R. Hope Kerr

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Howard E. Farris

Second Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack L. Michael

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


For the premenstrual syndrome (PMS), there is no consensus as to specific symptoms comprising the syndrome or their temporal relationship to the menstrual cycle. The purpose of this study was to delimit and define PMS by comparing contemporaneous, behavioral data collected by 3 groups of subjects.

Based on the results of this study, PMS is suspected of being a misnomer for frequently random symptoms which may or may not be menstrually-related. "Syndrome" is misleading since there is no group of symptoms specific to one group of women. "Pre-" and "menstrual" are also misleading because the symptoms do not occur consistently before menses onset and can occur in women who no longer menstruate. The term PMS may have developed out of a sense of convenience for diagnosing and treating, as a single entity, certain behavioral, emotional and physical responses. However, this approach often leads to misdiagnosis and mistreatment of discrete, non-hormonally related responses.