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Title: Blood, fat and tears : an exploration of the relationship between menarche, body attitutde and mood in adolescent girls
Author: Harte, Jane Cyan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 2183
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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As a decisive event in adolescent girls' pubertal development it is suggested that menarche may play an influential role in shaping attitudes toward the body and the self. As body image has been strongly linked to self-esteem in adolescence it is argued that theses processes may have an effect on mood and relate to changing patterns of psychological difficulties encountered by females throughout adolescence. The main aims of this study were, firstly to identify if menarcheis a pivotal event in terms of a change in attitudes towards the body, secondly to explore the possibility that taking on conflicting societalm essagesre gardingt he menstruatingw oman may be related to low mood and unhelpful attitudes towards the body, thirdly, to identify if increased experience of menstruation is associated with greater comfort with menstruation as a natural and acceptable part of the self and finally to identify relationships between positive and negative attitudes toward menstruation and body image, mood and participation in sexual activity. The attitudes of 354 adolescent girls from a high school population were collected using a self report questionnaire which incorporated measures of menstrual attitudes, body attitudes, mood and information regarding menstrual and menarche status Results did not find a specific change in attitudes towards the body with menarche, but a possibly more complex picture of relationships between variables. Conflicting attitudes were not found to be associated with low mood or unhelpful attitudes towards the body. Increased experience of menstruation was associated with increased perception of menstruation as a socially acceptable event. Positive perceptions of social attitudes towards menstruation and feelings of attractiveness were found to be related to fewer concerns regarding weight and shape of the body, better mood, a tendency to see menstruation as less debilitating and a reduced likelihood to participate in sexual activity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available