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14-09-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2016

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2016

Self-Focused Attention and Symptoms Across Menstrual Cycle Phases in Women With and Without Premenstrual Disorders

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2016
Auteurs:
Julia R. Craner, Sandra T. Sigmon, Michael A. Young

Abstract

Premenstrual disorders, which include premenstrual dysphoric disorder and premenstrual syndrome involve cyclically occurring affective, behavioral, and physical symptoms. Despite high comorbidity rates and symptom overlap with mood and anxiety disorders, there has been a lack of research investigating psychological constructs that contribute to etiology and/or maintenance of premenstrual disorders. The current study hypothesized that self-focused attention (SFA) on emotional and somatic symptoms may contribute to premenstrual distress. Participants were 61 women, including 29 women with a premenstrual disorder (PMD subgroup) and 32 controls. Participants rated symptoms and SFA responses each day for 30 days. Findings indicated that women in the PMD group reported greater use of SFA responses to symptoms compared to the control group, and during the premenstrual compared to intermenstrual phases. SFA partially mediated the relationship between menstrual cycle phase and symptoms. The interaction between physiological menstrual cycle changes and psychological contributions provides a more comprehensive explanation for premenstrual disorders, and future research is warranted to clarify this relationship.

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