas fluxes. The study took place within the Bahia Magdalena Lagoon Complex in Baja California Sur, Mexico where samples were collected along land to sea transects. Gas samples were analyzed using gas chromatography. Sediment core and pore water samples were used to determine concentrations of dissolved gases, nutrients, and electron acceptors.Greenhouse gas fluxes averaged 94 kg km-2yr-1of C,2501 kg km-2yr-1of CH4, and 308 kg km-2yr-1of N2O. Multiple linear regression revealed nitrate and leaf litter were significant drivers of N2O flux (p<0.01) with significant interactions between nitrate and tidal zones, whereby NO3 was a significant driver of N2O flux in mid and high intertidal zones (p=0.01 and p<0.01, respectively). Negative N2O fluxes were observed and a logistic regression showed N2O consumption had an odds ratio 5.6 higher during high tide than low tide (p=0.01). Methane fluxes did not vary zonally or tidally but were driven by total iron concentrations, though the linear relationship was weak (p=0.04, R2=0.25). In low intertidal zones, methane emissions were regulated by salinity (r2=0.87), with higher salinities limiting CH4 fluxes. CO2 fluxes increased with increasing tide distance and redox (p=0.004). CO2 consumption was observed during high tide, with redox potentials, and SO4 concentrations (p=0.06) shown to be nearly significant predictors of consumption. CO2 consumption appears to be a result of physical and biological processes, with increased sulfate reduction creating more alkaline conditions, and increasing CO2 solubility into tidal waters, presumably resulting in negative CO2 fluxes. Twelve hour runs at a single station showed greater CO2 fluxes during an outgoing tide than an incoming tide and with greater tide distance (R2=0.24), and increasing CO2 flux with more acidic pH (R2=0.72). Nitrous oxide showed a positive relationship with decreasing daylight (R2=0.83) This study showed an interplay of both physical and biological factors control trace gas emissions.
`Down the Bayou': A Political Ecology of Wetlands in Louisiana
Includes bibliographical references (pages 94-111)., This study seeks to explore relationships between social power and wetland management in Louisiana. Wetlands are an integrated component of nearly all aspects of life in coastal Louisiana. Not only do they provide habitat for a bounty of sea life, they also safeguard nationally significant shipping and oil and gas infrastructure from storm damage and other environmental elements. Furthermore, farming, fishing, and hunting have provided viable livelihoods for coastal residents for countless generations. Today, there is growing concern that coastal wetland restoration and protection is now increasingly urgent, as evidenced in Louisiana's 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. Yet, state attempts to support wetland restoration and protection goals have in the past fared poorly, as economic imperatives are juxtaposed against socio-ecological ones. This is perhaps best exemplified by wetland management programs in Terrebonne Parish, a key site of wetland loss and of extractive activities from the oil and gas industry. These processes have disproportionately affected residents of Terrebonne Parish. While the first private wetland mitigation bank in the United States was established in Terrebonne Parish, this has not resulted in a decline in wetland loss - quite the contrary. The purpose of this thesis is to undertake a political ecology approach as a means to analyze how institutional arrangements for wetland management are embedded in social power relationships operating at different scales. In this way I critically examine the practical application of the meanings and practices of wetland management as presented in the current policy framework for managing Louisiana's wetlands, the 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. This analysis reveals the contradictory logics and tensions of the Plan, demonstrating that while expressing concern over the wetlands of Louisiana, it does so without questioning the processes which destroy(ed) them in the first place. This serves to further prioritize economic interests over socio-ecological factors while couched in discourses of sustainability. Data collection and analysis for this study relied on a combination of methods including analysis of archival, primary, and secondary materials and key informant and coastal resident interviews.