Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Committee Member

William H. Young III, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ellen M. Daley, Ph.D.


women’s health, healthy aging, health education, health promotion


Research indicates that increased knowledge about the menopause transition positively impacts a woman’s attitude about this stage in her life, and a more positive attitude leads to less distress during the transition. However, there has been no research regarding how women gain this knowledge about menopause, what factors in her environment may hinder or assist her, or how women’s knowledge of menopause is leveraged by health care providers to help facilitate her menopause transition.

The purpose of this research was to explore the self-directed learning actions of women regarding their search for information about menopause, and to understand what factors, if any, may have helped or hindered her search.

A convenience sample of women 35-55 years of age was invited to participate in an online survey; a total of 227 usable responses were collected. Answers were analyzed by utilizing a simple frequency distribution to illustrate more and less common responses. Chi-square tests of independence were used to examine bivariate relationships, and content analysis was used to examine free response answers.

The results of this study indicated that most women did not seek information about menopause on their own. Women who sought information were primarily motivated by symptoms: what to expect, symptom relief, or validation that their experiences were normal. This study also indicated that the most utilized resource for finding information was the Internet. It also found that women need more information from the health care community than they were receiving.

Findings from this study suggest a need to continue to connect adult education with health promotion. Additionally, women had a need for greater interpersonal support and beneficial interactions with the health care community. Finally, this study demonstrated that women may benefit from the normalization of menopause as a social construct. Perhaps this could best be achieved through education within larger conversations about human reproduction and about natural aging.