Sexuality & Couples

Sophie Bergeron  Ph.D


Did you know that blame affects couples in fertility treatment?

03 VA

A recent study conducted in the Couples and Relationships Research Lab, led by Katherine Péloquin, have examined the role of self and partner blaming to explain psychological and relationship adjustment in couples presenting a fertility problem. This study used a dyadic approach to explore the links between blaming oneself and one’s partner and their symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as couple satisfaction. A total of 279 couples with fertility problems were recruited by their gynaecologist at their first visit in two fertility clinics in Montreal, and were questioned about the extent to which they blamed themselves and their partner for the couple’s fertility problems.

What did we find?

Feeling responsible: The results show blaming oneself for the couple's fertility problems is associated with more symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as lower relationship satisfaction.

In addition, when women feel responsible for the fertility problems, their partner also reports more depressive and anxious symptoms.

Blaming the partner: Women's tendency to blame their partner was associated with their own higher depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as to their lower relationship satisfaction. Moreover, when women blamed their partner, he also reported lower relationship satisfaction.

For more details, we invite you to consult the full article:

Péloquin, K., Brassard, A., Arpin, V., Sabourin, S., & Wright, J. (2018). Whose’ fault is it? Blame predicting psychological adjustment and couple satisfaction in couples seeking fertility treatment. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 39(1), 64-72. doi:10.1080/0167482X.2017.1289369

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