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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


While obesity rates have plateaued within the last decade, two-thirds of the United States population is currently classified as overweight (defined a s a body mass index [BMI] of 25-29.9 kg/m²) or obese (a BMI greater than 30 kg/m²). Bariatric surgical interventions are not only more effective than behavioral treatments in the short term but are the only form of obesity intervention with evidence of consisten t long-term effectiveness. However, even among bariatric surgery patients, weight loss often stabilizes and it is estimated that more than 20% of bariatric surgery patient s will regain a significant amount of weight that …

Contributors
Smith, Lisa L., Larkey, Linda K, Ainsworth, Barbara, et al.
Created Date
2014

Filicide, the killing of a child by a parent, is the focus of this meta-study. In the United States, the total number of nonaccidental deaths of children at the hands of a parent is unknown. Five children a day under the age of five die from fatal abuse and neglect (U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995). This number is a conservative estimate and does not include children kill by means other than abuse and neglect. Regardless of the number, this author views each filicide as a sentinel event for the United States and the world. A sentinel …

Contributors
Jackson, Diane Rene, Gillmore, Mary R, Aguilar, Jemel P, et al.
Created Date
2011

Control engineering offers a systematic and efficient approach to optimizing the effectiveness of individually tailored treatment and prevention policies, also known as adaptive or ``just-in-time'' behavioral interventions. These types of interventions represent promising strategies for addressing many significant public health concerns. This dissertation explores the development of decision algorithms for adaptive sequential behavioral interventions using dynamical systems modeling, control engineering principles and formal optimization methods. A novel gestational weight gain (GWG) intervention involving multiple intervention components and featuring a pre-defined, clinically relevant set of sequence rules serves as an excellent example of a sequential behavioral intervention; it is examined in …

Contributors
Dong, Yuwen, Rivera, Daniel E, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

Cigarette smoking remains a major global public health issue. This is partially due to the chronic and relapsing nature of tobacco use, which contributes to the approximately 90% quit attempt failure rate. The recent rise in mobile technologies has led to an increased ability to frequently measure smoking behaviors and related constructs over time, i.e., obtain intensive longitudinal data (ILD). Dynamical systems modeling and system identification methods from engineering offer a means to leverage ILD in order to better model dynamic smoking behaviors. In this dissertation, two sets of dynamical systems models are estimated using ILD from a smoking cessation …

Contributors
Timms, Kevin Patrick, Rivera, Daniel E, Frakes, David, et al.
Created Date
2014

Greater than 11% of the total population of Americans age 12 and older were illicit drug users with close to 1 million suffering from cocaine use disorder in 2017 alone (SAMHSA, 2017), yet there are no effective pharmacological treatments for this disorder. Previous research from the Neisewander Laboratory in male rats found that administration of a 5-HT1BR agonist facilitates cocaine intake when given prior to a daily self-administration session, while inhibiting cocaine intake and attenuating drug-seeking behavior following 21 days of protracted abstinence, yet it is not known whether such effects are observed in female rats. Women face unique challenges …

Contributors
Scott, Samantha Nicola, Neisewander, Janet L, Olive, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2019

Institutions of higher education, particularly those with large student enrollments, constitute special generators that contribute in a variety of ways to the travel demand in a region. Despite the importance of university population travel characteristics in understanding and modeling activity-travel patterns and mode choice behavior in a region, such populations remain under-studied. As metropolitan planning organizations continue to improve their regional travel models by incorporating processes and parameters specific to major regional special generators, university population travel characteristics need to be measured and special submodels that capture their behavior need to be developed. The research presented herein begins by documenting …

Contributors
Volosin, Sarah Elia, Pendyala, Ram M, Kaloush, Kamil E, et al.
Created Date
2014

Behavioral health problems such as physical inactivity are among the main causes of mortality around the world. Mobile and wireless health (mHealth) interventions offer the opportunity for applying control engineering concepts in behavioral change settings. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) is among the most influential theories of health behavior and has been used as the conceptual basis of many behavioral interventions. This dissertation examines adaptive behavioral interventions for physical inactivity problems based on SCT using system identification and control engineering principles. First, a dynamical model of SCT using fluid analogies is developed. The model is used throughout the dissertation to evaluate …

