Involuntary childlessness and marital adjustment: His and hers

Patricia M. Ulbrich, Andrea Tremaglio Coyle, Maria M. Llabre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This study of 103 couples in treatment for infertility suggests that spouses are generally similar in the way they perceive their marital adjustment, but that they arrive at their views by different routes. Acceptance of a childless lifestyle is consistently associated with greater marital adjustment for men, but greater stress associated with infertility undermines marital adjustment for both husbands and wives. Men adjust better to an involuntarily childless marriage if their wives are employed or have high earnings. Wife's marital adjustment diminishes with the length of the marriage and the course of treatment for infertility. The stress women experience as a result of infertility influences their perception of their marriage and may undermine their ability to get the support they need during the transition to nonparenthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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