Infertility bears psychological and relational consequences for couples who face this problem. Few studies have examined the role of self- and partner blaming to explain psychological and relationship adjustment in couple presenting with a fertility problem.
This study used a dyadic approach to explore the links between blaming oneself and one’s partner and both partners’ symptoms of depression and anxiety, and couple satisfaction in 279 couples enrolled in fertility treatments. Partners were questioned about the extent to which they blamed themselves and their partner for the fertility problem. They also completed the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Index of Psychological Symptoms.
Path analyses based on the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model showed that self-blame predicted anxiety and depression symptoms in both men and women.
Men’s self-blame also predicted their own lower relationship satisfaction, whereas women’s self-blame predicted more depression and anxiety in their partner. Partner blame in women predicted their own and their partner lower relationship satisfaction. Women’s tendency to blame their partner also predicted their own depression symptoms. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Péloquin, K., Brassard, A., Arpin, V., Sabourin, S. and Wright, J. (2017). Whose fault is it? Blame predicting psychosocial adjustment and couple satisfaction in couples seeking fertility treatment. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology. DOI: 10.1080/0167482X.2017.1289369.
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