3,899 results for The University of Auckland Library, Thesis

  • Evaluation of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Programme in Central province, Kenya

    Ngugi, Catherine Njeri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background: The PMTCT HIV programme has been one of the most successful HIV preventive interventions towards HIV-free future generations. However, even though the programme is virtually effective in developed countries, many developing countries are reporting child HIV infections due to the MTCT. The programme has existed in Kenya for more than a decade, yet in 2011, 12,894children were HIV infected due to MTCT Objective: To evaluate the PMTCT programme, especially the HIV testing from the antenatal period to the postnatal period among expectant parents attending Nyeri Provincial General Hospital in Central Province, Kenya. Design: Retrospective analysis of the hospital registers. Methods: Three hospital registers were analysed for the period from July 2009 to September 2012. The registers were for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care respectively. Each register documented the utilisation of PMTCT services by the expectant parents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were produced to analyse data from the registers. Results: The PMTCT services utilisation was sub-optimal. Of the 504 expectant mothers who attended the antenatal clinic, 59.9% came once, 80.4% had their first visit in the third trimester (between weeks 28 and 40) and only 6.9% were accompanied by their partners. All the women were HIV tested in their first visit but only 12.1% were rescreened after three months, and only 3.8% had been tested prior to the current pregnancy (p=0.000). No expectant mother was tested for HIV intrapartum or postpartum. The children of the 504 mothers who were HIV tested were those whose parent/s were known to be HIV positive or who had presented to a child welfare clinic with recurring symptoms suggestive of a failing immune system. Conclusion: Public health programs need to strengthen the PMTCT and HIV prevention programmes to ensure that HIV testing preconception and in pregnancy is fully implemented and strengthened, alongside continued education of the public through community programmes and the media. To avert further horizontal and vertical transmission of HIV, there is a need to address urgently the identified missed opportunities in the PMTCT program. These programmatic challenges require health system redesign and strengthening, resource allocation, addressing research gaps and reassessing the current PMTCT policies.

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  • The impact of middle leadership practices on student academic outcomes in New Zealand secondary schools

    Highfield, Camilla (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    It has been reported in the literature that disparities in student achievement within schools is often larger than the disparity across schools. This study draws upon the existing literature on middle leadership and within-school variation to establish the relationship between effective middle leadership in secondary schools and student academic outcomes. Student academic outcomes are compared across and within 41 urban Auckland schools over a three year period to determine the extent of within- and across-school difference in English, mathematics and science for 15-year-olds. The academic results for students are then compared at department level for a subset of 10 schools where the middle leadership practices within each of those departments has been investigated. In the New Zealand secondary school context, the public examination system for 15-17 year olds is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). This qualification system provides publicly available assessment data that can be used to compare student academic outcomes within and across schools and make comparisons to national norms. The New Zealand school 'decile' system, which groups schools on the basis of the socioeconomic status and student cultural background, is used for comparative purposes. The first phase of this thesis describes the steps taken to determine the extent of within school variation for 41 New Zealand secondary schools over a three year period. This was achieved by comparing the academic results for 15-year-olds from the English, mathematics and science departments within and across each of the schools and comparing those results to national averages. In some schools the results across departments with the same student cohort show considerable variation by subject and in other schools the results across departments are similar. The comparison of department results to national results categorised within a socioeconomic group provides insight into the extent of 'added value' at whole-school and department level. These data reinforce the argument that student achievement below expected results is not confined to schools working in poor socioeconomic circumstances. In the second phase of the study, 10 of the 41 schools in Phase 1, self-select to take part in an investigation of middle leadership practices within their school. This involves members of the English, mathematics and science departments completing a quantitative questionnaire on the middle leadership practices that are known to impact positively on the quality of teaching that inevitably impacts on student achievement. The results of these questionnaires produced five factors of middle leadership: Collegial working environment, Goals and expectations, Focus on student academic results, Management of resources and Positive learning environment for students and teachers. The questionnaire responses from each of the 30 departments across the 10 schools have been compared to the student academic outcomes data at three levels of the qualification to test the relationship between middle leadership factors and academic outcomes. Statistical tests were performed to substantiate evidence of the patterns and relationships and found that some factors have strong positive correlations with academic outcomes and others are negatively associated. Middle leadership practices had no relationship with the NCEA Level 1 (15-year-olds) results but had a strong relationship with the academic outcomes at the higher level of the qualification. The multiple regression for Level 2 NCEA student achievement shows that decile of school can account for 62% of the variance in student achievement and when middle leadership practices are included in a simultaneous regression, 84% of the variance can be accounted for. Decile of school was a less important predictor for Level 3 NCEA student academic achievements (46%), but as with Level 2 when middle leadership practices were added the ability to predict student achievement rose to 62%. Therefore, a combination of school decile and middle leadership practices were a good overall predictor of student academic achievement at Levels 2 and 3 NCEA. The positive predictors for student academic achievement were the factors Goals and expectations, Management of resources and Positive learning environment for students and teachers. Identifying the successful leadership practices evident in schools and departments that predict academic student outcomes will provide direction to policy makers and professional development practitioners working in the field.

