Exploring the bio-psycho-social approach to premenstrual experiences

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49 Scopus citations


A bio-psycho-social approach to the premenstrual syndrome suggests that cyclical hormonal changes are acknowledged and interpreted in light of the expectations and the attitudes acquired in the process of socialization. In this study, attitudes toward menstruation and premenstrual experiences of 229 Israeli students of different ethnic groups and gender role orientations were explored. The findings were consistent with previous reports: attitudes toward menstruation and premenstrual experiences were associated with exposure to premenstrual symptoms in women family members and negative messages during adolescence; respondents of a more traditional background perceived menstruation as relatively debilitating and bothersome but also a natural event and reported more severe experiences. However, models aimed at estimating the causal relationship indicated that attitudes toward menstruation depend on premenstrual experiences rather than predict them. The difficulties of investigating such reciprocal relationships of menstrual attitudes and premenstrual experiences cross-culturally and longitudinally are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1999


  • Attitudes
  • Ethnicity
  • Menstrual socialization
  • Premenstrual experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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