Recent Submissions

Sustainable Deaths: Investigating Young Adults' Intentions to Communicate and Document Their Green Funeral Plans
(University of Alabama Libraries, 2024) Franco, Courtny Lynn; Britt, Rebecca K
The severe lack of end-of-life (EOL) planning in the United States (US) deserves scholarly attention. This dissertation investigated communication, psychosocial, and environmental factors that predict young adults’ intentions to communicate and document their green funeral service plans. The study adapted the converged theory of planned behavior (TPB) and value-belief-norm (VBN) theoretical framework to offer a comprehensive model for understanding EOL planning processes. A sample of US adults (N = 444) completed an online self-report survey about their attitudes toward two green funeral service planning behaviors. Structural equation modeling results found that communication apprehension, neutral attitudes toward death, attitudes, perceived behavioral control, environmental values, connectedness to nature, awareness of ecological consequences of traditional funeral services, moral feelings of responsibility to choose a green funeral service, and personal normative beliefs toward green funerals were significantly related to young adult’s communication and documentation planning intentions. The model significantly predicted 56% of the variance in communication and 50% of the variance in documentation planning intentions. Together, these findings address theoretical and conceptual gaps in understanding EOL planning. The adapted converged TPB-VBN model is an efficient framework for investigating green funeral planning intentions and can guide future research. The results can help scholars who aim to better understand the phenomena around green funeral planning and health communication and policymakers who hope to ride the wave of environmentally friendly sustainable funerary practices to improve public health outcomes.
Clicking, Scrolling, Or Switching: Unveiling the Predictors of Media Multitasking in the United States and Saudi Arabia
(University of Alabama Libraries, 2024) Alshamrani, Talal Saeed; Panek, Elliot T
Media multitasking is the simultaneous use of two media devices or applications. Given the global rise of media multitasking and its potential implications for media users, understanding the factors that drive this behavior across cultures is crucial. This study explores different factors that may predict media multitasking behaviors among users in the United States of America (USA) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), using the Uses and Gratifications Theory (U&G) as a theoretical framework. Specifically, the study examined three key factors that may influence this behavior including, demographic, motivational, and cultural factors. The study utilized an online survey to gather data from two samples of media users in both countries (N = 587). The study revealed that while both the USA and KSA participants frequently multitask with long video-based content and social networking, KSA users exhibit higher levels of media multitasking frequency. Among the demographic factors, age negatively predicts media multitasking, while unemployment status is linked to increased multitasking activities in both countries. Motivational factors played a different role, with social motivations positively predicting multitasking in the USA, while connection and enjoyment motivations served as positive predictors in the KSA. In addition, time orientation (polychronic vs. monochronic) partially explains the variation in media multitasking frequency between the countries, highlighting the role of cultural factors. This study contributes to the understanding of cross-cultural differences in media multitasking, highlighting the complex interplay of demographic, motivational, and cultural factors.
Touch Required: Exploring Spa Employees' Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic
(University of Alabama Libraries, 2024) Walker, Emily S.; Kim, Haemi
The aim of this study was to learn how the Covid-19 crisis affected the work attitudes of hands-on spa employees on a micro level. Semi-structured interviews of twenty-five spa employees, including twenty-one hands-on spa employees and four spa supervisors, were conducted to better understand their experiences working through the pandemic. The subjects were asked questions to uncover demands that emerged during the crisis, the resources they valued, and whether perceived supervisor support (PSS) influenced their organizational commitment (OC). Fear of exposure to Covid-19 at work, job uncertainty, and role conflict were some of the demands that emerged. Underpinned by the synthesized frameworks of Conservation of Resources theory, Job Demands-Resources theory, and Social Exchange theory, the study found that during the crisis these employees valued frequent high-quality communication with their supervisors and an increased focus on safety climate. PSS during the crisis was found to positively affect spa employees’ OC, although differences in its impact were noted based on type of spa and tenure of employee. They placed a high value on work relationships with coworkers and customers, which had a positive effect on their organizational commitment.
Predicting and Equipping Private Well Owners at Risk of Microbial Contamination After Flooding Events in the Alabama Black Belt
(University of Alabama Libraries, 2024) Kiaupa, Jourdan Renee; Terry, Leigh
Private well owners in Alabama, totaling approximately eight-hundred thousand individuals, bear the sole responsibility for ensuring the quality of their water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have regulations in place for private wells. While state government programs provide guidance on well treatment and testing, the obligation lies on well-owners to monitor and maintain the health of their private systems. Although groundwater is generally low in contaminants, septic system failures due to soil conditions combined with flooding from frequent storms have created a groundwater quality epidemic in the Black Belt region of Alabama.Floodwater can infiltrate wells for extended periods, potentially exposing households to Escherichia coli (E. coli) and fecal coliforms. Here, the impact of flooding on well water users across the Black Belt was quantified. A case-study approach was employed to identify microbial contamination in shallow groundwater wells and geospatial modeling was used to characterize flooding risk across the Black Belt. The compilation of available and reliable resources into a single-point source will aid in educating and equipping well owners to reduce their exposure to microbial contaminants. By developing a comprehensive flood-induced contamination risk assessment model and providing accessible water quality testing resources, this research supports the protection of private wells and the well-being of communities in the Black Belt region of Alabama.
The Amplified Voice of Athletes: Measuring the Influence and Efficacy of Sports-Based Activism
(University of Alabama Libraries, 2024) Dirks, Emily; Billings, Andrew C
This research offers an in-depth exploration of athlete activism, through the lens of social identity theory and social cognitive theory as well as advancing practical implications, and avenues for future research. Examining factors such as the type of activism, race of athletes, political affiliation, and fan identity, the research uncovers variables influencing online and offline engagement. While offline activism is significantly impacted by the type of activism and race of athletes, online behavioral intent remains largely unaffected. Political affiliation emerges as a key factor of activism across both online and offline spaces, stressing the importance of ideology on social issue engagement. Additionally, fan behavior plays a significant role in predicting online activism, emphasizing the role of sports fandom in shaping activism tendencies. The study also highlights the importance of motivation in driving behavioral engagement, while self-efficacy shows limited impact. Overall, this research contributes valuable insights into athlete activism, social identity theory and social cognitive theory.