Research Article| Volume 14, ISSUE 2, P95-101, January 1992

The cross-sectional legacy: an introduction to longitudinal studies of the climacteric

  • J.G. Greene
    Correspondence to: J.G. Greene, Psychology Department, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow G12 OXH, U.K.
    Psychology Department, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow, U.K.
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      Hitherto the bulk of psychosocial and sociological research on the menopause has been based on cross-sectional studies, in which the research strategy has been to compare women of different ages and/or different menopausal status by reference to various parameters. This paper summarizes the main findings of these studies, which relate to a variety of countries. A consistent finding has been that much of the variance in the symptoms and complaints reported by women during the climacteric can in fact be accounted for by a number of different adverse sociodemographic and psychosocial factors. It is postulated that the mechanism whereby these factors exercise their effect can best be conceptualized in terms of a vulnerability model. Although cross-sectional studies, have obvious limitations, their findings have now been complemented by those from a number of ongoing longitudinal studies in which the same cohort of women is being followed through this transitional period of their lives.


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