Parents of 5-Year-Old in Vitro Fertilization Children

Psychological Adjustment, Parenting Stress, and the Influence of Subsequent in Vitro Fertilization Treatment

Catherine A. McMahon*, Frances Gibson, Garth Leslie, Jennifer Cohen, Christopher Tennant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sixty-six parents who had conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) were compared with 46 matched naturally conceiving control parents regarding psychosocial adjustment and parenting stress 5 years after the birth of their first child. IVF mothers reported a more external locus of control than did control mothers but did not differ on other measures. Within the IVF group, higher levels of treatment predicted lower parenting stress and more defensive responding on the Parenting Stress Index (R. Abidin, 1990). The more positive reporting of high-treatment IVF parents may be attributable to either defensive responding or the fact that they are particularly highly motivated and competent parents. The study findings confirm a growing body of research regarding overall positive adjustment in IVF parents but also highlight the importance of considering individual differences among IVF mothers with respect to treatment experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-369
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003

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