THE EXPERIENCE OF MENARCHE An Exploratory Study

Authors

  • Susan Andrews CNM, MSN

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      Yale University School of Nursing, 855 Howard Avenue, PO Box 3333, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.
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    • Susan Andrews is a program instructor in the Maternal-Newborn Nursing/Nurse-Midwifery department at Yale University School of Nursing. She earned a BA in British and American Literature from Northwestern University, an ma in teaching from Johns Hopkins University, an AND from Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon, and an msn from Yale University School of Nursing. Her professional experience includes public school teaching at the junior high school level and maternal-newborn nursing, as well as nurse-midwifery.


Yale University School of Nursing, 855 Howard Avenue, PO Box 3333, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.

ABSTRACT

An interview study of 23 pre- and postmenarcheal girls was conducted to explore the experience of menarche. The subjective data obtained is presented in four categories: 1) emotional readiness for the event, 2) physical and emotional responses to the event, 3) cognitive understanding of the event, and 4) incorporation of the event into a developing self-identity. Representative quotations from the girls are included in each category. Menarche is described as a crisis in development, in response to which girls may develop their own patterns of sexual behavior and contraceptive use.

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