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  • Governing Visions of the Real. The New Zealand National Film Unit, Griersonian Documentary & State Publicity

    Weckbecker, Lars (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This study traces how documentary film by the New Zealand National Film Unit (NFU) historically came to be calculated and employed as a governmental technique to cultivate 'visions of the real' that were to advance economic conduct and democratic government by shaping subjectivity and directing agency towards a desired future. The NFU was established during World War II, and throughout the 1940s and 50s, the period under study in this thesis, it was organised as the film production wing of State publicity within the executive of State government. Throughout this period, NFU documentary film was marked by a teleological transcendence of the material surfaces the camera could record in specific locations. It variously arranged, interpreted and evaluated actuality, hence encoding a certain 'vision' for popular audiences about what is and should be real. At the same time, the investments in and purposes of film production were rendered transparent and the films evaded controversy, heterogeneity, ambivalence and critique in favour of simplification, recognition, intuition and affect. Such practices, it is argued, need to be discussed in reference to historical problematisations of the operation of knowledge and power in the conduct of modern democratic society. Such problematisations are traced back to Walter Lippmann and John Grierson. The latter developed a programme for democratic government through the use of documentary film that shaped the approach to film production taken by the NFU. By drawing on Michel Foucault's concepts of the dispositive and governmentality, this thesis sets out to trace and discuss a shifting dispositive of 'visions of the real'. This dispositive encompassed a heterogeneous ensemble of calculations, reports, policies, arrangements, techniques, strategies, practices that related to and 'ordered' how New Zealand and its population came to be envisioned through NFU film. Specifically the projection of workers and Māori is discussed, since these groups became a focus of NFU film production. This thesis concludes that NFU documentary film, in a departure from earlier State film production, set out to render the interpretative and 'visionary' aspects of an embodied and subjective vision disposable and hence governable in order to produce a harmonious, cooperative, economic and docile population. In the process the vision cultivated through film became increasingly abstract, generalised, de-limited and normalised, while increasingly being unable to distinguish between actuality and its strategic realisation and treatment for governmental purposes.

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  • The Role of Transcription Factors in Regulating Adult Neurogenesis after Excitotoxic Brain Injury

    Jones, Kathryn (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    While compensatory striatal neurogenesis is well documented in many injury models, cells of the correct lineage for endogenous repair are not always regenerated. To understand why, the molecular profile of subventricular zone (SVZ)-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs), and their response to injury was investigated. Expression of the transcription factors Mash1, Dlx2, Pax6 and Olig2 in transitamplifying- precursor cells (TAPs) and neuroblasts was examined following quinolinic acid (QA) lesioning of the adult rat striatum. It was demonstrated that TAPs responded to lesioning in a heterogeneous manner, with expansion particularly of the Dlx2+ subpopulation. Dlx2+ neuroblasts also increased at early time points compared to controls. Previous work identified SVZ-derived bipolar and multipolar cells within the lesioned striatum. I characterised and quantified migration and differentiation of retrovirally-labelled SVZ-derived green fluorescent protein (GFP) cells within the lesioned striatum. In addition to neuroblasts, migratory Olig2+ bipolar cells were observed, representing oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). Multipolar cells also expressed NG2, indicating OPCs were recruited into the lesioned striatum. Proneural genes can repress Olig2 lineage cells, and substantially increase neurogenesis when overexpressed in the adult brain. Proneural Dlx2-GFP and Pax6-GFP retroviruses were injected into the SVZ on the day of lesioning, or two days post lesion (dpl), when the greatest migratory response was observed in controls. Surprisingly, Pax6 overexpression decreased striatal neurogenesis from NPCs born on the day of lesioning, but increased oligodendroglial cells from NPCs born two dpl. Dlx2 overexpression had no effect on NPC migration from cells born at the time of lesioning. However at two dpl, a non-neurogenic time point in controls, Dlx2 increased numbers of striatal neuroblasts and the percentage of neurogenic cells in the lesioned striatum. These results indicated preferential recruitment of Dlx2+ NPCs, GABAergic lineage precursors and the correct cell type for QA-induced striatal regeneration. However, retrovirallyoverexpressed proneural genes were downregulated within the lesioned striatum, suggesting factors secreted from injured areas could alter cell fate. Quantitative-PCR analysis of signalling genes confirmed multiple SVZ alterations after injury, some with the potential to increase oligodendrocytelineage signalling. Understanding molecular signals regulating lineage after injury is essential before regenerative medicine can progress towards successful therapies.

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  • Optimisation of Fluid Therapy in Colorectal Surgery

