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'Do I really want to know that?' How mothers and adult children talk about menopause
Unformatted Document Text:  Menopause and Personal Health 7 Gannon and Ekstrom (1993) have found younger women possessing more negative than positive attitudes regarding menopause. Often, this finding changes as women mature at which point the opposite becomes true. It is believed that as women age and anticipate the event, they seek information, talk with friends and doctors, and gradually their attitudes begin to shift in a positive direction to reframe the experience. Still, Avis and McKinlay (1991) caution that this finding can’t be generalized to all women. Those who have reached perimenopause may continue to negatively associate the process with sexual dysfunction, reduced sexual desirability and depression. This leads to the following hypothesis: RQ3: To what extent do mothers and their adult children experience congruent attitudes about menopause? In addition, as young adult children form their attitudes about menopause and the menopausal experience, one might question whether or not they transfer these positive and negative attitudes back to their mothers. That is, Berkun (1986) an Ekstrom and Gannon (1993) have found that younger individuals tend associate menopausal women as possessing less psychological and physical vigor, based on their own negative perceptions about menopause. This lead to the last research question: RQ4: To what extent to young adult children’s attitudes about menopause transfer to their attitudes about their mother? METHOD Participants and Procedure: Fifty-two mother-daughter dyads and thirty-seven mother-son dyads were obtained for this study conducted at a large Midwestern university (N=178). The 62% response rate was acceptable for mail surveys (from 70 mailed per dyad). The majority of participants (both adult children and their mothers’) were Caucasian (72%) with 18% African

Authors: Murray-Johnson, Lisa. and Bresnahan, Mary.
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Menopause and Personal Health 7
Gannon and Ekstrom (1993) have found younger women possessing more negative than positive
attitudes regarding menopause. Often, this finding changes as women mature at which point the
opposite becomes true. It is believed that as women age and anticipate the event, they seek
information, talk with friends and doctors, and gradually their attitudes begin to shift in a
positive direction to reframe the experience. Still, Avis and McKinlay (1991) caution that this
finding can’t be generalized to all women. Those who have reached perimenopause may
continue to negatively associate the process with sexual dysfunction, reduced sexual desirability
and depression. This leads to the following hypothesis:
RQ3: To what extent do mothers and their adult children experience congruent attitudes about
menopause?
In addition, as young adult children form their attitudes about menopause and the
menopausal experience, one might question whether or not they transfer these positive and
negative attitudes back to their mothers. That is, Berkun (1986) an Ekstrom and Gannon (1993)
have found that younger individuals tend associate menopausal women as possessing less
psychological and physical vigor, based on their own negative perceptions about menopause.
This lead to the last research question:
RQ4: To what extent to young adult children’s attitudes about menopause transfer to their
attitudes about their mother?
METHOD

Participants and Procedure: Fifty-two mother-daughter dyads and thirty-seven mother-son dyads
were obtained for this study conducted at a large Midwestern university (N=178). The 62%
response rate was acceptable for mail surveys (from 70 mailed per dyad). The majority of
participants (both adult children and their mothers’) were Caucasian (72%) with 18% African


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