|by MSU News Service
Nurses who want to provide quality care to Montana's Hutterites should know and respect the health
beliefs and practices of the state's second largest minority, according to four Montana State
University-Bozeman nursing students who researched Hutterite health practices last semester.
Hutterites, for example, see a strong correlation between prayer and physical health. They also
have great respect for doctors and nurses and use conventional medicine, but they are open to
alternative medicines. They use reflexology and massage, as well as herbal remedies like celery
tea for colds or stinging nettle tea for "girl disorders."
Darrin Peplinski, Nancy Fields-Estill, Rachel Tanglen and Tracy Anderson conducted the Hutterite
study during their last semester of nursing school on the Billings campus. To find out the Hutterite's
beliefs and practices about health, the students sent surveys to 30 of the state's 43 Hutterite colonies.
Eighteen out of 150 surveys were returned, so the students conducted personal interviews, too.
Their research gave them ideas for how nurses can better care for their Hutterite patients, the students
said. Nurses should pay strong attention to the spiritual needs of their patients, for example. They
should encourage visits from other colony members, especially spiritual leaders and families. Nurses
should be willing to read the Bible to patients who may be unable to read for themselves.
The students presented their findings recently during the Ninth Undergraduate Scholars Conference
at MSU-Bozeman. Eighty-nine students representing every college on campus made presentations on
topics ranging from music therapy among the terminally ill to snake venom and swimming pool slime.
In one project, Maria Spinelli talked about the impact of divorce on vacation behavior. Building on
five years of research by associate professor of business David Snepenger, Spinelli found that baby
boomers are the most avid travelers, and they often take their children with them. About 54 percent
of all family trips involve children.
Divorce, however, has drastically affected vacations. In a survey of MSU students whose parents had
divorced, Spinelli found that discretionary income increased during the divorce, but fell after the
divorce. After the divorce, families were more likely to take vacations during the summer instead of
throughout the year.
Because of the impact of divorce on vacations, Spinelli said, "Marketers may need to consider the
divorce market to become more competitive."
Seniors Heather Haberman and Jerry Gossel looked at how Americans meet and fall in love over the
Internet. A search for dating and romance sites on America Online yielded more than 7,500 hits, many
with additional links, "so you could keep going on until your fingers fell off," Gossel said. Most of
the sites had public and private chat rooms and bulletin boards.
In comparing personal ads on the Internet with their print counterparts, Gossel found that the Internet
ads are more descriptive and that the men were more graphic in their physical descriptions and needs.
The anonymity of the Internet may explain the greater specificity, because it's easier to back out of
the "relationship" if it only exists in cyberspace, Haberman theorized.
The students also discovered that it wasn't uncommon for people to meet over the Internet and marry
within 30 days. How long these relationships last would be a good topic for subsequent studies, they
While researching the history of Irish step dancing, general studies student Pearl Harris learned that
during the 1800s the dance, referred to as "kicking up the sod," moved from the farm fields into Irish
taverns. Children were put upstairs in the pubs to alert Catholic worshippers downstairs with their
percussive footwork if British officials were approaching.
One theory for why the dancers keep their arms at their sides and their upper bodies stiff is so they
can dance in a pub without knocking over someone's drink, Harris said.
With a history stretching back to the 1500s, the dance is now on the world stage. Germany alone has
nine companies, Harris found.
"Competition among peasants used to be the reason for doing the dance," Harris said. "Now the dancers
are communicating a tradition."
Francesca Messina, an exchange student from Italy, researched the U.S. cosmetic industry and presented
her findings at the USP conference. Focusing just on makeup, she said 82 percent of the American women
buy makeup. Seventy percent use face makeup, 78 percent use lipstick, 64 percent use eye products and
59 percent use nail products. Most of them buy their makeup from mass markets like discount stores and
After reviewing the leading cosmetic companies, Messina pointed out some trends. Teenagers and baby boomers,
for example, are increasing in numbers. To reach teenagers who have more than $100 billion in disposable
income and buy beauty products on an average of every two weeks, Messina suggested that drugstores and
discount chains increase the space they use for teenage makeup supplies. Teenagers like to experiment, so
they need larger selections. They also want more information about how to use the products.
To reach baby boomers, Messina suggested that companies offer skin care lines in addition to makeup. The
products should also respond to baby boomers' concerns about environmental issues.
Two other growing groups that marketers could target are African Americans and Hispanics, Messina said.
Another trend in the cosmetic industry is buying products over the Internet.