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Psychosom Med. 1976 Nov-Dec;38(6):399-417.

Daily self-reports on activities, life events, moods, and somatic changes during the menstrual cycle.


Thirty-three undergraduate students (11 males, 11 females taking oral contraceptives, and 11 females not taking oral contraceptives) filled out daily self-reports on pleasant activities, stressful events, moods, and somatic changes for 35 consecutive days. By randomly assigning each male a "pseudo" cycle, the data were analyzed to compare the three samples across the three phases of the menstrual cycle. The results indicated that males reported somewhat more stable but less positive experiences than females. While males reported a stable, low level of pain and water retention throughout the study, both female samples reported increases during the premenstrual and menstrual phases. Reports of negative affect, impaired concentration, and stressful events did not differ by samples, but significant sample by cycle interactions reflected differential increases in the two female samples during the premenstrual and menstrual phases. Subsequent analyses indicated that the experience of stressful events accounted for more of the variance than did cycle phase for these negative mood factors, but not for pain and water retention.

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