The Effects of Perceived Stress and Attitudes Toward Menopause and Aging on Symptoms of Menopause

Authors

  • Marcianna Nosek CNM, MPH, PhD,

    Corresponding author
      University of San Francisco School of Nursing, 2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117. E-mail: nosek@usfca.edu
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    • Marcianna Nosek, CNM, MPH, PhD, is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, San Francisco, CA.

  • Holly Powell Kennedy CNM, PhD,

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    • Holly Powell Kennedy, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN, is the inaugural Helen Varney Professor of Midwifery at Yale School of Nursing, New Haven, CT. She is also President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and Co-Chair of the International Confederation of Midwives Research Standing Committee.

  • Yewoubdar Beyene PhD,

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    • Yewoubdar Beyene, PhD, is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

  • Diana Taylor RN, PhD,

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    • Diana Taylor, RN, PhD, FAAN, is Professor Emeritus in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

  • Catherine Gilliss RN, DNSc,

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    • Catherine Gilliss, RN, DNSc, FAAN, is the former Department Chair of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of San Francisco. She is currently the Dean of the School of Nursing at Duke University, Durham, NC.

  • Kathryn Lee RN, PhD

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    • Kathryn Lee, RN, PhD, FAAN, is a Professor and the James and Marjorie Livingston Chair in Nursing at University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA. She is Program Director for a training grant, Nurse Research Training in Symptom Management (5 T32 NR 007088), which partially supported the first author's training. She is also the Principal Investigator for the National Institutes of Health (grant NR04259) to conduct the research.


University of San Francisco School of Nursing, 2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117. E-mail: nosek@usfca.edu

Abstract

Introduction: As part of a longitudinal study of midlife women, the aim of this investigation was to describe the intensity of menopausal symptoms in relation to the level of perceived stress in a woman's life and her attitudes toward menopause and aging.

Methods: Data were collected on 347 women between 40 and 50 years of age in Northern California who began the study while premenopausal. Women self-identified as African American, European American, or Mexican/Central American. Data collected over three time points in the first 12 months were used for this analysis. An investigator-developed tool for the perception of specific types of stress was used. Attitudes toward menopause and aging were measured using the Attitudes Toward Menopause and Attitude Toward Aging scales. Attitudes toward aging and menopause, perceived stress, and income were related to intensity of symptoms.

Results: There was no ethnic group difference in perceived stress or attitude toward menopause. However, European and African Americans had a more positive attitude toward aging than Mexican/Central Americans.

Discussion: A lower income, higher perceived stress, a more negative attitude toward aging, and a more positive attitude toward menopause influenced menopausal symptom experience.

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