    Srinivasa, Sanket (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Fluid administration is an important aspect of perioperative care in colorectal surgery. It has been largely guided by experimental evidence from the 1950s and extrapolated observations from injured soldiers during the Korean and Vietnam War. Recent improvements in perioperative care have led to renewed scrutiny of perioperative fluid management and challenged conventional wisdom with regards to the ideal quantity of fluid to be administered for patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Chapter one introduces this topic with discussion of optimised perioperative care, fluid and electrolyte physiology, composition of intravenous fluids and their clinical implications. It discusses the history of fluid therapy and concludes that avoidance of fluid overload -fluid restriction– and individualised fluid therapy are considered as ideal fluid regimens in colorectal surgery, thus outlining the direction of the rest of the thesis- comparison of the two and exploring their place within the perioperative environment. The prevalent heterogeneity in perioperative care and its influence on fluid administration is demonstrated in chapter two. Chapter three explores the feasibility of intraoperative fluid restriction and establishes a baseline for future comparative studies whilst also showing an important association between increasing fluid amounts and adverse clinical outcomes. Chapter four shows interest and equipoise concerning the use of individualised fluid therapy in clinical practice. It also demonstrates that the Oesophageal Doppler Monitor (ODM) is the most favoured instrument to conduct individualised fluid therapy. Chapter five is a systematic review of the methodology of the published trials exploring ODM-guided fluid therapy in colorectal surgery. It outlines the methodology and limitations of prevalent evidence and allows for the design of prospective studies. Chapter six is a prospective study of individualised fluid therapy in rectal surgery. Chapter seven is a prospective, randomised trial of individualised fluid therapy versus fluid restriction in patients undergoing colectomy within an otherwise optimised perioperative care environment. The prospective studies show that individualised fluid administration and fluid restriction provide equivalent outcomes in an otherwise optimised environment. The findings of this thesis have important scientific and clinical implications which are discussed in chapter eight and nine.

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  • Natural products as inspirations for new chemotherapeutic agents

    Liew, Lydia (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Chemical entities obtained from the natural environment have proven to be an excellent source of both chemical and biological diversity. This diversity translates into a treasure trove of natural products which can be transformed into useful and potentially life saving chemotherapeutic agents. The work presented in this thesis are results of investigations into natural products of two different classes, namely the polyamines and β-carbolines. The naturally occuring polyamine derivatives kukoamine A (2.84) and orthidine F (2.87) exhibit antiparasitic activity. A structure-activity relationship (SAR) study was carried out with analogues synthesised based on the structures of 2.84 and 2.87, which were then evaluated for antiparasitic activity. The first iteration of analogues demonstrated improved antimalarial activity over orthidine F (IC50 0.89 μM) with in vitro activities ranging from IC50 0.0086--0.61 μM with minimum cytotoxic effect. A second SAR study was carried out, optimising for antimalarial activity and identified additional analogues with potent in vitro activities (IC50 0.10--0.0013 μM) while retaining excellent selectivities against P. falciparum. However, further in vivo testing did not yield significant activity in the Plasmodium berghei mouse model of malaria. Hyrtiosulawesine (3.118) is a 1-acyl substituted β-carboline with inhibitory activity against the Crotalus adamanteus venom phospholipase A2 (PLA2) with IC50 14 μM. This is the first instance where a β-carboline alkaloid has been reported as a PLA2 inhibitor, representing a unique target as an anti-inflammatory drug. Structurally-related pityriacitrin (3.124) and pityriacitrin B (3.125) also contain a 1-acyl substituent and have been found with UV protective properties. The naturally occuring 1-acyl substituted β-carbolines (3.118, 3.124 and 3.125) were synthesised, along with a series of analogues and were evaluated for any SAR. The analogues did not demonstrate significant activity towards the Apis mellifera bee venom PLA2. However, moderate antimalarial activities (IC50 3--1.0 μM) were observed for the analogues, with a distinct SAR observed between the 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carboline and β-carboline type analogues. The analogues were also evaluated against the NCI panel of 60 human tumour cell lines. One analogue in particular formed as a side-product in the Pictet- Spengler reaction contains a novel structural scaffold, which stood out as being selective for the human colon cancer cell line (COLO 205).

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  • Tinnitus and Attention Training

    Wise, Kimberly (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    BACKGROUND: Tinnitus is the conscious awareness of sound, perceived in the ears or head, without an external sound source (Lockwood et al., 1998; McFadden, 1982). Imaging studies have identified regional activation associated with tinnitus perception similar to areas implicated in attention, memory and emotion (Golm, Schmidt-Samoa, Dechent, & Kröner-Herwig, 2012; Mirz et al., 1999; Mühlau et al., 2006; Vanneste et al., 2010). The importance of attention and memory in tinnitus has not been well-researched but studies suggest attention may play a role in tinnitus' salience sustaining its presence, promoting annoyance or tinnitus-related disability (Alpini, Cesarani, & Hahn, 2007; Cuny, Noreña, El Massioui, & Chéry-Croze, 2004; Hallam, McKenna, & Shurlock, 2004; Jacobson et al., 1996). Studies described in this thesis (3 pilot studies [A, B and C] and 1 main study) describe the development of an attention-based training method to manage tinnitus. AIMS: Pilot A: determine any potential procedural learning-related effects occurring from repeated administration of an attention battery CAB®. Pilot B: determine if an available attention training approach (APT-II) was adaptable to a client-centred approach consistent with a pervasive healthcare model. Pilot C: test the feasibility and efficacy of a take-home computerised attention training programme “Terrain” for tinnitus treatment. Main study: determine if the “Terrain” a computer-based auditory attention training game, would reduce tinnitus perception and if any changes were related to attention mechanisms. METHODS: Different participants were recruited into each study: Pilot A (7 tinnitus participants, 16 control participants); Pilot B (9 tinnitus participants); Pilot C (8 tinnitus participants) and 1 main study (15 in an experimental group, 16 in a control group). Each study used a combination of questionnaires (e.g. Tinnitus Functional Index, Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and numeric scales) and psychoacoustic assessments (e.g. MMLs and tinnitus pitch-match). The main study also incorporated auditory event-related potentials. RESULTS: Pilot A: repeated administration of the CAB® resulted a significant increase in correct responses (p=0.011) for tinnitus participants and controls (p=0.009). Pilot B: APT-II was an effective approach for tinnitus management with a significant decrease in THI (p=0.050) but it was concluded that APT-II had practical limitations for use in a pervasive healthcare model. Pilot C: “Terrain” was effective in reducing tinnitus with a significant reduction in THI (p=0.015). Main study: significant reductions in TFI (15 points) and THI (9 points) were associated with significant improvements in attention (p<0.001) suggest that the reduction in tinnitus was related to changes in selective attention. CONCLUSIONS: A game-based attention training method shows promise as an attention management option, and such a method suits implementation in a pervasive healthcare model (Arnrich, Mayora, Bardram, & Tröster, 2010), enabling widespread access to tinnitus treatment when and where required by the patient.

