Relationships Among Premenstrual Symptom Reports, Menstrual Attitudes, and Mindfulness
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- Lustyk, M.K.B., Gerrish, W.G., Douglas, H. et al. Mindfulness (2011) 2: 37. doi:10.1007/s12671-011-0041-x
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The physical and affective symptoms of a broad range of conditions are improved following mindfulness-based practices. One set of symptoms that has yet to be explored through the lens of mindfulness, however, is that associated with the premenstruum. Also, given the relationships among negative attitudes towards menstruation and amplified symptom reporting, it is reasonable to expect that mindfulness qualities cultivated through practices aimed at dispelling negative anticipatory and judgmental thinking will moderate these relationships. Thus, in this study we examined interrelationships among premenstrual symptom severity reports (PMSR), menstrual attitudes, and mindfulness qualities in a sample of 127 women (age range 18-26 years). Results revealed several statistically significant positive relationships between menstrual attitudes and PMSR. Also, higher scores on measures of mindfulness were significantly associated with lower PMSR. Moderating effects revealed that mindfulness significantly buffered the relationships between menstrual attitudes and PMSR, specifically between: anticipation of menses onset and PMSR as well as anticipation of menses onset and premenstrual water retention. These results may offer the first empirical evidence of relationships among menstrual attitudes, PMSR, and mindfulness qualities. Results from this study align with the body of research showing that mindfulness is predictive of improved symptomatology and well-being across varied conditions. We conclude with discussion supporting the development of a mindfulness-based intervention aimed at reducing symptom severity in premenstrual symptom sufferers.