Media and Communication Ph.D. Dissertations

Title

Knowledge (K), Attitude (A), and Practice (P) of Women and Men about Menstruation and Menstrual Practices in Ahmedabad, India: Implications for Health Communication Campaigns and Interventions

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Media and Communication

First Advisor

Srinivas Melkote (Advisor)

Second Advisor

I-Fen Lin (Other)

Third Advisor

Sung-Yeon Park (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Ewart Skinner (Committee Member)

Abstract

This study follows the example of early research in other taboo health topics such as family planning, leprosy, and HIV/AIDS, by first examining baseline Knowledge-Attitude-Practice (KAP) variables to build an initial research base for a menstruation- related health communication study.

The primary objective of this study is to explore the relationship among important psychosocial variables pertaining to menstruation and menstrual hygiene; hence, the variables selected include: knowledge of menstruation and menstrual practices, attitude towards menstruation and menstrual practices, cognitive involvement in menstruation and menstrual practices, behavioral involvement in menstruation and menstrual practices, and adoption of menstrual practices. Another objective is to determine which of the above-mentioned factors are predictors of correct and safe hygienic practices in the context of menstruation.

A quantitative methodological approach was adopted to conduct the study. A structured questionnaire was used to survey respondents and collect data. Sample size of the study was 475. A probability random sample consisting of both women and men, from Ahmedabad city, India, was selected using multi-stage clustered sampling technique. Descriptive and analytical statistical techniques were employed to analyze the data and prepare the findings. SPSS software was used to conduct appropriate analyses.

It was found that knowledge, attitude, and cognitive involvement in menstruation and menstrual practices were high whereas, behavioral involvement in menstruation and menstrual practices were low. Hypothesized relationships between knowledge and attitude towards menstruation among men; knowledge, attitude towards menstrual practices and adoption among women; cognitive involvement and knowledge of menstrual practices in men and women; and behavioral involvement and knowledge of menstrual practices for men and women were statistically significant. Descriptive statistical analyses, correlation, and regression were statistical techniques used in this study.

The outcomes of this study will assist in creating specific menstruation-related intervention strategies for public health communication campaigns. This study facilitates interactions between practitioners and researchers, and sharing and creating strategies to increase the relevance and uptake of research findings. Importantly, the results of this study empower girls and women by providing research-based data on crucial aspects of menstruation, which will lead to greater information of and lower stigma attached to menstruation and menstruating females.

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