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  • Effect of low temperature on Sauvignon blanc fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Deed, Rebecca (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Low temperatures greatly influence multiple aspects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae metabolism. Genetically and geographically diverse S. cerevisiae strains show a wide range of growth and fermentation rates at different temperatures (10-30°C) and in different media, but fermentation is an inherent capability of S. cerevisiae at optimal temperatures. The ability to grow well at low temperatures does not correlate with ability to ferment well; however, this correlation can be increased with the addition of sorbitol, suggesting that osmotic stress is an important variable acting on the kinetic variation between strains. The transition from early to mid-late fermentation represents the largest transcriptional response to occur during fermentation, comprising 40 % of the yeast genome. Five key metabolic pathways are strongly influenced by cold fermentation: nitrogen, iron/copper, sulfur, vitamins (biotin and thiamine) and oxidative stress. Yeast strains differ in their transcriptional responses to cold fermentation and have varying degrees of similarity between each other. Transcriptional differences primarily occur between genes involved in the stress response and nutrient utilisation, and these differences are regulated by many transcription factors. Fermentation temperature is one of the most influential variables determining the aromatic profile of New Zealand Sauvignon blanc wines. Contrary to winemakers’ expectations, low temperature fermentation does not necessarily increase volatile concentrations. Low temperature reduces concentrations of the volatile thiol 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH) and higher alcohol concentrations, in agreement with the literature. The temperature effect on 3- mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA), esters and fatty acids is largely modified by juice and strain, and these variables interact with one another in a complex manner. Screening for QTLs linked to fermentation Vmax at low temperature proved difficult, because the high amount of biological noise produced by small-scale fermentations prevented the identification of transgressive segregants among backcrossed progeny. However, QTL identification using 123 mapped and phenotyped progeny from a BY4716xRM11-1a cross established that the FLO1 gene on Chromosome I is linked to higher Vmax in the cold in S288c, as the Vmax of the S288c flo1 was decreased by 50 % compared to the S288c FLO1 at 12.5°C. Flo1p may increase Vmax through FLO8-independent cell-substrate interactions induced during stressful conditions such as fermentation.

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  • Expedient moment connections for timber portal frame buildings

    Scheibmair, Felix (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis introduces an expedient semi-rigid moment connection, the Quick Connect, for use in timber portal frames. The connection is rod based, with components which have easily determinable attributes. Connection components are sized by means of a simple design methodology which has been verified in this thesis by comparison to full scale test results. The design methodology applies straightforward capacity and deflection relationships which are gained from either design standards or from first principles. The fully threaded self-tapping screw capacity and slip values are the only exception. These have been determined by testing. Due to the inherent simplicity of the connection, it is adaptable for use as a column base, knee, splice and apex connection. The use of the connection is not limited to pure timber structures, use in hybrid timber-steel and timber-concrete structures is possible. The majority of the connection componentry can be assembled by an offsite fabricator. This assembly approach is comparable to that used when building in steel. This allows expedient assembly of the joint onsite once portions of the structure or individual members have been lifted into place. This approach reduces the number of crane hours and onsite labour required. Fabrication offsite is a deviation from the traditional approach of erecting timber building whereby all assembly and erection work was completed onsite. As a result, a significant reduction in build cost and critical construction path times can be achieved. The connection does not constrain the member size. Undesirable characteristics such as perpendicular to the grain stresses are avoided by design. It is possible to size the connection in two ways. The designer can take an iterative approach, whereby the connection components are optimized for the applied loads. Alternatively, standard connection sizes can be determined which are calculated to withstand the portal member characteristic design values. Both approaches yield a ductile connection whereby the main rods are designed to act as an accurately definable failure mechanism.

