BACKGROUND: Even though there have been much improvment in general understanding of the climacteric period and increased knowledge of biological aspects of menopause such as Hormone Replacement Therapy, the psychosocial aspects of climacterium was relatively out of consideration. The purpose of this paper is to help make it easy understanding the psychosocial determinants of climacterium through the investigation of correlation between the life stress and the climacteric symptoms in the middle aged women. METHODS: This study was performed on climacteric women at the age ranging from 40 to 55 who reside in Kyong-Ju city. Self reported questionnaires composed of inquiry about demographic characteristics, climacteric symptom scale, and life stress scale were distributed and 123 cases were analyzed in June. and July 1996. The Climacteric Symptom Scale was developed by JG Greene in 1976. In this scale, climacteric symptoms were classified to 3 categories of psychological, somatic, vasomotor symptoms by factor analysis. For quantitative measurement of stress, we used Office Stress Measurement Scale developed by Bae JM et al in 1992. We studied the correlation between stress scores and each class of climacteric symptoms, and the difference of climacteric symptom scores according to the menopausal status and demographic characteristics. RESULTS: The correlation coefficient between the climacteric symptom scores and the stress scores was 0.329(P=0.000) but this correlation was significant in only premenopausal group(correlation coefficient=0.479). Among climacteric symptom classes, the correlation with stress scores is most prominent in psychological symptom class, then somatic symptoms, vasomotor symptoms. There was no difference in climacteric symptom scores to the menopausal status and demographic characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Women who had more stress complained more climacteric symptoms, especially psychological symptoms. This correlation was significant in the premenopausal group only. And the severity of climacteric symptoms didnt change by demographic characteristics.