CHINESE ADOLESCENT GIRLS' PERCEPTIONS OF MENARCHE
Yeung, Y.L., Lee, A.M. and Tang, S.K., The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
This study explored how psychosocial and cultural factors influenced the perceptions of menarche among 476 Chinese pre-menarcheal teenage girls. Results showed that participants' perceptions of menarche were largely negative and heavily influenced by cultural beliefs about menstruation. It was found that a majority of the participants expected to feel embarrassed, annoyed, and confused; while less than one tenth of the participants thought they would feel happy or excited at the onset of menarche. Despite these negative perceptions, some participants anticipated feeling more grown up and becoming more feminine. Findings of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that anticipated positive emotional responses to menarche were best predicted by perceptions of menstruation as a natural event, possession of positive physical appearance self-concept, and endorsement of few indigenous negative menstrual attitudes. Anticipated negative emotional responses to menarche were best predicted by older age, perceptions of menstruation as a negative event, inadequate preparation for menarche and endorsement of indigenous negative menstrual attitudes.