Interdisciplinary Studies (Fredericton)

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"I'm tough": Acadian women's stories of resilience against the anti-aging movement
"I'm tough": Acadian women's stories of resilience against the anti-aging movement
by Nicole S. Taerum, The anti-aging culture has initiated a storm of ageism and discrimination targeting older adults in Canada, and this issue needed examination as it affects their well-being. In this thesis, I explored the experiences of older Acadian women affected by the anti-aging culture. Interviews with five older Acadian women from New Brunswick were conducted concerning their experiences and perceptions of their aging process and attitudes on anti-aging products and culture. Data analysis was conducted by developing themes and threads from the interview data into individual core stories that represented each participant's experiences. Once the individual narratives were made and shared with the women, a collective narrative was developed by combining participants' accounts into a core story that depicted how Acadian women's experiences with poverty, discrimination, shame, positive role models, Acadian pride, and family values impacted the aging process. The development of resilience and a positive view of aging led participants to reject the anti-aging movement.
"Look at me": disability, representation, and the female body
"Look at me": disability, representation, and the female body
by Rachel Watters, This thesis explores the representations of women with physical disabilities in the media, as analyzed by women with physical disabilities themselves, and then subverts and challenges those representations through the women's construction of new photographic imagery. The goal is to allow women with physical disabilities to participate in the research process, work collaboratively with the researcher, and challenge how women with physical disabilities are represented. The research is grounded in feminist theory, critical disability studies, and arts-based inquiry; and uses methods of focus group interviews and photographs. Participants found the media representations to be complex, containing what they felt were both positive and negative components. The strongest reactions came from sexualized representations of women with disabilities. Discussions also centered on the lack of representations, the importance of including people with disabilities in the design of media representations, and the connection of disability with pain and pity. When it came to the construction of new photographic images, the participants used the photographs as a way of visually expressing their responses to the representations they saw during the focus group. Keywords: disability studies, arts-based inquiry, feminism, visual media, popular culture
A summer literacy program for First Nations children
A summer literacy program for First Nations children
by Agnes Flanagan, The purpose of the study was to design and pilot an English-language literacy program during the summer and assess its impact on First Nations children’s literacy scores. The study also investigated whether the program would eliminate summer learning loss (SLL) or lead to learning gains in children’s literacy scores. The two-week program focused on letter knowledge (LK) and phonological awareness (PA) skills for children entering Grade 1. Fourteen English-speaking First Nations children participated in this study and were assessed three times: preprogram, during the program, and postprogram. Hierarchical linear modelling and paired sample t tests were used to analyze the data. Results showed that children experienced SLL in LK scores. Children showed significant and positive growth in most skills over the course of the program. SLL was eliminated for some children, and the program led to learning gains for others. The preliminary findings call for future studies with a larger sample size and a longer programming period., Degree Name mislabeled as "Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies" on title page
A sustainable framework to determine customer perceived value for electricity products and services
A sustainable framework to determine customer perceived value for electricity products and services
by Tugcan Sahin, Consumers’ perceived value (CPV) is a concept characterizing the customer-supplier interface. It helps suppliers to improve long-term business performance through a systematic approach quantifying value customers associate with purchasing a market product or service. Current applications are limited to highly competitive markets and there is a lack of agreement on its definitions, grounding theories and quantification approaches. This study aims to address this research gap by defining CPV more comprehensively and demonstrate a first quantification in investigating an underexplored traditional market, the energy sector. The research contributes to academic discussion through: 1) adding to theory by introducing a unified and general conceptual framework of CPV grounding upon CPV-related theories and approaches analyzing, synthesizing and harmonizing links across academic disciplines, 2) deriving an energy-specific model based on the sustainable development approach to investigate changes in the customer value creation process under the energy sector transformation as a result of renewable generation integration, market liberation and introduction of customer-oriented products and services, and 3) developing a first quantification methodology based on hedonic pricing method, identifying determinants in technical, economic, social and environmental dimensions with willingness to pay (WTP) as proxy for CPV from the supplier’s perspective, demonstrating its application and viability in an empirical study for the electric energy sector of New Brunswick. Results in this case show that economic determinants are the main contributing factor for segments of urban and rural customers, while social determinants are the key contributing factor for residential and industrial customers. This demonstrates the necessity of a more comprehensive and multi-dimensional model to develop products and services that better fit customers’ needs. The new framework offers the opportunities to be applied in other jurisdictions, but more importantly be also applied in other business sectors.
