Effect of infertility on mothers' and fathers' interactions with young infants
The influence of infertility on mothers' and fathers' interactions with young infants was examined in 30 couples who achieved pregnancy after infertility, 21 adoptive couples, and 19 normally fertile couples. Adoptive mothers and fathers were more similar in interaction time than biological parents. The main effect for 'parent gender' from repeated measures ANOVAs indicated fathers had less interaction time than mothers and provided less of all types of stimulation except game playing. 'Significant group by gender' interactions indicated that adoptive mothers showed the least feeling, holding, body contact, looking, and touching of all mothers and fertile mothers the most. Adoptive fathers displayed the largest amount of these behaviours and fertile fathers the least. The behaviours of mothers and fathers were similar when they were the only ones interacting with the infant. Thus, fathers with a history of infertility, and especially adoption, appear to be more involved in interacting with their infant.
Holditch-Davis, D; Sandelowski, M; Harris, BG
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