Mood reactivity and oral contraceptive use : do oral contraceptives act as mood stabilizers
Jarva, Janelle Amber
Master of Arts
SubjectOral contraceptives (Psychological aspects)
Mood (Psychology) Physiological aspects
Hormones and mood
MetadataShow full item record
Previous research has suggested that oral contraceptives (OCs) may provide a stabilizing effect on mood. The present study attempted to examine the differences between OC users, nonusers, and men on measures o f mood and heart rate in response to mood primes, in order to determine whether exogenous and endogenous hormones affect mood and physiological reactivity to hormonally-relevant stimuli. A sample of 108 undergraduate students (41 OC users, 36 nonusers, and 31 men) completed a mood questionnaire before and after completing a randomized series of four mood-inducing tasks (to induce positive affect, jealousy, social ostracism, and parental feelings) while their heart rate was monitored. Partial support for the hypothesis that OC users would experience less mood reactivity than nonusers was found in that OC users experienced a blunted positive affect response to the tasks when compared with nonusers. The groups did not differ in terms o f their negative affect, jealousy, parental feelings, feelings of ostracism, or HR reactivity in response to the four tasks. Possible mechanisms for an OC-induced positive affect stabilization effect are discussed.