A validity study of the Evaluacion Infantil Temprana (EIT)
A validity study of the Evaluacion Infantil Temprana (EIT)
by Alma Yadhira Lopez Garcia, The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the validity of using the Spanish version of the EYE, known as the Evaluación Infantil Temprana (EIT), for identifying children at risk of experiencing reading difficulties in the first grades of school. This dissertation is divided into three independent studies and reported with a three-paper PhD dissertation format. The first study shows evidence based on the relationship of the EIT scores with children’s age and sex, and the school’s socioeconomic status (SES). The second paper provides evidence about the appropriateness of the content included in the test. The third paper integrates the findings of several documents and research papers, including the first two papers of this dissertation, to determine the extent to which the evidence supports the use of the EIT for identifying children at risk of reading difficulties. The validation process followed in this dissertation is based on the argument-based approach, which entails three steps: the description of the use of the test being validated; the identification of inferences and assumptions that lead the EIT scores to the use being validates; and the evaluation of, first, the individual evidence that support each assumption and inference, and second, the argument as a whole. The findings revealed six inferences and 11 assumptions that connect the EIT scores with the use being validated. Those inferences and assumptions are supported by strong and moderately strong evidence, and they embody a clear, coherent and plausible argument; however, some gaps were identified. The main conclusion of this dissertation is that there is sufficient evidence to claim that the EIT can be used to reliably identify children at risk of reading difficulties in the first grades of schooling. The concluding section identifies further studies that would strengthen the validity claim.
Aging in place
Aging in place
by Norma Chinho, Countries facing aging population challenges have to address them in patient-oriented, and evidence-based ways. Seniors desire to age in place. This concept in which one lives in his or her own home for as long as possible carries two-fold benefits. Seniors could live out their days in their homes and the government could potentially reduce seniors' hospitalizations and emergency visits. This would significantly decrease public health spending and improve the quality of life for the elderly. Previous senior home support services investigations in New Brunswick have used province-wide and Francophone perspectives, however, this study utilized a uniquely Anglophone point of view to add to the existing body of knowledge. An interpretive description methodology studied the perspectives of seniors receiving home support services which are publicly funded in New Brunswick. The knowledge gained from this investigation has the potential to further inform policy on serving seniors more effectively and efficiently with input from their own voices. Eight participants aged 65 and older and one caregiver were interviewed for this study. Findings show that seniors desire to age in their own homes and home support services enable this thus assist seniors to carry out successful daily life. However, seniors are experiencing significant gaps in home supports, with the most glaring ones occurring in rural New Brunswick. These gaps include home support worker staffing challenges and professional conduct issues which inevitably lead to unmet home support service needs. More still needs to be done to effectively address these gaps for seniors in the province of New Brunswick., Title page lists GAU as Interdisciplinary Studies when it is School of Graduate Studies.
An analysis of the association of diet, oral health and obesity in Canadian adults
An analysis of the association of diet, oral health and obesity in Canadian adults
by Inderpreet Kaur, Dental professionals are in a unique position to promote healthy eating among their patients, which benefit an individual’s oral health. Dietary recommendations that support oral health are similar to recommendations to achieve healthy weights, thus dietary guidance by dental professionals could also impact an individual’s weight status. To date, this topic has received little attention in Canada. This research examined the association between diet, oral health and obesity in Canadian adults ages 20-79 using data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) Cycle 1 (2007-2009). The quantitative analysis, which used logistic regression and linear regression found that increased milk consumption was associated with positive oral health (p=0.04) and healthy weights (p=0.02). On the other hand, increased soft drink consumption was associated with having fewer than the recommended number of teeth (< 21 teeth) (p=0.04) and a reduced Modified Oral Health Score (p=0) but not associated with increased obesity. A number of sociodemographic factors were associated with better oral health and lower chances of obesity: university education, increasing age and province of residence for example, were positive for both. The results from this study suggest the value of using dental settings to promote healthy food intakes, which may benefit oral health and weight status; highlight the importance of addressing the oral health and weight status needs within certain sociodemographic groups; and suggest the need for further Canadian research., Electronic Only.
