Journal of Pediatric Psychology, vol. 26, issue 8 (2001) pp. 525-538
Objective: To critically review the empirical literature published from 1980 through June 2000 on the psychosocial well-being of parents and their children born after assisted reproduction.Methods: A computer-based literature search of PsycINFO and Medline was conducted. Empirical studies were reviewed to document the psychosocial impact of infertility and its treatment on the families involved in terms of quality of parenting, family functioning, and child development.Results: Several common findings appeared across the studies reviewed. With regard to quality of parenting and family functioning, mothers of children born using assisted reproduction report less parenting stress and more positive mother- and father-child relationships than mothers of naturally conceived children. In most cases, no statistically significant differences in child functioning in terms of emotions, behavior, self-esteem, or perceptions of family relationship have been reported.Conclusions: The summary findings are positive and reassuring for parents and their children born after assisted reproduction. This critique of the published literature provides interpretative and methodological refinements for future research.
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