Contributors
Martin Moreno, Cesar Antonio, Rivera, Daniel E, Hekler, Eric B, et al.
Created Date
2016

Cognitive function declines with normal age and disease states, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Loss of ovarian hormones at menopause has been shown to exacerbate age-related memory decline and may be related to the increased risk of AD in women versus men. Some studies show that hormone therapy (HT) can have beneficial effects on cognition in normal aging and AD, but increasing evidence suggests that the most commonly used HT formulation is not ideal. Work in this dissertation used the surgically menopausal rat to evaluate the cognitive effects and mechanisms of progestogens proscribed to women. I also translated these questions …

Contributors
Braden, Brittany Blair, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A, Neisewander, Janet L, et al.
Created Date
2012

Background: Previous research suggests a healthy eater schema (i.e., identifying yourself as a healthy eater) may be a useful concept to target in interventions. A "stealth" intervention that discussed the moral issues related to food worked better at promoting healthful eating than an intervention focused on the health benefits. No research has explored the relationship between moral foundations, a theoretical model focused on delineating core "foundations" for making a moral decision, and healthy eater self-identity or self-efficacy. Purpose: We explored the relationship between moral foundations (i.e., harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, in-group/loyalty, authority/respect, & purity/sanctity) and health eater self-identity and fruit and vegetable …

Contributors
Kiser, Sarah, Hekler, Eric B, Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam, et al.
Created Date
2013

Individuals in a romantic relationship may avoid discussing certain topics with their partner, often to avoid relational and emotional risk. This strategy is known as topic avoidance and may be an important factor for individuals in turbulent romantic relationship to consider due to the importance of communicating with a partner. The associations between characteristics such as openness, relationship satisfaction, and perceived partner unresponsiveness, and topic avoidance have not been directly studied within dogmatism literature. However, dogmatism, defined as a person’s relative openness (or closedness) to new information, may be an important construct associated with topic avoidance that strengthens the associations …

Contributors
Mikel, Lindsay, Randall, Ashley K, Bludworth, James, et al.
Created Date
2019

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the cultural, social, environmental, and gender factors that may influence physical activity (PA) in older Mexican American (MA) men living in Tucson, Arizona. The Mexican origin population is the fastest growing Hispanic subgroup in our nation, increasing from 20.6 million in the year 2000 to 31.8 million in 2010. Arizona has the sixth largest Hispanic population in the United States and the Mexican origin population accounts for 91% of Arizona's Hispanics. Despite the fast growing Mexican population, there are a limited number of studies that examine MAs and PA. There are …

Contributors
Dowling, Evangeline Marie, Hooker, Steven, Grando, Victoria, et al.
Created Date
2015

Patients with schizophrenia have deficits in sensorimotor gating, the ability to gate out irrelevant stimuli in order to attend to relevant stimuli. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a reliable and valid model of sensorimotor gating across species. Repeated D2-like agonist treatment alleviates prior PPI deficits in rats, termed a PPI recovery, and is observable 28 days after treatment. The aim of the current project is to illuminate the underlying mechanism for this persistent change of behavior and determine the clinical relevance of repeated D2-like agonist treatment. Our results revealed a significant increase in Delta FosB, a transcription …

Contributors
Maple, Amanda Marie, Hammer, Ronald P, Olive, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2013

The brain is a fundamental target of the stress response that promotes adaptation and survival but the repeated activation of the stress response has the potential alter cognition, emotion, and motivation, key functions of the limbic system. Three structures of the limbic system in particular, the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and amygdala, are of special interest due to documented structural changes and their implication in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of many notable chronic stress-induced changes include dendritic arbor restructuring, which reflect plasticity patterns in parallel with the direction of alterations observed in functional imaging studies in PTSD patients. …

Contributors
Hoffman, Ann, Conrad, Cheryl D, Olive, M. Foster, et al.
Created Date
2013

