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Title: Menstrual attitudes and distress : a multidimensional approach to cross-cultural research
Author: Hewett, Angela Dawn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 2955
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2008
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Introduction: Much of the cross-cultural literature in menstrual cycle attitude and symptom reporting has previously taken a unidimensional approach to designating individuals to cultural groups. This approach may not sufficiently describe the participants, and therefore conclusions drawn from this type of research may be flawed. Little of the previous literature has endeavoured to bring together menstruation, mood, and culture in order to examine menstruation using a biopsychosocial model. Additionally, the concept of alexithymia has been attached to anxiety and mood, however there is a paucity of research that attempts to connect alexithymia to _I]lJnstruation . •••••••• .I • Method: Two questionnaire-based studies were carried out as part of this thesis. The first study was comprised of 322 participants from the US and UK who were Protestant or Catholic. These participants completed the MAQ, MDQ, HADS, a religion questionnaire, and demographic questionnaire. The second study consisted of 191 participants, all of whom were British and were either Protestant or Catholic. These participants completed the MDQ, HADS, TAS, and a demographic questionnaire. Results: The results from Study One showed that anxiety alone was able to predict menstrual cycle symptom reporting independently of the other explanatory variables. Religiosity was negatively significantly related to the menstrual attitude Bothersome. Very few differences in menstrual cycle attitude and symptom reporting could be found between national or religious groups; however, when anxiety caseness was added as a third variable, interactions between anxiety and national cultural group and anxiety and religious cultural group showed a graphed trend for menstrual cycle symptom reporting, although this was not significant in the multivariate regression models. The results from Study Two showed that the interaction patterns between anxiety and religious cultural group were not able to be replicated in a sample of students. Additionally, the Study Two results showed that alexithymia predicts menstrual cycle symptom reporting, and that it is a significant predictor even after anxiety has been controlled for. Conclusions: Menstrual cycle symptom reporting seems to be more affected by the experience of anxiety than cultural group membership, although the importance of investigating and discussing culture from a multidimensional perspective is still valid. Alexithymia was also shown to have an effect on menstrual cycle symptom reporting, and this effect was independent of the effect of anxiety. Support is given for the Psychosomatic Model and Social Psychological Model, along with the roles of stereotyping and the use of cultural idioms of distress. xii
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available