Coping style, social support and sexual distress in infertility: a path analysis


  • S. Safavi
  • S. Mahmoodi
  • Z. Masoodian
  • F. Ardeshiri
  • F. Barkhordari
  • R. Andikolaei
  • H. Zamanian


Background: As a stressful situation, infertility increase sexual distress of infertile women which predicted by their coping styles and the amount of support they receive specially from spouse. This study aimed to determine the relationship between coping and sexual distress with mediating role of social support in infertile women. Methods: 109 infertile women referring to Infertility Center of Akbar Abadi hospital in Tehran were selected via convenience sampling and completed main instrument of social support questionnaire (Sherborne and Stewart), Sexual distress Scale (FSD-R) and Brief COPE (by Carver) Findings: Data analysis showed that problem-focused and emotion-focused coping have respectively negative (r= -0.32) and positive correlation (r= 0.43) with sexual distress. Regression analysis showed that problem-focused coping (Beta=0.124, t=1.27), emotion-focused coping(Beta=0.369, t=4.08) and social support(Beta=2.99, t=2.23) can predict 19.8 percent of sexual distress variance. Path analysis confirmed the mediating role of problem-focused coping in correlation of social support with sexual distress, but the effect of emotion-focused coping on sexual distress was direct without social support role. In path analysis, direct effect of emotion-focused coping on sexual distress was significant and positive and indirect effect of problem-focused coping on sexual distress was significant and negative. Discussion: Social support play an important role in sexual distress of infertile women by changing their coping styles. Psychological interventions with aim of taking problem-focused coping strategies by infertile woman and family therapy with aim of social support development can lead to sexual distress decrease and quality of life improvement in these women.





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