Journal of Women's Health Care

Journal of Women's Health Care
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0420



Premenstrual Distress among Caucasian, African-American and Chinese Women

Cindy Davis, Melissa Sloan and Catherine Tang

While clinical research on Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) has focused mainly on women’s prevalence and symptomology in the west, PMS is a disorder that affects women of many cultures. A limited number of cross-cultural studies have compared the western experience of PMS with that of other cultures and have found that the prevalence of specific symptoms varies amongst cultures. Given the lack of research on PMS across cultures, this study explores the symptoms of PMS in Caucasian and African-American women in the US and Chinese women in Hong Kong and the differences and/or similarities among these groups. This research study utilized a quantitative survey research design with a convenience sample of 700 women (193 African-American, 180 Caucasian and 327 Chinese) aged between 20 to 55 years in both the US and Hong Kong. It was found that race/ethnicity significantly contributes to the prediction of each symptom subscale with the exception of the autonomic symptoms. The amount of variance in symptoms that can be explained by race/ethnicity ranges from about 5% (for pain symptoms) to almost 19% (for arousal symptoms). In general, the Chinese participants reported significantly fewer premenstrual distress symptoms than African-American and Caucasian participants. The results suggest this is true in the case of pain-related symptoms and concentrationrelated symptoms. In addition, compared to the Caucasian and African-American participants, the Chinese participants reported significantly lower levels of affective symptoms.