Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR)


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Published in Journal of Family Issues 28:7 (July 2007), pp. 955– 981; doi 10.1177/0192513X07300710 ; http://jfi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/28/7/955 Copyright © 2007 Sage Publications; published on behalf of the National Council on Family Relations. Used by permission.


Using data from a random sample of 580 midwestern women, the authors explore the association between lifetime infertility and life satisfaction. Past research shows lower life satisfaction among those seeking help for infertility. The authors find no direct effects of lifetime infertility, regardless of perception of a problem, on life satisfaction; however, there are several conditional effects. Among women who have ever met the criteria for infertility and perceive a fertility problem, life satisfaction is significantly lower for non-mothers and those with higher internal medical locus of control, and the association is weaker for employed women. For women with infertility who do not perceive a problem, motherhood is associated with higher life satisfaction compared to women with no history of infertility.

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