Cognitive orientation and genital infections in young women

Shulamith Kreitler*, Hans Kreitler, Rami Schwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purpose was to explore the psychological determinants of common genital infections in young women. The study was done in the framework of the cognitive orientation theory which assumes that cognition guides behavior and provides predictions of behaviors and psychophysiological phenomena. We expected that beliefs of four types (about self, norms, goals, and general) would predict the occurrence and/or frequency of 17 gynecological symptoms (e.g., itching, swelling, different vaginal discharges, abscesses). The subjects were 195 female volunteers, undergraduates, about 23 years old, without gross gynecological disorders, mostly (87.7%) unmarried, mostly (83.6%): Having: Had intercourse. They were administered anonymously questionnaires about demographic variables, frequency and treatment of gynecological symptoms and 3 urological ones (for control), and about cognitive orientation that referred to pretested themes (e.g., assertiveness,: Hypochondriasis). Stepwise discriminant and regression analyses showed that the belief types enabled predicting the occurrence and frequency of all symptoms, with a mean 34.5% improvement over the 50% chance level, accounting for 45.7-67.2% of the variance. Also the urological symptoms were predicted although at a lower level. Discussion focuses on the specificity of cognitive-motivational determinants and their role in producing conditions favoring physical pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-85
Number of pages37
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 27 Mar 1990


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