Relationship between coping/attachment styles and infertility-specific distress in Iranian infertile individuals: A cross-sectional study


Background: Infertility has been recognized as a stressful clinical condition, significantly affecting couples’ emotional functioning.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between coping/attachment styles and infertility-specific distress (ISD) in infertile participants.

Materials and Methods: A total number of 240 infertile participants (120 women and 120 men) who attend the Outpatient Infertility Clinic in Sari, Iran between February and October 2017 were selected using the convenience sampling method. Data were collected using a questionnaire addressing sociodemographic variables. In addition, coping and attachment styles were evaluated via the Coping Strategies Questionnaire and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale by Collins and Read (1990); respectively. Ultimately, the Infertility Distress Scale was used to assess ISD.

Results: The mean ISD score was 42.53 ± 9.63. Secure and insecure attachment styles were observed in 37.9% and 62.1% of the cases, respectively. There was a significant difference among ISD and different groups of attachment styles (p = 0.001) and emotion-focused coping style (p = 0.021). However, no significant relationship was found between problem-focused coping style and ISD (p = 0.985).

Conclusion: Considering the relationship between coping/attachment styles and ISD, it was recommended to implement stress prevention and coping education within the framework of coping/attachment theories for infertile individuals.

Key words: Infertility, Attachment, Copying, Distress.

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