Time in treatment, cognitive appraisal, dispositional optimism, and age as predictors of distress in women experiencing infertility

Mary Ann Krisko Schroder, Fordham University

Abstract

This study, based on the cognitive-phenomenological model of stress and coping, was designed to explore relations between distress experienced by women facing infertility and time in treatment, age, cognitive appraisals, and dispositional optimism. It was further intended to determine the ability of those factors to predict distress levels.^ The sample consisted of 126 women recruited from RESOLVE, a support group for infertile individuals. Survey packets were sent and returned by mail. Psychological distress was measured with the Brief Symptom Inventory. Cognitive appraisals were assessed with the Stress Appraisal Measure. Optimism orientation was assessed with the Life Orientation Test-Revised, and time in treatment was based on self-report.^ Results indicated that participants experienced a high level of distress overall. Distress varied across years in treatment, with the greatest amount of distress reported by those in the middle years. Threat, defined as the perception of potential harm or loss from the situation, varied across years in treatment in a way that was similar to that of distress. Both optimism orientation and threat were significantly correlated to and were predictive of distress. Optimism was negatively correlated with distress and threat was positively correlated with distress. No relation between age and distress was found. Breakdown of the sample into early and later treatment times revealed that the perception of having personal control over the situation is beneficial in the later treatment period.^ Findings generally supported tenets of the cognitive-phenomenological model of stress and coping. Further work in this area is suggested. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Mary Ann Krisko Schroder, "Time in treatment, cognitive appraisal, dispositional optimism, and age as predictors of distress in women experiencing infertility" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9809020.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9809020

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