Graduation Date

Summer 2019

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Amanda Hahn

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Christopher Aberson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Carrie Aigner

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Combined oral contraceptive (COC) pills are widely used by women of reproductive age, but there is still little conclusive evidence that exists about the mood-related side effects associated with their use. This meta-analysis examined the relationship between oral contraceptive use and mood effects such as depression and anxiety to determine what role, if any, that COCs may have in the worsening or improvement of women’s mood when taking them. Effect sizes compared the differences in women’s mood scores before taking COCs and after one or more cycles of use. Seventeen studies made up of 25 individual samples contributed 71 effect sizes for this analysis. The results suggest that COCs tend to contribute to a small but significant improvement in women’s overall moods. However, methodological challenges and inconsistencies make it difficult for researchers to establish any firm conclusions about the role COCs play in mood changes.

Citation Style


2019 03-25 ltr_approval_exempt.pdf (226 kB)
IRB approval