Little is known about the long-term impact ofreproductive experiences on women's lives. This paperuses questionnaire data collected from 107 white femalecollege graduates, when they were approximately 47 years old. More than half the sample hadexperienced at least one type of reproductive difficulty(abortion, miscarriage, or infertility). The stress andcoping model of life difficulties (Lazarus &Folkman, 1984) was used to examine the relationshipbetween the women's reproductive difficulties andemotional sequelae, politicization, and orientation tomotherhood at midlife. As predicted, emotional responses to the reproductive difficulties variedaccording to the particular nature of each experience.In addition, women who had abortions and no otherdifficulties were more politicized at midlife than other women. Women whose reproductive experienceswere especially likely to arouse feelings of not beingin control of their life (those who had miscarriages orinfertility) described a more agentic orientation to motherhood when compared with other women.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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