Date of Award:

1987

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Brent C. Miller

Abstract

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a controversial and widely misunderstood syndrome which encompasses mood, behavior, and physical symptoms that occur cyclically and are associated with the menstrual cycle. Many women report suffering from recurring PMS symptoms severe enough to create a temporary physical or mental incapacitation which may affect the marital relationship. A study was initiated to document bi-phasic personality and marital changes related to PMS.

This sample consisted of 119 adult females and their husbands, ranging in age between 18 and 60, who sought diagnosis and treatment at the Utah PMS Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Within this clinical sample, comparisons were made between those who appeared to have the most positive indicators of PMS, as identified by the Dalton Diagnostic Pointer, the monthly symptom calendar, and the dOCtor's diagnostic impression, and those who did not, according to the same criteria. The marital relationship was assessed by both husband and wife during the follicular (approximately day 6 to day 14) and luteal (approximately day 14 to first day of menses) phases of the menstrual cycle using the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Scale. Personality changes were measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPO, which was administered to the wife only during both phases.

Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine if I) for the entire sample, there are differences in women's mental health, and marital adjustment (as reported by both husband and wife) between the two cyclic phases, and 2) whether or not mental health and marital adjustment changes are similar between those women with positive indicators of PMS, versus those without. Final results of this study show that, overall, the entire sample is reporting significantly less healthy personality adjustment for the wife, as well as lower marital adjustment for both husband and wife during the symptomatic phase. There are some indications that, although these changes are present in both groups (those with PMS and those without), the changes are less dramatic for those women and couples with less likelihood of PMS.

These findings have important implications for counselors and marriage therapists in that PMS has been shown to be related to psychological dysfunction and marital stress. Diagnosticians who test women during the symptomatic phase and obtain test results which are not representative of the client"s overall health and well-being would also benefit from the results of this study.

These findings have important implications for counselors and marriage therapists in that PMS has been shown to be related to psychological dysfunction and marital stress. Diagnosticians who test women during the symptomatic phase and obtain test results which are not representative of the client"s overall health and well-being would also benefit from the results of this study.