The baby boomers meet menopause: Attitudes and roles
Strauss, Judy R.
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Attitudes toward menopausal aging were examined in a sample of 1,037 baby-boomer women who took part in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) survey. Attitudes toward menopausal aging were assessed in terms of four critical questions, based on the work of Rossi (2004): feelings about fertility, health, attractiveness, and overall affective response to menopause (i.e., regret vs. relief). Attitudes were analyzed in two waves of the study, which were separated by almost nine years. More positive attitudes towards menopausal aging were found among younger women in Wave I who occupied more roles and who reported fewer menopausal symptoms, and in older women in both waves, particularly among older women in Wave II who felt more financially comfortable. Contrary to expectations, less-educated women reported more positive attitudes in both waves. Baby-boomers may experience menopause differently as a result of having multiple roles as homemakers, wives, mothers, caregivers, and employees. Findings suggest ways that social workers can support women in the "sandwich generation" during the menopausal transition.