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  • Entertaining Facts: what the news media do with expert information about environmental risks

    Sinclair, Jan (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This research aims to clarify why there is such a difference between expert understandings of the environmental risk of global warming and climate change, and social world understandings. The news media are the primary source of information about science for the non-expert social world. Therefore this analysis compared expert priorities and preferences with news media selections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. Experts are focused on the physical world; the news media are focused on their audiences. News texts are crafted to appeal to assumed contemporary audience discourses. The comparison of expert and news media reports of an environmental risk aimed to discern in news media texts underlying assumptions about discourses circulating in the social world. The analysis focuses on two ‘best possible case’ information sources: the IPCC reports and the ‘prestige press’ U.S. newspaper The New York Times. Qualitative comparison of IPCC reports and news mediations of those reports is accompanied by quantitative analysis of news information selection frequencies and section placements. Readers of different sections received quite different information about the risks. New York Times journalists preferred political definitions of global warming and climate change over the definitions of scientific experts. The politically-motivated ‘sceptical’ lobby exploited the news ethic of balance and the value assigned to conflict to gain equal or greater news media attention, compared with that accorded to the vast majority of climate scientists. Experts ignored the news media, preferring to advise policy makers. Policy makers obtained most of their information about global warming and climate change from the news or directly from politically well-connected ‘sceptical’ lobbyists. As a result, New York Times audiences received a very partial representation of a risk which was framed as ‘political but not physical’ and ‘global but not local’. Throughout the 17-year analytical period, news selectors virtually ignored expert advice about likely risks to U.S. populations, environments, infrastructures and economies, and expert warnings of the urgent need for adaptation and emergency planning. The research argues, then, that a journalistic focus on political discourses resulted in an overall neglect of information detailing the reasons why experts were certain that global warming would happen and would change climate and sea level , or about physical risks directly threatening New York Times audiences. Audiences consequently did not receive available information about ways of protecting their health, safety and economic security.

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  • Screening for substance use problems in New Zealand adolescents: Applications in comorbidity and treatment

    Christie, Grant (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Adolescent mental health workers are poor at identifying and treating co-­‐existing alcohol and other drug (AOD) disorder. Effective AOD screening can assist with identification, assessment and motivational enhancement, and lead on to treatment interventions for young people in a range of health services. I describe the reported prevalence of co-­‐existing AOD and mental health disorder in young people attending AOD services via systematic review. This is supported by a naturalistic study that directly compared self-­‐reported problems across ten domains of psychosocial functioning in a cross-­‐section of 131 adolescents attending two services. I found that addiction service adolescents reported a similar or higher complexity of morbidity to adolescents attending mental health services. Problems encountered using established AOD instruments motivated the development and evaluation of the Substances and Choices Scale (SACS), an adolescent AOD self-­‐report instrument designed in a similar format to the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). A literature review, extensive consultation, and discriminant analysis on a pilot sample (n = 61) of adolescents informed the development of the SACS. The psychometric properties of the SACS were tested in clinical and community samples of 651 adolescents. Reliability of the SACS was sound with coefficient alpha 0.91 and 3 week test-­‐retest correlation 0.88. Congruent validity coefficients of the SACS versus the CRAFFT and the POSIT were 0.79 and 0.91 respectively. A ROC curve demonstrated the SACS as having a predictive value of 92%. Repeat SACS scores in a treatment sample indicated the SACS had utility in measuring change. Feedback from participants indicated that the SACS was highly acceptable. A further project evaluates the utility and acceptability of a brief intervention training package utilizing the SACS delivered to child and adolescent mental health workers. 37 participants completed a 55-­‐item questionnaire and focus groups. We found the training led to improvements in attitudes, skills and knowledge although low response rates at follow-­‐up limited analysis of behaviour change. Finally the implications of the findings in this thesis are discussed with reference to current literature, including future directions for research and treatment of addiction in young people utilising the SACS and brief interventions.

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  • Positionally-Sensitive Grammar: Reversed polarity questions in Japanese

    Sugiura, Hideyuki (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The present study explores how grammar is adapted to, or affected by, different sequential positions. It presents an analysis of a type of negative question called a Reversed Polarity Question (RPQ) (Koshik, 2002, 2005, 2010) in naturally occurring Japanese talk-in-interaction. The data examined in this study comprises 12 video-recorded everyday conversations. The RPQ examined in this study has been recognized as a relatively new grammatical item with a distinctive intonation contour and is generally considered a resource for a request for agreement. However, the ways in which the RPQ is utilized in actual interaction have not been investigated in the literature. This study, which employs conversation analysis, is thus the first attempt to systematically investigate the RPQs actually utilized by conversational participants. The present investigation is specifically focused on RPQs deployed in first and second positions within assessment sequences. The study reveals their commonalties and differences. RPQs deployed in these positions commonly convey the speaker’s evaluative statement about a particular object or person on the basis of participants’ symmetrical access to the object or person that is established in the preceding or subsequent talk. Such a statement appeals to the participants’ common sense, knowledge, or reasoning, which is invoked by the relationship between the statement and the preceding or subsequent talk. Also by the use of the interrogative formulation, the RPQ makes a response conditionally relevant. However, the RPQ deployed in second position conveys extra-meanings, which fundamentally emerge from the particularity of its second-ness. The statement expressed by the RPQ in second position is designed to be an alternative statement to a prior assessment. That is, by the conditional relevance of the question-answer adjacency pair invoked by the use of the interrogative formulation, the RPQ undermines the first-ness of a prior assessment and establishes itself as a new first pair part (Heritage & Raymond, 2005). Another important finding of the present study concerns the range of practices by which the RPQ speaker establishes participants’ symmetrical access to a matter at hand and thereby creates an environment for the production of the RPQ. Significantly, these practices differ, depending upon the positions in which the RPQ occurs. This difference affects the kinds of actions implemented by the RPQ.

