Psychogenic needs and masculinity-femininity across adolescence : their relationschips to dysmenorrhea and psychiatric symptoms

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköpings universitet

Abstract: Holmlund, Ulla. 1991. Psychogenic needs and Masculinity-Femininity across adolescence. Their relationships to dysmenorrhea and psychiatric symptoms.Personality traits assessed as psychogenic needs, and psychological Masculinity-Femininity defined as interests and attitudes were examined longitudinally from the age of 15 to 25 years in healthy Swedish women.Across adolescence, the women became more self-confident and assertive, but also more conforming and socially dependent. Women at 25 were also more conventionally feminine than at 15. Those changes were quite uniform for the individuals of the sample as a whole.The relationships between personality variables, psychogenic needs and psychological Masculinity-Femininity, and the occurence of dysmenorrhea were studied. Severe dysmenorrhea was associated to personality variables, mainly high scores in Guilt Feelings and psychological Femininity.Possible relationships between dysmenorrhea and the occurence of symptoms of anxiety and depression, and between personality variables and anxiety and depressive symptoms was examined in a subsample, considered to be representative for psychogenic needs. Women with severe dysmenorrhea were slightly more affected by anxiety and depressive symptoms compared to those who never had experienced dysmenorrhea. High scores in the psychogenic needs Defence of Status and Guilt Feelings assessed in early teenage were associated to the presence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in adulthood. The positiverelationships between the reported experience of good relations to siblings and peers, low scores in Defence of Status and Guilt Feelings, and the abscence of psychiatric symptoms, reflect the importance of a favourable early environment for healthy personality development.

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