Development of the Meaning of Menopause Scale

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Randall S. Jorgensen


Meaning of Menopause Scale, Menopause, Women

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Women's Studies


The goal of this investigation was to develop a new self-report measure, the Meaning of Menopause Scale (MMS), to use as an assessment tool with women who are experiencing the menopausal transition. The investigation consisted of two studies: (a) exploratory focus groups, and (b) development and psychometric evaluation of the MMS. Focus groups conducted with 24 women from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds revealed that the meaning of menopause may be interpreted in terms of physical, emotional, and functional changes. These results were incorporated to construct a 27-item MMS that was completed by 201 women between the ages of 40 and 60. Test-retest data were collected from 115 participants after an approximate one-month period, and from 30 participants after an approximate one-week period. Moreover, 125 participants completed two validity measures: the Menopause Attitude Scale by Bowles (1986) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule by Watson, Clark, and Tellegen (1988). Fifteen MMS items were eliminated on the basis of initial item and factor analyses. Maximum-likelihood factor analysis with Promax rotation was conducted with the remaining 12 items, which led to identification of two factors that were correlated at.29 and accounted for 90% of the variance. These factors were labeled the Gain and Loss subscales. The Gain subscale inquires about personal growth, health improvements, and relational and sexual gains, and the Loss subscale inquires about physical changes, and psychological and somatic symptoms. Both subscales were found to be internally consistent and showed evidence of validity. Moreover, responses on the Gain subscale were greater among women who were postmenopausal, older, and had sought out information about menopause. These results indicate that the MMS promises to be a useful tool to assess women's interpretations of menopause.