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Behav Med. 1997 Winter;22(4):152-9.

Perceptual and coping processes across the menstrual cycle: an investigation in a premenstrual syndrome clinic and a community sample.

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  • 1Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, USA.


Patients from a premenstrual symptoms clinic and asymptomatic controls monitored perceived stressors, coping processes, and emotional and physical symptoms daily for a complete menstrual cycle. Within-group comparisons revealed that, premenstrually, the patients reported encountering a greater number of personal competency stressors than they did postmenstrually. Between-group comparisons indicated that the patients encountered more stressors and perceived them as more stressful during the premenstruum than controls did, whereas postmenstrually the groups showed no difference in perceptual style. The patients used situational redefinition as a coping process during the premenstrual phase less frequently than the controls did. We observed positive relationships for patients between daily stressors and emotional and physical symptoms both premenstrually and postmenstrually. For controls, the only relationship demonstrated was that depression was associated with perceived stressfulness of stressors during the premenstrual phase. Results are discussed in the context of psychosocial factors (stressors, appraisal, and coping processes) influencing the manifestation of premenstrual symptoms.

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