A study of the psychological factors associated with inferility : depression, locus of control, quality of marital interaction



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The purpose of this study was to assess the levels of depression, locus of control, and perceived marital interaction in an infertile population and to determine the effects of gender and time-in-treatment on psychological variables. According to clinical observations, infertility is perceived by the couple as an enormous emotional strain. Couples involved in medical treatment for infertility have often experienced depression, loss of control of one major portion of their lives, and marital difficulties. The three psychological variables that were most frequently cited in the anecdotal literature were chosen for this study. The original sample was the 300 couples from private practices specializing in infertility to whom packets were distributed. During a Wz month period of time each fertility patient who came for a regularly scheduled appointment with the physician was invited to participate in the study. If the couple decided to participate, they completed a packet containing a demographic survey, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Adult Nowicki-Strickland-Internal-External Scale (ANS-IE) and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS). Specifically, two major questions were addressed: 1) what was the level of depression, locus of control, and perceived quality of marital interaction in a population of infertile couples? and 2) within the population of infertile couples, how did time-in-treatment and gender of spouse affect depression, locus of control, and perceived quality of marital interaction? [...]



Infertility--Psychological aspects