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2013-2014

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  • Thumbnail for Biocultural and genetic factors used in osteoporosis risk assessment and osteoporosis education for different female age demographics
    Biocultural and genetic factors used in osteoporosis risk assessment and osteoporosis education for different female age demographics by Smith, Claire Elizabeth

    Previous studies emphasize the importance of acquiring maximal bone mineral density through modifiable behavioral practices during childhood and adolescence to help prevent geriatric onset of osteoporosis. The purpose of this study was to examine the biocultural and genetic risk factors medical professionals consider when assessing osteoporosis risk and to evaluate if the appropriate age demographic is targeted for osteoporosis education. Thirty-three medical professionals participated in a structured survey consisting of 20 questions about critical factors for determining osteoporosis risk. Survey results indicated that diet, multivitamin intake, physical activity level, history of low BMI, and cigarette smoking status are among the most important developmental factors respondents considered when evaluating patient risk. Professionals emphasized that the interplay between these modifiable factors significantly influences individual risk. A patient’s age, sex, family history of osteoporosis, and past medical history were also important, albeit non-modifiable, factors. Results revealed that medical professionals adequately educate young female patients about osteoporosis risk and bone health in a clinical context. In an additional component of this study, the frequency and accuracy of osteoporosis and bone health information presented by media sources was assessed by analyzing five magazines and eight Twitter accounts that targeted young women. Results showed that discussion of bone health and osteoporosis was minimal compared to discussion of other aspects of health and the amount of content that focused on attaining a certain physical appearance. Examining the factors that contribute to the incidence of osteoporosis in modern human populations is crucial for understanding and preventing the disease.

  • Thumbnail for “Already made a name for myself” : academic and professional women’s utilization of impression management and practice theory through retaining their natal surnames at marriage
    “Already made a name for myself” : academic and professional women’s utilization of impression management and practice theory through retaining their natal surnames at marriage by Rennecker, Amanda Grace

    For some women in the United States, last-naming practices have progressed from a patronymic system to a non-conventional one. An example of non-traditional last-naming choices is when a woman retains her natal surname at marriage. Women who choose to keep their own names at marriage are often questioned about their reasoning and are sometimes ridiculed for defying the longstanding patronymic system. The questions I seek to answer in this essay are: what are women’s reasons behind keeping their own last names? Do they need a claim to a professional or academic accomplishment to justify their decision? Through the Feminist Last Naming Project, 82 women and one man were interviewed about their last name stories surrounding feminist last-naming practices. I used grounded theory methodology to interpret the data from the interviews and two theories arose: impression management theory and practice theory. Both theories provide a lens to understand women’s academic and professional reasons for keeping their own last names at marriage as well as the practice of women imparting situational name use in their lives. Twenty-two people cited academic and/or professional reasons for their experiences with a woman keeping her own last name at marriage. Fifteen of these women discuss compartmentalizing their lives through situational name use. Costs and benefits exist for this non-conventional naming decision; however, for the women in this study, it appears that the benefits outweigh the costs. In order to reconcile the difficulties surrounding their decisions, many of the women use different surnames in different situations and compartmentalize their lives. These women appear to manage the impressions they wish to acquire from different people as well as garner different forms of symbolic capital that reflect the structures under which they live.

  • Thumbnail for “Sin agua, sin vida” : an ethnography of community landscape perspectives La Fortuna, Costa Rica
    “Sin agua, sin vida” : an ethnography of community landscape perspectives La Fortuna, Costa Rica by McKeon, Margaret Johnson

    This project is an analysis of local perspectives surrounding landscape and the management of natural resources in La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica. La Fortuna is a product of the conservation system and the increase of a tourism-based economy in Costa Rica, where socioeconomic development is increasing with an environmental conscience. Understanding the values and perceptions of the local population can help nearby Arenal National Park and other conservation institutions help the local community and better manage natural resources. This analysis looks for patterns in the interview responses of local participants about their personal practices with natural resources, perceptions of Arenal National Park, and changes in the community since the National Parks’ establishment. Quantitative survey and qualitative quotes suggest that local people perceive their values of natural resources as different from the objectives of Arenal National Park. The local community is instead unified by environmental and economic solidarity, creating a unique perspective on their surrounding natural landscape. The park and community need more collaboration to strengthen their relationship and to better natural resource management in the area.