Surviving the adversity of childlessness: Fostering resilience in couples

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Journal Article
Contemporary Nurse, 2011, 40 (1), pp. 130 - 140
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In contemporary Western society, infertility has the capacity to impact greatly on couples, emotionally and socially. In the face of such infertility, couples are able to seek assisted reproductive technologies to assist in the pursuit of biological parenthood. These technologies are not infallible though, and the likelihood of success remains small. Therefore it is inevitable that some couples will remain childless, and this has been associated with grief and adversity. Findings present the narratives of participant couples' through and beyond the many adversities encountered due to remaining childless despite infertility treatment. Regardless of theories that seek to pathologise couples experiencing this type of adversity, participant couples demonstrated resilience in redirecting their energies into areas of their lives where they could achieve positive outcomes. This research highlights the importance of caring for couples rather than individuals undergoing infertility treatment. It provides support for approaches that foster couples' relationships with the aim of promoting individuals' resilience.
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