Battle on the home front: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) medication side effects and the quality of life of Canadian male veterans
Battle on the home front: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) medication side effects and the quality of life of Canadian male veterans
by Debra Lynn Bastien, This thesis examines the experiences of Canadian male veterans and the impact that PTSD medication side effects have had on their quality of life. Using a narrative methodology, their stories of PTSD and the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication side effects revealed themes of fatigue and sexuality that were connected to the hegemonic masculinity of military culture, impacting the veterans’ everyday lives, relationships, and ultimately their sense of self. Deeper sub-themes of guilt and loss of identity emerged and require further investigation. This study illustrates the power of examining lived experiences from trauma and recommends the integration of narrative care into current treatment programs for veterans living with PTSD.
Broadening democracy in New Brunswick's local service districts by engaging the public in the creation of shared service agreements
Broadening democracy in New Brunswick's local service districts by engaging the public in the creation of shared service agreements
by Carrie Culligan Yeamans, In a province that describes itself as a democracy, all areas of New Brunswick are not represented at the local level. While all cities, towns, villages, and rural communities are represented by an elected council, local services districts are not represented by an elected mayor or council. Local service districts are provincial entities and are thus represented by the Provincial Minister of Environment and Local Government. There has been a great deal of public scrutiny of the provincial government regarding the lack of a defined process for community service agreements, specifically with shared service agreements. The shared service agreement seeks to maximize efficiency and the value of citizens' dollars by sharing a service between two or more communities such as recreation agreements. Local service district citizens have been questioning the government's authority under the Municipalities Act for these legally binding agreements. They are claiming that these agreements are unlegislated and unregulated in the Act and Regulations which guide the procedure for the addition or suspension of services. This report will argue for a legislative process of shared service agreements. Increasing the use of shared service agreements in local service districts meets the needs of local citizens while also promoting participatory democracy where representative democracy is absent. A legitimate shared service agreement process would address transparency and accountability concerns from citizens, and local government structural problems the provincial government appears eager to modernize.
Burnout and empowerment among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec
Burnout and empowerment among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec
by Christina Doré, While healthcare is struggling to respond to patients’ care needs as well as budgetary realities, patient care is increasingly more burdensome and demanding for nurses, resulting in increased burnout. Burnout has negative consequences for affected nurses and can jeopardize quality of care and patient safety. The empowerment of nurses is closely related to workplace wellness, since it is viewed as a positive strategy to support nursing practice and well-being at work. Research indicates that professional websites are promising vehicles to address nurse empowerment, with the recommendation that they be engaged in the design process. To date, there is no information to assess the severity of burnout or the empowerment status of hemodialysis nurses in Quebec. A quantitative online survey of 308 nurses assessed this situation and found that 38% reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, 69% reported moderate levels of structural mpowerment and 64% moderate levels of psychological empowerment. Structural and psychological empowerment were significantly related to burnout. Subsequently, a participatory action research approach that included a series of three focus group sessions with a total of seven participants and consultations with an Advisory Team generated recommendations on the types of information and elements to include in a website that addresses burnout and promotes empowerment. The results indicated that a future website should include: professional information and updates, continuing education, information on healthy lifestyle habits and networking. Overall, this research has important implications for nurses and nursing practice and research. We found high levels of burnout among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec, similar to other North American results; and that hemodialysis nurses support the development of a website to address their professional and personal needs.
