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Behavioral and social sciences. (Abstracts).

ASSESSING COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS COMPLIANCE WITH HEALTH INTERVENTIONS. Theresa A. Wynn and Mona N. Fouad, Dept. of Medicine, Univ. of Ala. at Birmingham. Trinita H. Ashford, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Univ. of Ala. at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294.

Community health advisors (CHAs) are instrumental agents of change who are capable of bridging the cultural mediation between the community and the health/social service system. As trusted, natural helpers, CHAs use culturally sensitive approaches to augment the health of underprivileged communities. Given the proliferation of programs that utilize principles derived from the Community Health Advisor Network Model, the main objectives of this study were to: 1) assess the degree that trained CHAs complied with a community-based health intervention protocol; 2) explore the challenges amid barriers CHAs faced during the natural helping process; and 3) examine time strategies they employed to overcome identified barriers. A total of 30 well-respected African American women who resided in Jefferson County, Alabama participated as volunteer CHAs in the Community Retention Intervention Strategies (CRIS) project. Pre and post compliance interviews assessed CHAs' adherence to the CRIS protocol. The telephone interview s lasted for 10-15 minutes. Two-open ended questions assessed the harriers CHAs encountered and the strategies they used during the natural helping process. Post interview results revealed increases in the percentage of CHAs who reported: I contacting their community women 2 days before and the day of their appointment; 2) sending postcards; 3) contacting a CRIS staff member; and 4) ensuring that community women rescheduled missed appointments. Additional research findings will be discussed.

CELLUAR TELEPHONE USE AND THE NEED FOR AFFILIATION: A PRELIMINARY STUDY. Richard A. Hudiburg. Genevieve Jefcoat, and Matthew Alred, Department of Psychology, University of North Alabama, Florence, AL 35632.

Celluar telephone (cell phone) use was studied in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 119). Cell phone use was assessed with questions about type of cell phone service, amount of calls, tendencies in cell phone use behavior, and attitudes towards cell phone use issues. Measures of self-monitoring, need for affiliation, and the Big Five personality characteristics were included in the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and correlations were computed on the responses provided by the research participants. Participants tended to have maximum daytime minute plans, made a median of 3 calls and received a median of 3 calls in a day. Cell phone users rated themselves as less likely to use their phones than their friends and rated their overall use as average. Convenience was the most common reason why the participants used cell phones. The participants were highly likely to answer calls and make calls while driving. The participants were most likely to use their cell phones while excited. The participants ten ded to agree that cell phone use impairs driving performance. They reported an overwhelming tendency to use their thumb in both answering and dialing cell phones Correlation analyses revealed several interesting relationships between cell phone use behavior and self-monitoring, need for affiliation, and personality characteristics. There was the tendency for higher neuroticism with more minutes of cell phone use. High self-monitors tended to use the cell phone even when they have exceeded their daytime minutes plans. Participants who made cell phone calls immediately after and between classes tended to be higher self-monitors and seek the attention of others. High self-monitors tended to make and receive cell phone calls while driving a car.

DISPROPORTIONATE MINORITY CONFINEMENT OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN ALABAMA: PATTERNS AND IMPLICATIONS. William E. Osterhoff, Dept. of Justice & Public Safety, Auburn Univ. Montgomery, Montgomery, AL 36124. Carl Grafton and Anne Permaloff, Dept. of Public Administration, Auburn Univ. Montgomery, Montgomery, AL 36124.

Since the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act was passed by Congress in 1974, several policy initiatives were targeted in an effort to improve the effectiveness and fairness of the juvenile justice system. Among the policy initiatives were deinstitutionalization of status offenders, removal of delinquents from adult jails, and requiring each state to determine the existence and extent of disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) in its juvenile justice system and to demonstrate efforts to reduce DMC where it exists.

DMC is defined as occurring when the proportion of juveniles detained or confined in secure detention facilities, secure correctional facilities, jails, and lock-ups who are members of minority groups exceeds the proportion such groups represent in the general population.

A study of DMC of juvenile offenders in Alabama, conducted for the Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs, utilized both quantitative and qualitative measures. The demographic composition of at-risk youth (10-17 years of age) was determined for each county from U.S. Census data. Juvenile justice processing matrices were developed based on Administrative Office of Courts data. Personal interviews were conducted with juvenile court personnel in 18 counties.

Analysis of the data indicated no overall pattern of DMC in Alabama. Detention and confinement decisions were most frequently based on the number of offenses the juvenile was charged with, court violations, and type of offense. Other predictors included gender (male), possession of a firearm, dropping out or being expelled from school, and lack of a suitable person to whom to release the youth.

HATE AND BIAS CRIMES LAWS: MAKING HATE A CRIME. Gloria McPherson, Department of Justice and Public Safety. Auburn University Montgomery. Montgomery, AL 36117.

