Effects of the Menstrual Cycle on Measures of Personality in Women With Premenstrual Syndrome: A Preliminary Study

Article Abstract

Background: Previous studies suggest that women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) differ from those without PMS in measures of personality. The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of menstrual cycle phase on personality variables in women with and without PMS.

Method: The Personality DiagnosticQuestionnaire-Revised (PDQ-R) was administered in both thefollicular and luteal phases to women with PMS (according toNational Institute of Mental Health PMS Workshop DiagnosticGuidelines) (N = 40). An asymptomatic control group (N = 20) aswell as a symptomatic group of women with DSM-IV-diagnosedrecurrent, non-menstrual-cycle-related brief depression (N = 20)also completed the questionnaire in both phases.

Results: Only women with PMS demonstrated asignificant increase in total PDQ-R score (reflecting overallpersonality disorder) from the follicular to the luteal phase (p< .01). Women with PMS had significantly higher total PDQ-Rscores than the asymptomatic controls during both the follicular(p < .05) and luteal (p < .01) phases, whereas there was nosignificant difference between women with PMS and symptomaticcontrols during either phase. Subscale scores fit similarpatterns, as did the number of women in each group meeting acutoff score indicative of the presence of personalitydysfunction.

Conclusion: In this preliminary study, womenwith PMS were unique in demonstrating a menstrual cycle phaseeffect on PDQ-R score, while their scores in both phases werecloser to symptomatic controls than asymptomatic controls. Thesefindings suggest that personality disorder in women with PMS mayhave both state- and trait-related components.

Volume: 62

Quick Links: Populations , Women

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