College of Arts & Sciences

Date of Award

Spring 5-1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Linda M. Montgomery, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

James Olson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gary McCullough, Ph.D.

Abstract

Twenty infertile couples participated in the present study to investigate whether infertile couples receiving medical treatment experience changes in their emotional, marital and sexual adjustment as a result of the length of time they have been in treatment. The couples were divided into three groups based on how long they had been seeking medical attention for infertility. The instruments administered were: SCL-90-R (Symptom Checklist), Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) and Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS). It was predicted couples who were in the initial stages of treatment would experience increased levels of emotional, marital and sexual distress, however those levels would taper off and only increase again if they remained in treatment over two years. The results indicated the highest level of emotional distress was experienced in the second year when treatment regimens usually begin. There were no significant differences among the three groups on measures of marital and sexual adjustment. Psychological intervention was recommended at the beginning of the treatment process to help alleviate any associated emotional distress.

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