Questionnaire Studies of Paramenstrual Symptoms

Richardson, John T. E. (1990). Questionnaire Studies of Paramenstrual Symptoms. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 14(1) pp. 15–42.



A number of formal questionnaires have been devised to study paramenstrual symptomatology. It has been suggested that women's responses to these questionnaires are vulnerable to forgetting and contaminated by culturally induced expectations. Nevertheless, concurrent reports of experienced symptoms may correlate highly with retrospective judgments, even when the relevance of the menstrual cycle is disguised. They also differentiate between women with and without a self-reported history of premenstrual symptoms, although concurrent reports across several menstrual cycles are impractical to collect and may be inconsistent between successive cycles. A number of methodological criticisms have been directed toward the most commonly used device, the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire. In principle, however, retrospective questions offer a reliable and accurate indication of women's experience during the normal menstrual cycle.

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