Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Donald Witters

Degree Award Date

Fall 1994


stress level, gender role identity, medical care utilization, college students, Bern Sex Role Inventory, Valerie O'Hara's Stress Symptom Checklist, daily hassles inventory


Health Psychology | Psychology


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between stress level, gender role identity, and medical care utilization. The supposition was that those subjects with a higher level of life stress and feminine gender role identity would subsequently have a higher level of medical care utilization. The subjects were 100 Bridgewater College students. A questionnaire was given to measure the variables. The short-form of the Bern Sex Role Inventory was used to assess gender role identity. Questions modified from Valerie O'Hara's Stress Symptom Checklist and a daily hassles inventory were used to measure physical symptoms of stress and level of stress based on Likert scales. Medical care utilization was measured with questions written by the experimenter. This study was conducted as a 2 (Gender Role) · X 2 (Level of Stress) X 2 (Level of Physical Symptoms) factorial design. An analysis of variance (ANOV A) was used to analyzed the main effects of the variables. The results support the supposition. Life stress is related to medical care utilization (p=0.001, p=0.011), and gender role is related to medical care utilization (p=0.017, p=0.024). In conclusion, no interactions between the independent variables were found, but the main effects of stress on medical care utilization and gender role on medical care utilization were significant.