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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The change : woman's construction of the meaning of menopause : a group process Page, Lafern


Despite the universality, inevitability and normalcy of menopause, little is known of women's experiences. In particular, little or nothing is known of the meaning women attach to menopause. Despite (or because of) this lack of information, a controversy currently exists as to how women can best negotiate menopause, and as to the risks or benefits of hormone replacement theory. Research methodology was guided by recent studies on women's unique ways of knowing, valuing and construction of meaning. Menopause was explored within the framework of a group format with five postmenopausal coresearchers over a nine-week period. The women narrated their stories, listened to the stories of the other group members, reflected on their experiences and discussed those they had in common. Individual follow-up interviews were conducted 3 months later during which the coresearchers validated the transcript and offered additional perspectives. Despite widely varying experiences of menopause, 20 common threads were located. This study details a strong developmental and transitional component to the coresearchers' menopausal experiences, as well as the impact of a menstrual taboo and negative stereotype.

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