The UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs (GCUA) provides an annual symposium for graduate students in all of our departments and schools to present their research. This collection holds the submission from 2018 - present. To view submissions from 2010 - 2017, please click the following link: Graduate Research Symposium (GCUA) (2010 - 2017).
Andrea Beláňová, Tereza Trejbalova, and Bridget Kelley
Sexual violence is a PUBLIC HEALTH and PUBLIC SAFETY issue that has grown with far reaching applications.
Spectator violence refers to physical violence that occurs at special events within entertainment venues. This phenomenon can be problematic for event attendees, promoters, and security at these events.
Shon M. Reed and Alexis Kennedy
Male vic,ms are an underrepresented group within society. Prior research has indicated that male vic,ms may feel a diminished sense of their own masculinity. Criminology has iden,fied that masculinity does play a role in some men’s decisions to engage in criminal behavior (Messerschmidt, 1993, 2016). It seems logical that these two concepts would be related. U,lizing self-‐reported data from 135 college males, the current study analyzes the rela,onship between childhood vic,miza,on, masculinity beliefs, and the decision to engage in criminal/delinquent behavior.
Tereza Trejbalova and Emily J. Salisbury
The focus of practitioners and academics alike has been shifting towards gender-responsive treatment of justice-involved women. One instrument that accounts for the realities of justice-involved women is the Women’s Needs and Risks Assessment (WRNA). In order to inquire about its validity outside the US, this tool was piloted in the Czech Republic in 2016 with 148 women prisoners. The study examined whether the WRNA is valid in the Czech Republic, and how well it predicts the disciplinary infractions of incarcerated women with different cultural backgrounds. Results suggest external validity of the WRNA as several of the gender-neutral (e.g., antisocial friends) and gender-responsive factors (e.g., prior victimization/trauma) that are predictive of American women prisoners’ institutional infractions are also predictive of Czech women prisoners’ infractions. To reduce women’s incarceration rates and to disrupt the intergenerational transmission of crime, we must address women’s criminogenic needs, going beyond traditional male-based risk assessment.
Using narrative methods, this professional paper provides a rhetorical criticism of an anti-vaccine community called, VaxTruth. This analysis will aid in understanding why anti-vaccine narratives are so persuasive and what they offer people who join anti-vaccine communities. To explore this phenomenon I first look at the affordances of the Internet, how it encourages participation, which spreads misinformation, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories. Understanding how actions through the Internet become rhetorical acts, I turn to rhetorical theories of counterpublics and exigences, which also aids in finding the outcomes of anti-vaccine discourses. Current findings show meta-narratives of government conspiracy theories that break away into micro-narratives of individual experiences. Anti-vaccine storytelling online provides Internet users with both a sense of fear and hope. Fear that parents will be responsible for the death or injury to their child if they do chose to vaccinate; hope that being a part of the anti-vaccine community and sharing their stories will persuade parents not to vaccinate, thus saving as many children they can.
Michael Joseph Biesiada
The purpose of this prospectus is to examine county-level contextual factors that impact direct democracy mechanisms and voter turnout. The prospectus contains two essays that build upon each other with fitting theoretical frameworks. The first essay investigates the impact of contextual factors on a county government’s decision to permit citizen initiatives. This essay applies new institutionalism theory to understand the current connections between government structure and direct democracy mechanisms within U.S. counties. County governments play a vital role in American democracy, yet little is known about why some counties permit direct democracy mechanisms while others do not. I address a gap in the literature that focuses on policy outcomes that can vary at the county-level due to election laws. Election laws that permit direct democracy mechanisms often benefit voters by initiating or repealing legislation that more closely reflects the citizenry. Given the dearth of research on direct democracy mechanisms at the county-level, I examine the 1) citizen initiative, 2) legislative referendum, 3) popular referendum, and 4) provision for recall. To investigate counties that permit direct democracy mechanisms, I focus on contextual factors that include form of government, socioeconomics, and demographics. I apply a series of cross-sectional logit regressions by using micro-level county data from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) 2014 County Government Survey, American Community Survey (ACS), U.S. Census Bureau, and CDFI fund. Subsequently, I use the models to detect and explain variations of direct democracy that exist in the 3,031 county governments surveyed with populations between 10,000 and 500,000.
Media Portrayals of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Content Analysis of Julia from Sesame Street using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS2) and Stigmatizing Frames
Previous research has shown media portrayals of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as grossly exaggerated and inaccurate. Julia is not depicted as having high-functioning autism, but most of the exaggerated portrayals depicted in movies and television are of a person on that end of the spectrum. The current study, a quantitative content analysis of Julia from Sesame Street, draws from framing theory (specifically stigmatizing cues) and utilizes the professional assessment tool, the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS2). The tool was used to rate the severity of Julia’s autism symptomology. Less socially stigmatizing cues were found in this media content than were found in previous research, implying that Julia was stigmatized less than others. Julia’s CARS2 scores placed her in the average autism symptomology group, implying that Julia’s ASD symptoms are not exaggerated like other television shows have portrayed those characters with autism.
Assessing Bias in Regression Estimates Using Monte Carlo Simulations: Examples in Criminal Justice Research
Matthew P. West, Melissa Rorie, and Mark A. Cohen