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  • Strategic Manipulation in Voting Systems

    Reyhani Shokat Abad, Reyhaneh (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    In this thesis, we are going to study the strategic manipulation of voting rules, mostly scoring rules. In the first part, we focus on naive manipulation, where we have a coalition of manipulators and the other voters vote sincerely. In Section 1.4 we introduce a new measure of manipulability of voting rules, which reflects both the size and the prevalence of the manipulating coalitions and is adaptable to various concepts of manipulation. We place this measure in a framework of probabilistic measures that organizes many results in the recent literature. We discuss algorithmic aspects of computation of the measures and present a case study of exact numerical results in the case of 3 candidates for several common voting rules. In Section 1.5 we study manipulability measures as power indices in cooperative game theory. In Chapter 2, we study the asymptotic behaviour of a model of manipulation called safe manipulation for a given scoring rule under the uniform distribution on voting situations. The technique used is computation of volumes of convex polytopes. We present explicit numerical results in the 3 candidate case. In the second part of the thesis, we adopt a game-theoretic approach to study strategic manipulation. We try to explore more behavioural assumptions for our voters. In Chapter 3, we have an introduction to voting games and different factors such as the available amount of information, voters’ strategies and ability to communicate . In Chapter 4, we consider best-reply dynamics for voting games in which all players are strategic and no coalitions are formed. We study the class of scoring rules, show convergence of a suitably restricted version for the plurality and veto rules, and failure of convergence for other rules including k-approval and Borda. In Chapter 5,We discuss a new model for strategic voting in plurality elections under uncertainty. In particular, we introduce the concept of inertia to capture players’ uncertainty about poll accuracy. We use a sequence of pre-election polls as a source of partial information. Under some behavioural assumptions, we show how this sequence can help agents to coordinate on an equilibrium outcome. We study the model analytically under some special distributions of inertia, and present some simulation results for more general distributions. Some special cases of our model yield a voting rule closely related to the instant-runoff voting rule and give insight into the political science principle known as Duverger’s law. Our results show that the type of equilibrium and the speed of convergence to equilibrium depend strongly on the distribution of inertia and the preferences of agents. This thesis is based on the results of the following papers [1], [2], [3], [4] and [5].

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  • Virus elimination from Actinidia germplasm

    Cowell, Sarah (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Kiwifruit (genus Actinidia) is an important horticultural crop to New Zealand. Since 2003 several viruses have been isolated from Actinidia germplasm. Because the germplasm is difficult to replace it is vital that viruses are eliminated from the infected material. The anti-viral effect of thermotherapy and chemotherapy was tested on a selection of viruses that infect Actinidia species (Actinidia virus A (AcVA), Actinidia virus B (AcVB), Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), Apple stem grooving virus (ASGV), Actinidia virus X (AVX), Citrus leaf blotch-like virus (CLBV-a), and Cucumber mosaic virus CMV). Also, the phylogenetic relationship of AMV isolated from Actinidia was compared to other extant isolates. It was found that Actinidia chinensis and Actinidia deliciosa shoot tip cultures did not remain infected with ASGV, AVX, CLBV-a, and CMV, indicating that tissue culturing may have eliminated these viruses or that they do not persist in these species. Exposure of A. deliciosa to a range of elevated temperatures (30-40°C) showed that the cultures do not survive at 37.5°C or higher. Application of a temperature cycling regime of 25°C for 8 hours and 35°C for 16 hours improved the tolerance of A. chinensis and A. deliciosa to incubation at an elevated temperature. When the temperature cycling regime was applied to AcVA, AcVB, AMV, ASGV, AVX, CLBV-a, and CMV in Nicotiana occidentalis shoot tip cultures, the treatment was able to reduce the titre of all the viruses studied. The effects of anti-viral compounds (acyclovir, amantadine hydrochloride, 5-azacytidine, oseltamivir, ribavirin, 2-thiouracil, and vidarabine) against AMV, ASGV, AVX, CLBV-a, and CMV in N. occidentalis shoot tip cultures cultures was determined. Only ribavirin (20mg/L) and ribavirin (10mg/L) combined with quercetin (10mg/L) had a significant effect against ASGV and CLBV-a. These treatments were not phytotoxic to Actinidia and, along with thermotherapy, are promising candidates for further development of virus elimination protocols in Actinidia. Phylogenetic analysis of RNA 3 and the coat protein sequences of AMV isolated from three Actinidia species showed the presence of two distinct sequence variants that are dissimilar to other AMV isolates so far identified in New Zealand; these isolates likely represent two separate introductions, one or both of which may represent an Actinidia strain.

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  • "It is Really Hard Being in Their Shoes": Developing Historical Empathy in Secondary School Students

