A survey of 156 female undergraduate nursing students was conducted to determine the relationship between life change events and dysmenorrhea and the mediating effect of social supports on this relationship. Data were collected using the Anderson College Schedule of Recent Experience (subjects estimated personal readjustment to life changes), the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire, and a social support index constructed by the authors. Correlations were obtained separately for high and low social support groups; these ranged from .19 to .62 and were significant (p<.05) for both groups. Presence or absence of a confidant was the most discriminating social support dimension (r = .32 for those with a confidant and .62 for those without). For subjects using oral contraceptives there was no relationship between life change and dysmenorrhea, while users of other contraceptives showed a significant positive relationship (p<.05). Life change and social supports together accounted for only 16% of the variance in menstrual distress scores. Methodological difficulties in using the life change and social support tools were identified.