Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

Fall 2017

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Winter 2016

    Winter 2016: Energy Evolution

    From carbon dioxide conversion to landfill mining, researchers at UTA are seeking viable alternative energy options.

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Under Pressure

Researchers use mathematical modeling to assess peer influence on dropout rates  

Under Pressure

Parents have long understood the dangers of peer pressure when it comes to risky behaviors like underage drinking. But a new study by UTA researchers shows it could even influence a student’s decision to drop out of school.

“We postulate that social behavior can spread interpersonally through social interactions and influences, just as infectious diseases can,” says Christopher Kribs, professor of mathematics and curriculum and instruction.

He and Anuj Mubayi from Arizona State University–Tempe, Bechir Amdouni from Illinois University, and Marlio Paredes from the University of Puerto Rico–Cayey surveyed 125 students on whether they were failing core subjects; how involved their parents were in their lives; and the number of failing and dropout friends they had. Using a mathematical model they developed, the team members categorized students as being part of one of two environments: a non-risky environment, where they are passing all core subjects or failing only one; or a risky environment, where they are failing two or more and could drop out.

The results showed that students in the latter are at risk for dropping out, largely due to their increased interactions with other failing students.

“Positive parenting is clearly important, but we discovered that there is a point where negative peer influences overcome positive parental ones,” Dr. Kribs explains. “We feel there is a real opportunity to intervene at the school level to reduce dropout rates by controlling these negative influences.”


More articles from this issue

UT Arlington - Office of Research