Psychological evaluation of premenstrual syndromes: A descriptive study.
AuthorMorgan Hurst, Daphne Ann.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study was designed to examine the actual symptoms, intensity of symptoms, stressors, level of experienced stress, and psychopathology in women with a premenstrual syndrome. A group of forty women with an identified premenstrual syndrome was compared on these variables with a control group of twenty women without a premenstrual syndrome and a control group of twenty men. A split half pre/post design was used, and subjects were tested both premenstrually and post menstrually. Male subjects were included in this study, as it was assumed they would not experience mood or behavior changes due to fluctuation in hormonal levels. The male subjects were assigned a "pseudo menstrual cycle" and were also tested on two occasions. A General Questionnaire, Premenstrual Assessment Form, Stress Management Questionnaire, and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory were administered at both the Premenstrual and Post Menstrual (Baseline) testing. A Sexuality/Menstrual History Information Questionnaire was administered at the second testing. The results indicated demographic differences between the Premenstrual group and the two control groups which focused on marital status and employment. The Premenstrual group differed significantly from both the Female and Male control groups in reported symptoms, intensity of symptoms, stressors, and level of experienced stress. These differences were least at the Post Menstrual (Baseline) testing and increased dramatically at the Premenstrual testing. A higher proportion of women in the Premenstrual group exhibited significant psychopathology on both testing occasions on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, with a mild increase in psychopathology at the Premenstrual testing when compared to the two control groups. The Premenstrual group did not report an increase in sexually traumatic events when compared to the Female Control group. The male subjects in this study reported no sexually traumatic events. In addition, the women in the Premenstrual group espoused more traditional female values and beliefs, both in their life and employment, and also reported significantly more suicidal ideation during the premenstruum when compared to the control groups. Finally, the mood and stress level and reported behavior level of the Female control subjects did not differ significantly from that of the Male control subjects. In fact, a larger proportion of the women without a premenstrual syndrome did not appear unduly influenced in any way by menstruation, and a larger proportion of this group exhibited a healthier Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory profile than found in either of the other groups.