BACKGROUND: Men and women use a variety of coping strategies to manage stress associated with infertility. Although previous research has helped us understand these coping processes, questions remain about gender differences in coping and the nature of the relationship between coping and specific types of infertility stress. METHODS: This study examined the coping behaviours of 1026 (520 women, 506 men) consecutively referred patients at a University-affiliated teaching hospital. Participants completed the Ways of Coping Questionnaire, Fertility Problem Inventory and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. RESULTS: Women used proportionately greater amounts of confrontative coping, accepting responsibility, seeking social support and escape/avoidance when compared with men, whereas men used proportionately greater amounts of distancing, self-controlling and planful problem-solving. For men and women, infertility stress was positively related to escape/avoidance and accepting responsibility and negatively related to seeking social support, planful problem-solving and distancing. CONCLUSIONS: By analysing relative coping scores, this study identified key gender differences in how men and women cope with infertility. This was particularly true for men's coping processes that had previously remained hidden because of less frequent use of coping strategies when compared with women.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below