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DEDICATION This dissertation is dedicated to my family, beginning with my husband, Michael, who has always been my better half. He keeps me afloat in troubled waters and is truly my "first mate." My daughters, Andrea and Katie, have always believed I could do it, even when I wasn't so sure. Their support means more than I can express. I am also grateful to my late parents, Charles and Doris Gill, who firmly believed that education was the key to the future. iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like todoi:10.18297/etd/1174 fatcat:jort3l3aurcutgsumpp724kbom