Suzanne C. Brothers is now at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
The Goal of Biological Parenthood and Emotional Distress From Infertility: Linking Parenthood to Happiness
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 248–262, February 2003
How to Cite
Brothers, S. C. and Maddux, J. E. (2003), The Goal of Biological Parenthood and Emotional Distress From Infertility: Linking Parenthood to Happiness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33: 248–262. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2003.tb01895.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
This study examined the relationship between construals of the parenthood goal and emotional reactions to fertility difficulties. Mcintosh and Martin's (1992) goal linkage model predicts that individuals experiencing fertility difficulties who strongly link biological parenthood to happiness (i.e., those who strongly believe that having a biological child is necessary for happiness and life satisfaction) will ruminate more about this unfulfilled goal than will individuals who engage in less linking. The model also predicts that greater rumination leads to greater emotional distress and that rumination will mediate the relationship between linking and emotional distress. To examine these hypotheses, 69 women experiencing difficulty conceiving completed questionnaires that assessed linking, rumination, and emotional distress. Results support the hypotheses from the goal linkage model: Linking predicted rumination, rumination predicted emotional distress, and rumination mediated the relationship between linking and distress.