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An investigation into men's cognitive appraisals, coping strategies adopted and adjustment to infertility

Buttler, Sarah; (1999) An investigation into men's cognitive appraisals, coping strategies adopted and adjustment to infertility. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study employs a stress and coping framework to examine cognitive appraisals of infertility, coping strategies adopted and adjustment (distress and well-being) in 147 men in infertile couples seeking treatment, irrespective of diagnosis. A comparison design is employed to determine the impact of the location of diagnosis, specifically investigating the differences between 42 men with a male factor fertility problem (MMF) and 47 men with a female factor problem (MFF). Men rated their primary appraisals threat, challenge and loss, and secondary appraisals personal control and control connected with infertility, completed a coping questionnaire and measures of global and infertility-specific distress and well-being. Men appraised their infertility as harmful in some ways, and challenging in others and as relatively controllable. Problem focused coping strategies were frequently used. Approximately one third of the sample experienced high levels of global distress, although overall they reported good levels of psychological well-being. No significant differences were observed between MMF and MFF in their cognitive appraisal of infertility and levels of adjustment. Appraisals of infertility in terms of threat and loss were associated with distress and high perceptions of control with well-being. Compared with MMF, MFF were significantly more likely to cope through seeking instrumental social support and mental disengagement. Multiple regression analyses revealed that appraising infertility as a threat and focusing on and venting of emotions were associated with more distress for MMF. For MFF a wider range of appraisals and coping styles were associated with distress including, threat, loss, personal control, focus on and venting of emotions; those who used active coping were less distressed. Directions for further research and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: An investigation into men's cognitive appraisals, coping strategies adopted and adjustment to infertility
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107425
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