Psychosocial outcomes for parents and children after in vitro fertilization: a review

Catherine A. McMahon, Judy A. Ungerer, Janet Beaurepaire, Christopher Tennant, Douglas Saunders

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    35 Citations (Scopus)


    Descriptive writings and empirical research on the longterm effects of infertility and in vitro fertilization (IVF) on the psychosocial adjustment of parents and children are reviewed in three major areas: the experience of pregnancy, the quality of parenting, and the cognitive, social and emotional development of the children. Contrary to prior speculation, overall findings indicate that parents who conceive by IVF do not differ from comparison groups on adjustment to pregnancy, and they do not demonstrate dysfunctional parenting styles. Furthermore, there is no evidence that children conceived by IVF differ on either cognitive or social/emotional indices of development. However, the number of empirical studies is small and significant methodological shortcomings limit the conclusions which can be drawn from the research. More prospective empirical work is needed to clarify outcomes and to document the process of psychological adjustment over time in IVF families.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


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