The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Japanese-Americans show increased frequency of diary reports of negative moods compared to other ethnic groups during the peri-menopause: the Hilo Women’s Health Study


1Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaii at Hilo, 2Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Peri-menopausal women experience elevated frequency of psychological distress and depression, and there are significant differences between ethnic groups in the rate at which these symptoms are experienced. These differences may be due to socioeconomic, health, and cultural factors, including culturally-based reporting bias. Accordingly, in a study of women aged 45-55 in the multiethnic population of Hilo, Hawaii, comparisons between Japanese-Americans (JAs) and women of other ethnic backgrounds were carried out for the frequency and severity of negative mood (anxiety, sadness, anger) reports of women who kept a 24-hour diary. For the frequency of negative reports, there was a significant difference between women based on menopausal status (pre-menopausal, peri-menopausal, post-menopausal; ANOVA, F = 4.0, p < .05), but not based on Japanese ethnicity (F = 0.8, ns); there was a significant interaction between ethnicity and menopausal status (F = 3.3, p < .05), with JAs have significantly greater frequency of negative mood reports than other women during the peri-menopause. Similar results were found for the reported severity of negative moods (status: F = 4.9, p < .01; ethnicity: F = 0.7, ns; status X ethnicity: F = 3.7, p < .05). When analyses controlled for family income level and educational attainment, JA ethnicity remained a significant predictor of negative mood severity among peri-menopausal women. Reported health status and JA ethnicity are significant predictors of negative moods in peri-menopausal women in this multiethnic sample.

Supported by NIH MBRS S06 GM08073.

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