College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Department

Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Ana I Fins

Second Advisor

Craig Marker

Third Advisor

Jeffrey L Kibler

Abstract

Previous research has found that hormone levels change throughout the phases of the menstrual cycle and can affect menstrual distress, however, with inconsistent results. Additionally, research has indicated that stress plays a role in menstrual distress symptoms. There has not been a comprehensive study to date which examines the relationship of reproductive hormone levels (e.g., progesterone, estradiol, LH and PRL) throughout all four phases of the menstrual cycle, while also studying menstrual distress symptoms and indices of stress. Participants include a community sample of women (N = 37) recruited at a university medical center in Mississippi who completed laboratory hormone assays, as well as the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (Moos, 1968), the Weekly Stress Inventory (Brantley, Jones, Boudreaux, & Catz, 1997), and a global stress measure, throughout four phases of one menstrual cycle. Pearson correlations were conducted to test the potential relationships of hormone levels and indices of stress. The relationships between hormone levels and menstrual distress, as well as the relationships between menstrual distress and stress also were examined. Potential interactions were examined using multiple regressions. The role of menstrual distress in mediating the relationship between hormone levels and indices of stress also were considered and assessed using a series of multiple regression equations.

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