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Vol. 49, No. 3, 2000
Issue release date: March 2000

Stress Vulnerability and Climacteric Symptoms: Life Events, Coping Behavior, and Severity of Symptoms

Igarashi M. · Saito H. · Morioka Y. · Oiji A. · Nadaoka T. · Kashiwakura M.
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To explore a possible association between climacteric symptoms and ways of coping with stress, a comparative study was conducted among 19 menopausal women who sought treatment for climacteric symptoms (the study group) and 44 healthy menopausal women (the control group). Life stress was assessed using a life event method in which factor analysis extracted four ways that women cope with stress: avoidance-oriented coping, consultation-oriented coping, aggression-expression coping, and problem-solving coping. The study group had a higher symptom score and was more prone to avoidance-oriented coping than the control group despite experiencing the same number of undesirable life events. The severity of climacteric symptoms correlated positively with the number of undesirable life events and the degree of avoidance-oriented coping and correlated negatively with the degree of aggression- expression coping for the study group. These results suggest that vulnerability to stress contributes to worsening climacteric symptoms caused by stress.

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