...Because of the potentially negative effects of certain rumors in personal, economic, and political realms, researchers have begun to investigate strategies for controlling their spread. For example, Oliviane Brodin (Decisions Marketing, 1995, 4, 15-26) has developed a rumor control strategy emphasizing preventive measures for reducing risk factors. Nicholas DiFonzo, Prashant Bordia, and Rosnow (OrganizationaI Dynamics, 1994. 23. 4-62) have developed theoretically based guidelines for coping with potentially harmful rumors targeted against companies. As the capabilities of social communication networks are further advanced by modern technology, rumors will continue to proliferate as a social phenomenon, evidence of which has already become apparent on the Internet.
...The impact of these structural changes on individuals and families is largely unknown. For example. like other parts of the country, rural America is aging rapidly. Dwindling public resources in many rural counties raise serious questions about how elderly persons will fare. There is also increasing evidence of the spread of adolescent gangs from urban settings to rural communities, presenting new challenges for law enforcement. The presence of street drugs in rural communities also presents further challenges for public providers of health and mental health care. as well as educational systems. In many rural areas, such as the Mississippi Delta, the public education system is deteriorating and teacher recruitment and retention are becoming almost impossible. The pervasive poverty characteristic of many rural areas in the country infects young and old, threatening the workforce with economic devastation.