Contributors to Women's Perceived Stress at the Start of Assisted Reproductive Technology

Vera Skvirsky, Orit Taubman–Ben-Ari, Shirley Ben Shlomo, Joseph Azuri, Eran Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Clinicians are often called upon to treat the stress that accompanies Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). In this study, we sought to examine the contribution of the internal resources of meaning in life and attachment style and the interpersonal resource of self-disclosure to her mother to a woman's level of perceived stress upon commencement of ART. In addition, we examined the association between age and perceived stress. The sample consisted of 180 Israeli women (106 aged 20–34; 74 aged 35–44) who completed a series of self-report questionnaires after their initial meeting with a fertility specialist. Regression analysis indicated that older age, lower attachment anxiety, higher perception of meaning in life, and greater self-disclosure to the mother were related to lower levels of perceived stress. Self-disclosure was also found to mediate the association between avoidant attachment and stress. The study highlights the importance of a woman’s personal and interpersonal resources for reducing the experience of stress in the early stages of ART. The results have practical implications for the development of professional interventions seeking to enhance these resources among women embarking on fertility treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel. The study is part of the Ph.D. dissertation submitted to the School of Social Work, Bar-Ilan University by the first author, and was carried out under the supervision of the second author. The study was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Attachment
  • infertility
  • meaning in life
  • self-disclosure
  • stress
  • women


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