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The effect of infertility on individual well -being

Danelle D DeBoer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This study examines the effect on infertility on the following six components of individual well being: depression symptoms, self-esteem, future outlook, control over life circumstances, satisfaction with intimate partner, and satisfaction with friendships. ^ The present study proposes that infertility is a barrier to a normative life transition. Using crisis theory and the life course perspective, I hypothesize that women with an infertility experience will experience negative psycho-social outcomes. I use data from the National Survey of Women (Tanfer, 1991) to test several related hypotheses. There is also an exploratory component to this analysis that examines the effects of infertility on African American women. ^ There were two findings applicable to all women. The first is that infertility is associated with lower levels of satisfaction with an intimate partner. The second finding is that infertility is associated with lower levels of satisfaction with friendships. ^ In addition, I found several interesting interaction effects. The data suggest that women's outlook of the future is dependent on age. Infertile women over 30 have a more negative perception of the future than infertile women under age 30. ^ There are also several interaction effects with race. The results of the analysis suggest that infertility affects African American women differently than white women with regard to their future outlook, control over life circumstances, and satisfaction with an intimate partner. ^ The effects of infertility are also dependent on education. Lower educated women with an infertility experience report a more positive outlook of the future and more control over their life circumstances than infertile women with higher levels of education. The implications of all of these findings are discussed, along with recommendations for future research in the area of infertility. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

DeBoer, Danelle D, "The effect of infertility on individual well -being" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3016311.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3016311

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