The premenstrual phase and reactions to aversive events: a study of hormonal influences on emotionality.

St.H.M. van Goozen, N.H. Frijda, V.M. Wiegant, E. Endert, N.E. van de Poll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Fifty-eight normal cycle, healthy women were confronted with an aversive, anger-provoking situation in the laboratory. Eighteen women were tested in their follicular phase. A further 40 women were tested in the premenstrual phase, half of whom reported suffering from complaints of premenstrual emotional lability and irritation, the other half reported being without premenstrual problems. Apart from a strong effect of emotion induction on cardiovascular arousal and anger-related moods in the follicular and premenstrual groups, a premenstrual phase effect was also demonstrated, with premenstrual women showing evidence of being more affected by the manipulations on systolic blood pressure and intensity of angry behaviour during anger provocation. Furthermore, some differences were found between those subjects who reported suffering from premenstrual complaints and those free of such complaints, among the most interesting ones being differences in cortisol level preceding the experimental session, in intensity of angry behaviour, and in report of anger intensity at debriefing. The study indicates that the premenstrual phase may have the effect of making women more susceptible to responding emotionally to negative life events
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-497
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • cardiovascular arousal
  • emotionality
  • premenstrual phase
  • sex hormones and cortisol
  • susceptibility to stress


Dive into the research topics of 'The premenstrual phase and reactions to aversive events: a study of hormonal influences on emotionality.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this