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ERIC Number: ED190952
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
The Social and Psychological Meaning of Menarche.
Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Ruble, Diane N.
In order to understand the psychological meaning of menarche it is necessary to examine cultural beliefs, socialization, and actual experience. A sample of 641 fifth to twelfth grade girls, 40% of whom were premenarcheal, completed a modified version of the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ). Half of the sample completed the MDQ according to their own experience; half rated the MDQ for girls in general. Similarities in self-reports of global symptom changes across samples with different menstrual experience suggests the impact of cultural beliefs on young adolescent girls. Mothers who report moodiness and premenstrual distress may transmit negative attitudes to their daugheters. Parental attitudes toward their daughter's menarche were not related to menstrual distress, although whether or not the father knew about the menarche was. The first menstrual experience may affect subsequent experiences; not being prepared for menarche was related to higher symptomatology. Results suggest that menarche is influenced by cultural, familial and individual factors, and adolescents incorporate societal and parental attitudes into their own beliefs and experiences. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A