Disruptions of social relationships accentuate the association between emotional distress and menstrual pain in young women

Health Psychol. 2001 Nov;20(6):411-6.


This study examined the effects of social support on dysmenorrhea and whether social support moderates the relationship between negative emotions and painful symptoms. Women (N = 184) completed questionnaires on menstrual symptoms, depression, anxiety, and social networks. Depression and anxiety were strongly associated with menstrual pain. Women who no longer had access to their prior support providers manifested more symptoms than did women with stable social relations. In addition, this disruption in their social networks moderated the relationship between distress and menstrual pain. Results indicate that loss of social support is a significant contributor to menstrual symptoms and point to the importance of considering specific aspects of social support in studying its effect on health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy
  • Dysmenorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires