Theoretical substruction: establishing links between theory and measurement of military women’s attitudes towards menstrual suppression during military operations

Authors


L.L. Trego: e-mail: lori.trego@us.army.mil

Abstract

Title. Theoretical substruction: establishing links between theory and measurement of military women’s attitudes towards menstrual suppression during military operations.

Aim.  The aim of this paper is to establish a theoretical model for the exploration of the phenomenon of menstruation and women’s attitudes towards menstrual suppression during military operations.

Background.  In the emerging field of literature that explores menstruation among military women, there are indications that menstrual symptoms and hygiene are problematic under the circumstances of deployment to military operations. While menstrual suppression may be a solution to problems that women encounter with menstruation during deployment, there is little research exploring the phenomenon.

Data sources.  CINAHL and Medline were used to locate peer reviewed journal papers published from 1977 to 2007. International military reports were obtained through an internet search engine (Google™).

Discussion.  Issues that military women encounter surrounding menstruation during deployment are framed according to components of human ecology and social ecology theories, creating a theoretical model for the study of military women’s menstrual health. Theoretical substruction is then used to evaluate the proposed theoretical and operational systems for measuring military women’s attitudes during deployment. The process of theoretical substruction validates the model and the theoretical integrity of the proposed research on women’s attitudes towards suppression.

Conclusion.  A theory-based model for women’s health under challenging environmental conditions will enhance the holistic consideration of women’s health issues by care providers. The theoretical model clearly explicates the phenomenon of menstruation during deployment and the theoretical and operational systems are soundly linked in the proposed measurement model of military women’s attitudes towards menstrual suppression.

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