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Behav Modif. 1992 Jul;16(3):426-38.

Development of the feminine gender role stress scale. A cognitive-behavioral measure of stress, appraisal, and coping for women.

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


The cognitive appraisal of threats and challenges to sterotypical feminine gender role coping behavior was defined as feminine gender role stress (FGRS). This article describes the development of a self-report measure of FGRS. Situations perceived as more stressful for women than for men wer categorized by factor analysis, yielding the following constellation of maladaptive stress responses particularly salient for women: (a) fear of unemotional relationships, (b) fear of being unattractive, (c) fear of victimization, (d) fear of behaving assertively, and (e) fear of not being nurturant. Women demonstrated significantly higher FGRS appraisal scores than men, and scores among women showed good 2-week test-retest reliability. The tendency to appraise situations on the FGRS scale as stressful was associated with the tendency to consider daily hassles stressful but was not related to self-perceived femininity in women. It was predicted that women who tend to exhibit the FGRS appraisal style would have more difficulty in coping with stressors related to depression. Supporting this hypothesis, women with higher FGRS scores reported greater depression than those with lower scores. The assessment of FGRS appraisal and coping style in women provides useful information for devising treatment strategies to improve women's health through promotion of adaptive coping.

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