Milica Mitrović, Jelena Opsenica Kostić, Damjana Panić

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Infertility is a medical problem, but it can have significant consequences for mental health. Emotional problems caused by infertility are very common, so infertility can be called a life crisis. Therefore, it is very important to identify protective and risk factors that would determine the psychological adjustment to infertility. The aim of this study was to examine the differences in perceived social support, relationship satisfaction, and positive and negative affect between women undergoing IVF treatment and women who do not have fertility problems. The research also aims to examine whether perceived social support and relationship satisfaction were significant predictors of positive and negative affect in both groups. The study included 292 women – 163 who were undergoing the IVF treatment at the time of assessment and 129 without fertility problems who made up the control group. The following instruments were applied: the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Relationship Satisfaction Scale, and the Serbian Inventory of Affect based on PANAS. The results show statistically significant differences between the examined groups in the level of negative affect, which is more pronounced in the group of women undergoing IVF treatment. Regarding positive affect, there is a trend of a more frequent experience of positive emotions in the women from the control group. Perceived social support and relationship satisfaction are significant predictors of both positive and negative affect for the women undergoing IVF treatment. As for the control group, the results of the regression analysis show that perceived social support and relationship satisfaction are significant predictors of negative affect, while in the case of positive affect, relationship satisfaction stands out as a significant predictor. The results indicate that perceived social support and relationship satisfaction can be important protective factors when it comes to psychological adjustment to infertility, which can serve as a guideline for mental health professionals who work with infertile couples.


infertility, IVF treatment, social support, relationship satisfaction, ositive and negative affect

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