, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 361-372

The Effect of Intracouple Coping Concordance on Psychological and Marital Distress in Infertility Patients

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The effect of intracouple coping concordance on psychological and marital distress was examined in a sample of 46 couples undergoing different stages of infertility treatment. Results indicate that the effect of coping similarity within couples is dependent on both the type of coping examined and the stage of the stressor. Specifically, for women the use of high levels of task-oriented coping by their partners and themselves is associated with the highest level of marital satisfaction. The findings also indicate that the use of high emotion-oriented coping by both partners is associated with the most psychological distress for men. Finally, the results show that marital satisfaction among women undergoing late stage treatment is highest in couples where the males are using low levels of emotion-oriented coping. Interestingly, the least satisfaction for women is evident when the woman is using less emotion-oriented coping while her partner is using more, rather than when both partners are using more emotion-oriented coping strategies. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.