As defined by the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990. amended in 1994 and 1996, a hate crime is "a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic/national origin, or sexual orientation." Over the past decade, research shows that Americans are changing the way they respond to the issues of hate and the activities of hate groups. The activities of these mostly right-wing organizations promote hostility toward racial, religious, and sexual minorities. Because hate groups comprise only a small number of people who apparently constitute a deranged fringe of a subculture, some Americans question whether hate crimes are a serious problem or an occasional aberration. However, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2001, research has shown that hate crimes tend to be more violent, more traumatic to the victim. and sometimes committed by groups of perpetrators who are unknown to the victim. Whether hate crime s are an occasional aberration or not. such crimes can terrorize an entire community and, consequently, constitute serious social and law enforcement problems.

IMPLICATIONS OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE. Betsy A. Witt, Dept of Criminal Justice, Columbus State University, 4225 University Ave., Columbus, GA 31907-5645.

Restorative Justice became recognized as a legitimate form of correctional treatment in the early 1990's. It was a response to frustrations with the then-current treatment programs to rehabilitate offenders, and the movement to include victims in the criminal justice process. I lailed as a revolutionary form of corrections, it was expected that restorative justice would be implemented in mainly noninstitutional settings at the federal, state, and local levels. Now, a decade later, this paper examines how and where it has been utilized and the implications of this process.

TRENDS IN TEEN SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND BIRTHS. Janice Clifford Wittekind and Arthur S. Wilke, Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

For decades, births to 15-19 year old females in the U.S. have declined. Despite this, the topic, when portrayed as "teen-age" births often is attached to public issues or flares into a public issue in its own right. After discussing the problematic reporting frame (the category of 15-19 year olds), trends are reported. For the period 1982 to 1995, increase in sexual activity, decrease in marital status, and decline in abortions are highlighted for their contributions to the nature and type of teen-age births. Though by comparative standards the "teen-age" birth rate remains high, the data reviewed here suggests that youth may be evolving patterns of behavior not unlike those seen in the area of illicit drugs. Conjectures are offered as to why the youth are not credited for their accomplishments.

REVISITING THE DUAL ECONOMY FORMULATION. Arthur S. Wilke, Janice Clifford Wittekind and Shannon McKenzie, Dept of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

The traditional sociological view of social stratification stressed that the exercise of human capital attributes (e.g., education) resulted in a unitary, graded structure of income and wealth. One of the challenges to this view was mounted by proponents (e.g., Beck, Horan, and Tolbert, 1978) of a dual economy view. This view stressed that overriding human capital and the resulting status attainment were the industrial sectors in which workers found themselves: a core with higher rewards and periphery with lesser ones After over a generation, the work by Beck, al., has yet to be replicated. Preliminary to such an effort is what is undertaken here: a comparative, macro analysis of positions of many of the core and periphery industries identified by Beck, et al. Over the past generation: I) core industries continued to maintain virtually the same dominance in the in production of the Gross Domestic Product in 1999 as 1980; 2) core industries have generally have lower proportions of production workers (< 80 perc ent) than do periphery industries (generally > 80 percent); and 3) though hourly wages tended to decline in most industries, core production workers continue to enjoy higher hourly wages than those in the periphery though the advantages have declined through 1996. At the level reported herein, the dual economy structure seems to have many qualities suggested by Beck, et al

WHITE COLLAR CRIME OR WHITE COAT CRIME: Health Care Fraud and Internet Pharmacy Scams. Cheryl Bullard. Department of Justice and Public Safety. Auburn University Montgomery. Montgomery, AL 36117.

With the skyrocketing costs of health care in the United States continuing to rise more emphasis is being placed on rooting out the fraudulent practices of unscrupulous health care providers that contribute to the overall problem. Health care providers such as hospitals and doctors who bill for services not rendered or who upcode in order to receive a higher billing may find themselves facing prosecution. Medicare fraud may be prosecuted by the federal government using such criminal statutes as the health care fraud statute, the wire ire fraud statute, and the mail fraud statute, as well as the civil statute known as the False Claims Act and other common law remedies. Moreover, the technology and prevalence of the internet has bred health care fraud of an entirely different nature. Due to the escalating costs of health care and the anonymity of the internet many people have resorted to buying prescription drugs over the internet without the benefit of an examination by a physician. To combat this problem, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is used to prosecute scam pharmacies. To encourage complicity of internet pharmacies and in response to public concern of the safety of pharmacy practices on the internet the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) offers the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices (VIPP) seal of approval to internet pharmacies who meet specific guidelines. Whether termed white collar crime, or white coat crime unscrupulous providers and pharmacy scam artists are a growing concern in the United States.
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Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:1851
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