Background and Objective
Adolescent girls perceive menstruation as a negative experience, which can affect adolescents’ physical and mental health. The aims of this study were to describe the menstrual knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of adolescent girls in China and to examine their association with psychological stress.
Design, Setting, Participants, Interventions, and Main Outcome Measures
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1349 adolescent girls aged 11-14 years in Changsha, China. Participants anonymously completed questionnaires that assessed sociodemographic characteristics, menstrual knowledge and attitudes, dysmenorrhea self-care behaviors, and perceived stress. One-way analysis of variance and Pearson r correlation and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the differences and associations among variables.
The mean age of menarche was 11.70 (±0.82) years. A total of 1053/1349 (78.1%) of girls had a knowledge of menstruation before menarche and their mothers were the main source 931/1349 (69.0%) of their knowledge. More than half (53.4%) of adolescent girls experienced different degrees of dysmenorrhea. The mother's education, family monthly income, family type, and the girls' age, grade, menstrual status, age at menarche, sanitary napkin change frequency, menstrual restrictions, and dysmenorrhea influenced menstrual knowledge, attitudes, and practice. Psychological stress was affected by age, grade, age at menarche, sanitary napkin change frequency, menstrual restrictions, dysmenorrhea, and menstrual knowledge, attitudes, and practices.
Psychological stress management during menstruation should be a focus of health education programs for adolescent girls. During adolescence, health care providers should not only pay attention to the physical changes of adolescence girls, but also provide stress management skills to help them cope with menstrual-related concerns.
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Published online: August 21, 2019
The authors indicate no conflicts of interest.
© 2019 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Published by Elsevier Inc.