    Davison, Martyn (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Historical empathy is highly valued by many history education researchers as a means of cultivating tolerance and critical thinking. The potential of historical empathy however, to be widely taught in classrooms, may not be fully realised because there is little agreement regarding its meaning and teaching. This thesis, through a qualitative comparative case study, explores students' development of historical empathy, how the concept might be taught and whether its meaning can be clarified. The thesis begins by describing my interest in historical empathy, before identifying the concept's affective and cognitive dimensions found within the literature. It then outlines how as a teacher-researcher I devised an intervention which entailed teaching one class (Class A/C) the affective dimension first, followed by the cognitive dimension, and teaching another class (Class C/A) the reverse: that is the cognitive dimension first, followed by the affective. Within this context I set out to explore three research questions. The first investigated, through interviews and visual material, how students interpret historical empathy. Findings showed that their interpretations emphasised the difficulty of empathising historically and they identified elements such as open-mindedness and evidence. Building on this, I developed a typology and pathway to help establish a common understanding of historical empathy. The second explored the development of historical empathy in two students, Lucy (Class A/C) and Claire (Class C/A), using their workbooks, essays and assessment task responses. Typologies, pathways and spider-web diagrams were used to plot their progression, while their essays exemplified what the concept of sophisticated historical empathy looked like. The third investigated the sequencing of the affective and cognitive dimensions of historical empathy. Results drawn from multiple data sources showed that student enjoyment and interest were strongest when the affective dimension was taught first, followed by the cognitive. The thesis has made a useful contribution to my practice and the wider history community. It has done this by clearly interpreting the meaning of historical empathy, identifying students' growth in developing the concept through the use of progression strategies and by exploring how the sequence in which historical empathy's affective and cognitive dimensions are taught can influence learning.

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  • "Any rags, any jazz, any boppers today?": Jazz in New Zealand 1920-1955

    Ward, Aleisha (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis explores the history of jazz in New Zealand from the 1920s to the mid–1950s, surrounding a central theme examining how New Zealanders acquired and responded to jazz. I describe how jazz, as music, dance, and popular culture, was brought to New Zealand during the period 1920–1955. In particular I uncover and describe the roles that the jazz cultures of the United States of America, Great Britain, and Australia played in influencing the development of jazz in New Zealand. I identify physical media showing New Zealanders’ responses to jazz during this period. Responses to the physical media reflect how New Zealanders interpreted and defined jazz, and how those responses changed across the period. In association with the media, I detail aspects of material culture relating to jazz in New Zealand, and placing jazz within a social context. I propose a model of ‘recontextualisation’, the change in a practice when it is removed from one cultural context and place to another, to explain the relationships between New Zealand and foreign responses to jazz. In particular, I identify the unique ways in which New Zealanders participated in the continuous recreation of their own jazz culture.

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  • On the Construction, Maintenance and Analysis of Case-Based Strategies in Computer Poker

    Rubin, Jonathan (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The state-of-the-art within Artificial Intelligence has directly benefited from research conducted within the computer poker domain. One such success has been the the advancement of bottom up equilibrium finding algorithms via computational game theory. On the other hand, alternative top down approaches, that attempt to generalise decisions observed within a collection of data, have not received as much attention. In this thesis we examine top down approaches that use Case-Based Reasoning in order to construct strategies within the domain of computer poker. Our analysis begins with the development of frameworks to produce static strategies that do not change during game play. We trace the evolution of our case-based architecture and evaluate the effect that modifications have on strategy performance. The end result of our experimentation is a coherent framework for producing strong case-based strategies based on the observation and generalisation of expert decisions. Next, we introduce three augmentation procedures that extend the initial frameworks in order to produce case-based strategies that are able to adapt to changing game conditions and exploit weaknesses of their opponents. Two of the augmentation procedures introduce different forms of opponent modelling into the case-based strategies produced. A further extension investigates the use of transfer learning in order to leverage information between separate poker sub-domains. For each poker domain investigated,we present results obtained fromthe Annual Computer Poker Competition, where the best poker agents in the world are challenged against each other. We also present results against a range of human opponents. The presented results indicate that the top down case-based strategies produced are competitive against both human opposition, as well as state-of-the-art, bottom up equilibrium finding algorithms. Furthermore, comparative evaluations between augmented and non-augmented frameworks show that strategies which have been augmented with either transfer learning or opponent modelling capabilities are typically able to outperformtheir non-augmented counterparts.

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  • The impact of body mass index and ethnicity on adverse pregnancy outcomes

    Anderson, Ngaire (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Worldwide obesity prevalence has increased dramatically and obesity is now widely considered a global epidemic. The health consequences of obesity are widespread, including in pregnancy where obesity increases the risk of many complications. Rates of pregnancy complications have also been reported to vary by ethnicity, however analyses rarely include adjustment for adiposity (the most common measure being body mass index, BMI). Not only do obesity rates vary substantially between ethnicities, but ratios of fat mass to lean-body-mass differ between ethnicities for the same BMI, confounding the association between ethnicity and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Using a retrospective cohort analysis of routinely collected data from National Women’s Health, Auckland, New Zealand from 2006 to 2009, we aimed to investigate the contribution of maternal obesity and ethnicity to three important and common pregnancy outcomes in our local obstetric population; small for gestational age (SGA) infants, pre-eclampsia and Caesarean section (CS). Firstly, we determined that maternal characteristics such as height, weight and ethnicity had independent effects on birthweight that can be considered physiological, and adjusting for these in a customised birthweight model can improve detection of SGA infants who are at-risk of perinatal death. We then performed the first comprehensive analysis of risk factors for SGA defined using customised birthweight centiles and showed that obesity was a risk factor for SGA. Obese women also have a well-established increase in risk of pre-eclampsia. Despite speculation that this is due to an increase in the typically ‘milder’ late-onset pre-eclampsia, in a secondary analysis of data from a prospective study in low-risk nulliparous women, we observed no differences in clinical phenotype of pre-eclampsia by maternal BMI. Additionally, in our general obstetric cohort, after comprehensive adjustment for known confounders including BMI, we observed ethnic differences in rates of pre-eclampsia and CS. Compared with European women we found lower rates of pre-eclampsia among Chinese women and higher rates among Māori women, as well as lower rates of elective CS among Pacific and Chinese women, and higher rates of emergency CS among Indian, ‘Other Asian’ and women of ‘Other’ ethnicities. Understanding the impact of ethnicity and obesity on adverse pregnancy outcomes will help clinicians to appropriately identify those women who are at additional risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, as well as provide avenues for researchers to investigate how ethnicity and obesity interact to either protect or increase risk of pregnancy complications.L

