Children conceived through ICSI and IVF at 5 years of age: behavioral adjustment, parenting stress and attitudes: A comparative study.

FL Gibson, CA McMahon, J Cohen, GI Leslie, DM Saunders

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


    Objective: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is now an accepted
    treatment for male infertility. ICSI bypasses the natural selection processes
    of both traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) and natural conception and
    there are potentially more risks during fertilization. However, limited information
    is available on the long-term outcome of children conceived
    through ICSI. The objectives of this study were to examine 1) child
    behavioral adjustment and, 2) parenting stress and attitudes in families who
    conceived through ICSI compared to children conceived through traditional
    IVF and natural conception.
    Design: A prospective follow-up was conducted at 5 years of age for 99
    children conceived through ICSI, 80 conceived through IVF and 113
    non-IVF children conceived naturally.
    Materials/Methods: At 5 years both parents completed questionnaires
    concerning child behavior, temperament and development, and parenting
    stress and attitudes (protectiveness, child vulnerability). Teachers also completed
    measures of behavior and development. Statistical analyses were
    conducted controlling for salient demographic and child variables (parent
    age, education, language, child gender, twin).
    Results: There were no significant between group differences in behavior
    problem scores based on mother, father or teacher report, nor in parent
    ratings of temperament. However, IVF mothers more often expressed concern
    over child behaviors compared to ICSI and non-IVF mothers (p
    .006). Non-IVF mothers rated their children’s development higher than
    both ICSI and IVF mothers (p .033) and there was a trend in a similar
    direction for teacher ratings of non-IVF children (p .067). There were no
    significant group differences in mothers and fathers parenting stress scores.
    While fathers reports of parenting attitudes did not differ between groups,
    both ICSI and IVF mothers reported more protective attitudes (dependence,
    control) compared to non-IVF mothers (p .010). Examination of the
    relationship between parenting attitudes and behavior revealed that for the
    whole sample more protective attitudes and perceptions of child vulnerability
    by mothers and fathers were related to parent report of more difficult
    child behavior/temperament.
    Conclusions: This study showed that both ICSI and IVF mothers express
    more protective parenting attitudes and IVF mothers express more concern
    over child behavior compared to non-IVF mothers. However, there were no
    group differences in parent or teacher reported child behavior adjustment
    and mean ratings were in the non-clinical community range. Thus the
    differences identified in ICSI and IVF maternal attitudes do not appear to
    impact adversely on child adjustment. Indeed they may reflect a heightened
    awareness of and sensitivity towards their child, related to the unique path
    to conception.
    Supported by: the Financial Markets Foundation for Children and North
    Shore Fertility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberO-74
    Pages (from-to)S28-S29
    Number of pages2
    JournalFertility and Sterility
    Issue numberSupplement 1
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002
    Event58th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-for-Reproductive-Medicine - SEATTLE
    Duration: 12 Oct 200217 Oct 2002


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