The Effects of Psychosocial Factors on Pregnancy Adaptation for ART-Conceived Pregnant Women


The 32nd International Congress of Psychology, Prag, Czech Republic, 18 - 23 July 2021

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Prag
  • Country: Czech Republic


In the case of conception via assisted reproductive techniques (ART), pregnancy can be more difficult; these women cannot help feeling anxious and having no control over the process (Harris & Daniluk, 2010). In order to prepare themselves for any potential losses, they can have pregnancy adjustment problems and show lower prenatal attachment towards the fetus (Hjelmstedt et al., 2006). In present study, the predictive role of prenatal distress on pregnancy adaptation, and the moderator roles of perceived social support (from family, friends and significant other) and insecure attachment styles (anxious and avoidant) were aimed to be investigated. The participants were 185 pregnant women who conceived via ART. The results of moderation analyses (Hayes & Matthes, 2009) revealed that higher levels of perceived social support from friends buffered the negative effects of prenatal distress on participants’ concern for the well-being of self and baby, fear of labor and overall pregnancy adaptation level (B=-.2771, SE=.1405, p=.050, 95%CI[-.5543,0]). Regarding the moderator role of attachment styles, as the participants' anxious attachment levels became lower, the negative effects of prenatal distress were decreased and women's pregnancy adaptation in terms of concern for self and baby, fear of labor and overall adaptation score (B=-.26, SE=.13, p=.05, 95%CI[-.5259,0]) tended to increase. Although partner and family support were found as fundamental stress-buffering sources (Martins et al., 2011), in this study perceived social support from friends was found to be the only significant moderator. This supports the idea that receiving social support from outside the home can be more helpful for infertile women (Amir et al., 1999). Moreover, as earlier studies indicated, anxious attachment style can have a stronger influence on expectant mothers’ pregnancy-related distress (Trillingsgaard et al., 2011), decrease their psychological adaptation and well-being (Mikulincer et al., 1998). The findings were discussed in terms of clinical-health psychology practices.