Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Russell Hurlburt

Second Committee Member

Dustin Hines

Third Committee Member

Noelle Lefforge

Fourth Committee Member

Kristen Culbert

Fifth Committee Member

Sheila Bock

Number of Pages



The link between mind and biology is intuitively known: We notice changes in our mood and behavior when hungry, in pain, or under the influence of substances. Yet, the specifics of this link—for example, how changes in biology affect directly apprehended conscious experience— are not well known. The present study was an exploratory attempt toward filling that gap by using a state-of-the-art, beeper-driven method for exploring directly apprehended conscious experience (Descriptive Experience Sampling; DES) across one of the most predictable and wellknown biological cycles: menstruation. We screened approximately 300 college women to identify those who reported clinically significant symptoms of premenstrual distress but were otherwise generally healthy, and ultimately engaged five of those women in approximately 20 days each of DES sampling. Menstrual cycle status was tracked using an at-home ovulation microscope test kit, and sampling days were distributed across each participant’s menstrual cycle, thereby allowing for experiential changes across cycle phases (if any) to emerge. All DES sampling and the review, captioning, and coding of samples was completed largely blind to the menstrual cycle phase associated with the samples. Then, sampling days were separated by menstrual cycle phase to explore any differences in experience across cycle phases. All five participants showed some experiential differences (some subtle, some obvious) across cycle phases. For all but one of the participants, experiences differed primarily around the time of ovulation, an important finding given that the literature on premenstrual distress assumes that the time of most experiential change is in the premenstrual phase.


Menstrual cycle; Premenstrual stress


Biological Psychology | Gender and Sexuality | Psychology | Women's Studies

File Format


File Size

2800 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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