Gender-related traits, quality of life, and psychological adjustment among women with irritable bowel syndrome
- 175 Downloads
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional illness associated with significant impairment in quality of life. Compared to men, women are more likely to meet criteria for IBS, to seek treatment, and experience greater detriments in quality of life. In addition to physiological factors, psychosocial factors may contribute to such gender differences. We examined whether traits associated with masculine (agentic) and feminine (communal) gender roles were linked with adjustment to IBS.
Women with IBS (N = 144) completed online self-report measures of gender-related traits (agency, communion, unmitigated agency, unmitigated communion, lack of agency, lack of communion), IBS-specific quality of life (IBS-QOL), and psychological adjustment (negative and positive affect).
Agency was positively associated with all dimensions of IBS-QOL and psychological adjustment. Select dimensions of IBS-QOL were lower among women higher in unmitigated agency (social reactions, body image) or unmitigated communion (interference with activity), and both traits were associated with increased negative affect. Lack of agency was associated with increased IBS-QOL (food avoidance) and decreased positive affect. Communion and lack of communion were not associated with either IBS-QOL or psychological adjustment.
Findings may help elucidate psychosocial factors contributing to quality of life among women with IBS.
KeywordsIrritable bowel syndrome Quality of life Gender Psychological adjustment
Lack of agency
Lack of communion
Irritable bowel syndrome
IBS-specific quality of life
Health-related quality of life
- 9.Toner, B. B., Segal, Z. V., Emmott, S. D., & Myran, D. (2000). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: The brain-gut connection. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- 27.Wiggins, J. S. (1995). Interpersonal adjectives scales: Professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
- 30.Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. L., & Holahan, C. K. (1979). Negative and positive components of psychological masculinity and femininity and their relationships to self-reports of neurotic and acting out behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1673–1682.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 33.Wiggins, J. S. (1991). Agency and communion as conceptual coordinates for the understanding and measurement of interpersonal behavior. Thinking Clearly About Psychology, 2, 89–113.Google Scholar
- 35.Patrick, D. L., Drossman, D. A., & Frederick, I. O. (1997). A quality-of-life measure for persons with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-QOL). User’s manual and scoring diskette for United States version. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington.Google Scholar
- 37.Drossman, D. A., Corrazziari, E., Delvaux, M., Spiller, R., Talley, N. J., Thompson, W. G., et al. (2006). Rome III: The functional gastrointestinal disorders. McLean, VA: Degnon Associates.Google Scholar
- 43.Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). UK: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar