Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Andrea M. Mehlhaff Weare


Journalists in health news are often responsible for creating, adapting, and editing scientific information for media consumers. This inherently involves some media “framing”, even if neither they nor the audience is attuned to it. Scholars agree that news media can increase awareness about health, as well as jeopardize individuals’ notion of health. Importantly, news outlets can also encourage social equality through education (du Pré, 2017). One such health news topic, severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), is emerging in journalistic discussion regarding its distressing impact upon women and assigned females at birth (AFAB). Analyzing a top-read newspaper in the U.S., The New York Times (NYT), this study furthers discussion on how mainstream news media outlets discuss the menstrual-mental health connection. Through an inductive media framing analysis, the study investigated NYT articles published between 2016 and 2021 on PMS and PMDD to answer the research question posed regarding common frames used by journalists. The study contributed to validating media framing as a methodology for health news, laid bare common framing devices (i.e. lexical choices, metaphors, etc.) used in covering menstrual-mental health, and illuminated the need for further medical and social accommodations for women and AFABs who suffer from severe menstrual-mental health complications.


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