Effect of Fertility Stress as Mediated by Psychosocial Factors on Infertile Couples' Ability to Have Children
Reed, Karen A.
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Fertility problems are associated with high levels of stress and symptoms of psychological distress. Additionally, fertility problem stress is associated with physiological changes which can decrease the likelihood of conception. This study attempted to determine how fertility problem stress, as mediated by 5 psychosocial factors, affects the likelihood of infertile couples having children. A longitudinal study was completed in which data was collected from 315 White infertile individuals, of which 123 became parents within 2 years. Age, household income, length of time one suspected they had a fertility problem, and one's quality of life were the variables revealed to predict future parental status (p <= .05). Other variables, including fertility problem stress, self-efficacy, negative affect, positive affect, and control over fertility problem, did not appear to affect reproduction rates. Possible interpretations of findings, as well as implications for psychologists, fertility specialists, and future researchers are discussed.