Canadian mothers' work experience and cognitive behavioural outcomes of their pre-school children
Canadian mothers' work experience and cognitive behavioural outcomes of their pre-school children
by Justine Clare Gibbings, Using longitudinal data from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), I focus on the work experiences of mothers during their children’s early years. The mothers may be partnered or unpartnered across these years. I examine how the parental experience of working and not working affects the receptive vocabulary and inattentive-hyperactive behaviour—both important components of emergent literacy—of children at age 4 to 5 years. The data are from the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sample of cycles two to eight (1994-2009) of the NLSCY together with added data from the Canadian censuses of 1996 to 2006. I used multiple regression to model the relationship between the employment and unemployment experiences of mothers and partners and the receptive vocabulary of their children at age 4 to 5 years. Logistic regression models are the tool I used to study the relationships between the experience of extended periods of limited or no work for mothers and families and increases in the likelihood of poor outcomes for their child on scales for either receptive vocabulary or inattention-hyperactivity. These relationships are considered independent of other measures of the household and neighbourhood. The results show that although maternal employment is an important source of resources, it is the employment status of the whole family that is of overriding importance in the expected level of receptive vocabulary of their pre-school children. Thus at a given level of resources, children do equally as well in households where both the mother and father are working as in traditional households where only the father is employed. I observed the lowest expected receptive vocabulary scores for children in households where there is little or no employment. However, other parent behaviour is important; for example, reading daily to the child has a larger effect than household socioeconomic status. In both unemployed sole mother and unemployed couples, the household has no one working or only working intermittently and this increases the likelihood of a poor score on the receptive language scale and a high score on the inattention-hyperactivity scale. I conclude by considering the implications of this research for government policy in Canada., Electronic Only. (UNB thesis number) Thesis 9494. (OCoLC) 964084624., Ph.D., University of New Brunswick, School of Graduate Studies, 2014.
Cape Breton Gothic: a cultural history of the coalfields
Cape Breton Gothic: a cultural history of the coalfields
by Edward Michalik, Cape Breton Gothic is a postmortem. At some point after the ink dried on Sheldon Currie’s Miners’ Museum (1995) and before Mayor John Morgan issued his out-of-nowhere resignation (2012), the heart of the Island’s mining culture ceased to beat. As a self-styled coroner, I determined the cause of death. In the autopsy that I performed, I isolated two pathogens that, when combined, proved fatal. The first was the trauma wrought by coal mining itself, a job that claimed the lives of 1,321 colliers, maimed thousands more, and did irreparable damage to the psyches of their families. The second was the hypertrophying of the honor ethic. The ethos of honor and shame is an attribute of scarcity-driven economies like that of the Gaels, who peopled the coalfields. The hallmark of honor culture is belligerence. The storm-the-barricades approach to civic life that it entails was adequate during the Coal Wars (1909–1925). But by the new millennium, it had degenerated into the knee-jerk pugilism of toothless labor unions and a quixotic lawsuit, launched by the regional municipality against the provincial government (2004). As an interdisciplinary study, Gothic uses a number of theories and methods to trace the etiology of the killing disease. From Gothic Studies, it borrows Freudian theories of trauma and repression; from anthropology, it borrows Bourdieu’s notion of symbolic capital; and from social psychology, it borrows Nisbett and Cohen’s experimental ethnography of Appalachian violence. As for its methods, Gothic uses archival research to exhume the bones of the Island’s fascist crisis (1938–1940), and it uses narrative inquiry to join sixty-seven interviews into a nonfiction novella of the area’s underclass and its “prominent citizens.” Cape Breton Gothic is, above all, a corrective to the hagiographies of Acadiensis historians. I have planted my flag at the horrific end of the historical spectrum, not to dismiss the standard narrative but to elongate its arc and to re-problematize it. Somewhere between the romance of David Frank and the Sturm und Drang of yours truly, there is a shadowland where future historians might write a subtler version of Cape Breton’s story.

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