Although significant correlations exist between perceptions of health and the presence of symptoms, the exact nature of that relationship is unclear. This study investigated whether women's subjective appraisal of their psychological well-being (PWB) differed in relation to self-reports of menstrual and nonmenstrual symptoms in order to determine whether the identification of symptom source as menstrual contributed to changes in PWB. The sample (n = 633) consisted of healthy women between the ages of 21 and 44. A cross-sectional correlational approach to the survey data was used and data were collected through a structured questionnaire, which included the General Well-Being Schedule and the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire. The degree of association among the independent variables (symptoms, sociodemographic, and health factors) and the dependent variable (PWB) was analyzed by multiple correlation regression. Results indicated a strong relationship between the independent variables when analyzed as a set and PWB (R = .86). Number, type, and severity of symptoms accounted for more of the variance in PWB than did the source (menstrual and nonmenstrual) of the symptom (p<001). Although women experienced specific menstrual symptoms, the presence of these symptoms did not negatively affect their assessment of PWB; rather, these women had a higher PWB than those with nonmenstrual symptoms. Such findings help clarify misconceptions about the effect of menstrual-cycle symptoms on women's mental health.
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