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  • A Catchment Framed, Process Based Approach to Analysis of the Evolutionary Trajectory of the Tongariro River

    Reid, Helen (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Major degradation has occurred to rivers world-wide, as channels and habitats are simplified and ecosystems impaired. Although river rehabilitation has been suggested as the best tool to stop this decline, efforts thus far have been marred by failures. A lack of process-based, geomorphic understanding is commonly given as a key reason. Multi-scalar understandings of space and time seek to address this shortcoming. This thesis applies analysis of landscape form at catchment, reach and bar scales to appraise process relationships within the Tongariro catchment, New Zealand. At the catchment scale, a DEM is used to analyse sediment conveyance within, and between, landscape units by calculating erosion indices, slope categories and drainage line stream power. Field-based analysis of the character and behaviour of streams across the catchment grounds this work. A sediment budget describes the bulk transfer of material since 1.8 ka, following the eruption of Lake Taupo. As this volcanic activity reset process zones in the catchment this presents a useful time constraint for this study. Mechanisms of channel adjustment and temporal patterns of response are assessed using 80 years of aerial photography for the 15 km reach of the lower Tongariro River. A framework to characterise river sensitivity is presented. Analyses of controls (i.e. bed material, transport capacity and valley confinement) within the wandering cobble bed reach are assessed. This provides a process-based explanation of within-reach variability in the pattern and rate of channel adjustment. At the bar scale, the distribution of bed materials was mapped using terrestrial laser scanning. Sediment entrainment during different magnitude/frequency floods was modelled. A conceptual model describing the geomorphic effectiveness of each flood event on within-bar surfaces is presented. Insights across multiple scales were synthesised using a catchment-framed, process-based, evolutionary trajectory approach. This is used to predict future pathways of geomorphic adjustment. Tongariro-specific findings include the resilience of the wandering, cobble bed reach, as a lag of lahar material retains steep slopes within the lower reach, flushing the active gravel fraction. Directly downstream, the highly sensitive braided reach captures this gravel, causing high rates of channel adjustment and widening. The meandering sand and delta reaches are narrowing towards a threshold condition, beyond which avulsion is likely. Tools which combine different scales and types of insights (i.e. qualitative landscape evolution and quantitative process based analysis) are necessary to provide a more comprehensive underpinning to rehabilitation schemes, allowing management strategies to ‘work with’ the underlying processes.

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  • Physical and structural controls on monogenetic basaltic volcanism, and implications for the evolution of the Auckland Volcanic Field

    Le Corvec, Nicolas (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Monogenetic volcanic fields (MVFs) comprise numerous volcanic centers, distributed across large areas. Understanding the relative importance of various tectonic and magmatic controls on field evolution is pivotal to hazard analyses, and is of particular importance in New Zealand, where the highest population density resides on the active Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF). This thesis provides insights into this problem through studies at different scales (from multiple volcanic fields, to a single volcanic field, to propagation of a single dike) and different dimensions (from 2D surficial spatial analysis to 4D spatio-temporal analysis of the chemical composition of erupted products). Tectonic control or the influence of pre-existing faults is often invoked to explain alignments and statistical distributions of volcanic centers in MVFs; however, a global comparison has been lacking. I present a new global analysis of the spatial distribution of volcanic centers within 37 MVFs, and show: 1) a common clustered distribution of volcanic centers, 2) independency of clustering on tectonic environment, 3) dependency of volcanic field shape on tectonic environment, and 4) influence of tectonic environment on the number of preferred orientations of volcanic alignments. Controls on volcanic alignments are explored using analogue models to evaluate the impact of pre-existing faults on dike propagation. These reveal that lateral distance between fault(s) and dikes, and angle of approach, have the greatest control on the tendency of a dike to modify its trajectory to intercept pre-existing faults, thus modifying the distribution of volcanic centers. Pre-existing faults also affect dike geometry and velocity, as did dike volume. The AVF is an outlier in the global comparison, having an apparently random distribution. Taking advantage of newly available geochemical data and geochronological models, I present a new methodology that combines time, location and chemistry of each eruption, to evaluate the evolution of this MVF. The method looks for the spatio-temporal evolution of volcanic centers using the nearest neighbour analysis and statistical correlations between chemical composition of erupted products and time, distance and volume between successive eruptions. In spite of data limitations, the nearest neighbour analysis reveals that the magma source shows a constant spatial behaviour through time and the statistical correlations show that the spatial distribution of volcanic centers, i.e. the release of magma, is controlled by the behaviour of the source. As well as offering insight to the deep workings of the AVF, this method offers considerable potential to understand the behaviour of monogenetic basaltic volcanism elsewhere.

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