Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 171–187

Coping and Cognitive factors in adaptation toin vitro fertilization failure


  • Mark D. Litt
    • Department of Behavioral Sciences and Community HealthUniversity of Connecticut Health Center
  • Howard Tennen
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Connecticut Health Center
  • Glenn Affleck
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Connecticut Health Center
  • Susan Klock
    • Department of PsychiatryBrigham and Women's Hospital

DOI: 10.1007/BF00848324

Cite this article as:
Litt, M.D., Tennen, H., Affleck, G. et al. J Behav Med (1992) 15: 171. doi:10.1007/BF00848324


Characteristics were identified that predict adaptation following an unsuccessful attempt at in vitrofertilization (IVF). Forty-one women and their husbands were interviewed and administered questionnaires prior to IVF and 2 weeks after notice of a positive or negative pregnancy test. Of the 36 couples who failed to conceive as a result of IVF, 6 of the women studied developed clinical depressive symptoms. Those women who reported poorest adaptation to IVF failure were more likely to have reported depressive symptoms prior to IVF, were more likely to have reported feeling a general loss of control over their lives as a result of infertility, tended to use escape as a coping strategy, and reported having felt some responsibility for their IVF failure. Dispositional optimism, as well as a sense of being partially responsible for the infertility, was protective of distress following IVF failure.

Key words

appraisalcopingpsychological adaptationin vitro fertilization

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992