Understanding as coping : a grounded theory of women's experiences of premenstrual changes : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
Previous psychological research into premenstrual changes has tended to operate from a biomedical perspective and employ a positivist (or scientific) approach. The present study utilises a qualitative approach, the grounded theory method, as a means of collecting and analysing data. Ten women were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide approach. These women were asked questions centred around four areas; (1) What sorts of premenstrual changes do you experience?, (2) In what ways do you think your life is influenced by these changes?, (3) How do you cope with and manage these changes?, and (4) What changes would you like to see that would help you and/or other women cope with these changes? The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using grounded theory techniques. A grounded theory of the women's premenstrual experiences - experiential learning and perceived control - is presented and the implications of this theory for future research and as a therapeutic tool are outlined.