Parenthood Motives in IVF-Mothers
De Munter, A.
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 1998 Mar; 19(1): 19-27.
This is an exploratory study to answer two questions: (1) does in-vitro fertilization (IVF)-mothers' motivation for parenthood differ from the naturally conceiving mothers' motivation for parenthood? and (2) are IVF-mothers' parenthood motives correlated with their adjustment to parenthood (in the same way as they are for naturally conceiving mothers)? The study sample consisted of 31 mothers with a 24-30 month old, single-born child conceived by homologous IVF and a comparison group of 31 mothers with a naturally conceived child. Self-rating questionnaires were used. Overall, the parenthood motivation pattern was quite similar for IVF-mothers and mothers by natural conception. However, 'identity', 'motherhood' and 'social control' were significantly more important motives for IVF-mothers than for the naturally conceiving mothers. The two former motives remained more important for IVF-mothers when findings were adjusted for the influence of the mothers' age and educational level. Possible explanations for these findings refer to the infertility history. Overall, few correlations between parenthood motives and the adjustment to parenthood were significant, both for the IVF-mothers and for the mothers by natural conception. Further (hypothesis-testing) research is needed to support these findings.