For interspecific mutualisms, the behavior of one partner can influence the fitness of the other, especially in the case of symbiotic mutualisms where partners live in close physical association for much of their lives. Behavioral effects on fitness may be particularly important if either species in these long-term relationships displays personality. Animal personality is defined as repeatable individual differences in behavior, and how correlations among these consistent traits are structured is termed behavioral syndromes. Animal personality has been broadly documented across the animal kingdom but is poorly understood in the context of mutualisms. My dissertation focuses on the structure, causes, …

Contributors
Marting, Peter Reilly, Pratt, Stephen C, Wcislo, William T, et al.
Created Date
2018

Health care in the United States has been undergoing significant changes since the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One of the outcomes of this policy was an attempt to bring physical health care and behavioral health care together in an effort to provide more coordinated care for patients. This change created an opportunity to improve the quality of care for patients, and as a result reduce high cost emergency service that could be prevented through better maintenance of chronic conditions. Three studies were conducted to examine challenges behavioral health agencies face in implementing two models …

Contributors
Janich, Nicole Kristin, Shafer, Michael S, LeCroy, Craig, et al.
Created Date
2017

Many individual-level behavioral interventions improve health and well-being. However, most interventions exhibit considerable heterogeneity in response. Put differently, what might be effective on average might not be effective for specific individuals. From an individual’s perspective, many healthy behaviors exist that seem to have a positive impact. However, few existing tools support people in identifying interventions that work for them, personally. One approach to support such personalization is via self-experimentation using single-case designs. ‘Hack Your Health’ is a tool that guides individuals through an 18-day self-experiment to test if an intervention they choose (e.g., meditation, gratitude journaling) improves their own psychological …

Contributors
Phatak, Sayali Shekhar, Buman, Matthew P, Hekler, Eric B, et al.
Created Date
2019

Seizure disorders are a widespread health concern (England, Liverman, Schultz, & Strawbridge, 2012). Past research shows that a good quality marital relationship can have numerous health benefits (Homish & Leonard, 2008); however, there is little evidence to show that individuals suffering from seizures are receiving any of these marital benefits. Instead, most research suggests that individuals with a seizure disorder are significantly less likely to marry, have more marital conflict, and report the seizures as a main reason for divorce (Chen, et al., 2013). The current study included 67 individuals who self-reported that they suffered from a seizure disorder. These …

Contributors
Bryant, Victoria Anne, Roberts, Nicole, Burleson, Mary, et al.
Created Date
2015

This study consisted of several related projects on dynamic spatial hearing by both human and robot listeners. The first experiment investigated the maximum number of sound sources that human listeners could localize at the same time. Speech stimuli were presented simultaneously from different loudspeakers at multiple time intervals. The maximum of perceived sound sources was close to four. The second experiment asked whether the amplitude modulation of multiple static sound sources could lead to the perception of auditory motion. On the horizontal and vertical planes, four independent noise sound sources with 60° spacing were amplitude modulated with consecutively larger phase …

Contributors
Zhong, Xuan, Yost, William, Zhou, Yi, et al.
Created Date
2015

An important component of insect social structure is the number of queens that cohabitate in a colony. Queen number is highly variable between and within species. It can begin at colony initiation when often unrelated queens form cooperative social groups, a strategy known as primary polygyny. The non-kin cooperative groups formed by primary polygyny have profound effects on the social dynamics and inclusive fitness benefits within a colony. Despite this, the evolution of non-kin queen cooperation has been relatively overlooked in considerations of the evolution of cooperative sociality. To date, studies examining the costs and benefits of primary polygyny have …

Contributors
Haney, Brian Russell, Fewell, Jennifer H, Cole, Blaine J, et al.
Created Date
2017

There are several visual dimensions of food that can affect food intake, example portion size, color, and variety. This dissertation elucidates the effect of number of pieces of food on preference and amount of food consumed in humans and motivation for food in animals. Chapter 2 Experiment 1 showed that rats preferred and also ran faster for multiple pieces (30, 10 mg pellets) than an equicaloric, single piece of food (300 mg) showing that multiple pieces of food are more rewarding than a single piece. Chapter 2 Experiment 2 showed that rats preferred a 30-pellet food portion clustered together rather …

Contributors
Bajaj, Devina, Phillips, Elizabeth D, Cohen, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2013