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Tampons |

Psychological Correlates of Tampon Use in Adolescents

JEANNE BROOKS-GUNN, Ph. D.; and DIANE N. RUBLE, Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part from the National Science Foundation, grants SOC-76 02137 and 02179.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D.; Educational Testing Service; Princeton, NJ 08541.


Princeton, New Jersey; and New York, New York


© 1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(6_Part_2):962-965. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-96-6-962
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Six hundred and nineteen adolescent girls aged 10 to 19 were surveyed regarding catemenial product use patterns and the relation of tampon use to reports of symptoms, attitudes, and family beliefs about menstruation. Napkin use decreased and tampon use increased from elementary to senior high school. Tampons were used by 23% of the 5th and 6th grade girls and 75% of the 11th and 12th grade girls. The majority of adolescents learned how to use tampons from their mothers, although the source of explanation varied by age. Tampon users were less self-conscious about themselves and more comfortable talking about menstruation. A positive family atmosphere was reported by girls who learned how to use tampons from their mothers rather from others. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for adolescent health and particularly toxic shock syndrome.

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