The role of emotion regulation in the experience of menstrual symptoms and perceived control over anxiety-related events across the menstrual cycle

Sanjana Manikandan, Yael I. Nillni, Michael J. Zvolensky, Kelly J. Rohan, Krystle R. Carkeek, Teresa M. Leyro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hormonal variation throughout the menstrual cycle is posited to impact various physical and mental health symptoms; however, this is not observed in all women and mechanisms are not well understood. Difficulty in emotion regulation may elucidate differences that women experience in physical and mental health functioning between menstrual phases. We examined the moderating role of difficulty in emotion regulation in the relation between menstrual phase and menstrual symptom severity and perceived control over anxiety-related events, in healthy, regularly menstruating women. The participants were 37 women (Mage = 26.5, SD = 9.6). A series of regression analyses were used to examine whether individual differences in emotion regulation difficulties moderate the relation between menstrual phase and our outcomes, severity of menstrual symptoms and perceived control over anxiety-related events, using a within-subjects design. The analyses revealed that difficulty in emotion regulation significantly moderated the relation between menstrual phase and perceived control over anxiety-related events (β = −0.42, p <.05), but not menstrual symptom severity. Women who reported higher emotion regulation difficulty experienced greater differences in perceived control over anxiety-related events between menstrual phases. Specifically, women with lower difficulty in emotion regulation report greater increase in control over anxiety during the late luteal phase compared to women with higher emotion regulation difficulty. Difficulty in emotion regulation may play an important role in understanding differences in menstrual phase-associated impairments, thereby informing the development of targeted interventions for vulnerable women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1117
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Emotion regulation
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Menstrual symptoms
  • Perceived control

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