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Title: Psychology and self-reported PMS : an evaluation of different research strategies
Author: Swann, Catherine Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3493 3587
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis considers the use of different psychological research strategies in generating and supporting a theoretical account of the process by which women come to diagnose themselves as suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Taking an epistemological standpoint informed by recent psychological research into PMS, and the premises of feminist standpoint theory, it is suggested that methodological pluralism may be advantageous in researching a phenomenon grounded both in individual (biological) experience and the social or cultural sphere. Chapter one introduces this research with a reflexive consideration of the researcher and research process. Chapters two and three present a review of physiological and psychological aspects of the menstrual cycle, and traditional approaches to PMS. The rationale for a multi-factor, psychological approach to PMS is presented at the end of chapter three, and chapter four goes on to outline the rationale for methodological pluralism, including adoption of a feminist standpoint approach. Chapter five draws parallels between cognitive approaches to certain emotional disorders (such as panic), and presents a study examining the relationship between attentional bias, attention to body cues, autonomic arousal, stress, and self-reported PMS. Chapter six presents a questionnaire based study of three populations of women, using the Women's Health Questionnaire to investigate the relationship between PMS status and perceived detriment to emotional and physical health. Chapter seven presents a discourse-analytic study of women's accounts of PMS. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with women attending their first appointment at a PMS clinic. The analysis explores ways in which these women discursively constitute their experiences of PMS. This thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications of the results of these studies, in terms of the theoretical framework, in terms of the area of PMS research, and for women who experience premenstrual distress. Recommendations for future research are also given.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Premenstrual syndrome; Feminism