Original Article

Child-Free Lifestyle and the Need for Parenthood and Relationship with Marital Satisfaction among Infertile Couples


Objective: Marital satisfaction is considered as satisfaction with a marital relationship on which the presence of a child has different effects. Concerns about a childfree life and its effect on marital satisfaction in infertile couples are very critical. Therefore, this study was intended to characterize and compare concerns about a childfree lifestyle and the need for parenthood and their relationship with marital satisfaction in infertile couples.

Method: A total of 200 men and 200 women who referred to fertility centers in Tehran participated in this cross-sectional study. Convenience sampling method was used for sampling. Demographic survey, ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale, and Fertility Problem Inventory were used for data collection. The resulting data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistical tests (Pearson Correlation Coefficient and Stepwise Regression).

Results: The mean scores for concern about a childfree lifestyle and the need for parenthood in women were significantly higher than in men. The variables rejection of a childfree lifestyle and the need for parenthood were respectively predictors of marital satisfaction in women and men.

Conclusion: Since marital satisfaction in infertile couples is affected by their feelings about having a child and becoming a parent, it is therefore suggested that appropriate counseling be provided in supportive healthcare programs for infertile couples to promote their marital satisfaction.

Chehreh H, Ozgoli G, Abolmaali K, Nasiri M. The relationship between personality traits and marital satisfaction based on five factors model of personality: A systematic review. Scientific Journal of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences. 2017;22(5):121-32.
2. Khalatbari J, Ghorbanshiroudi S, Azari KN, Bazleh N, Safaryazdi N. The relationship between marital satisfaction (based on religious criteria) and emotional stability. Procedia-social and behavioral sciences. 2013;84:869-73.
3. Hatami H, Habi M, Akbari A. Assessing the impact of religiosity on marital satisfaction. J Military Psychology. 2009;1(1):13-22.
4. Amrelahi R, Roshan Chesly R, Shairi M, Nik Azin A. Marital conflict, marital satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction: comparison of women with relative marriage and women with non-relative marriage. CPAP. 2013;11(1):11-22.
5. Fatehizadeh M, Ahmadi A. The relationship between marital satisfaction and communication patterns of couples in Isfahan University. Journal of Family Research. 2006;2:110-20.
6. Javanmard GH, Garegozlo RM. The study of relationship between marital satisfaction and personality characteristics in Iranian families. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2013;84:396-9.
7. Farah LK, Shahram V. The effect of sexual skills training on marital satisfaction. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Science. 2011;30:2581-5.
8. Randall AK, Bodenmann G. The role of stress on close relationships and marital satisfaction. Clin Psychol Rev. 2009;29(2):105-15.
9. Tavakol Z, Nikbakht Nasrabadi A, Behboodi Moghadam Z, Salehiniya H, Rezaei E. A review of the factors associated with marital satisfaction. Galen Medical Journal. 2017;6(3):197-207.
10. Onyishi EI, Sorokowski P, Sorokowska A, Pipitone RN. Children and marital satisfaction in a non-Western sample: having more children increases marital satisfaction among the Igbo people of Nigeria. Evol Hum Behav. 2012;33(6):771-4.
11. Twenge JM, Campbell WK, Foster CA. Parenthood and marital satisfaction: a meta‐analytic review. J Marriage Fam. 2003;65(3):574-83.
12. Moura-Ramos M, Gameiro S, Canavarro MC, Soares I, Santos TA. The indirect effect of contextual factors on the emotional distress of infertile couples. Psychol Health. 2012;27(5):533-49.
13. Gilbert P, Allan S. The role of defeat and entrapment (arrested flight) in depression: an exploration of an evolutionary view. Psychol Med. 1998;28(3):585-98.
14. Hirschberger G, Srivastava S, Marsh P, Cowan CP, Cowan PA. Attachment, Marital Satisfaction, and Divorce During the First Fifteen Years of Parenthood. Pers Relatsh. 2009;16(3):401-20.
15. Jose O, Alfons V. Do demographics affect marital satisfaction? J Sex Marital Ther. 2007;33(1):73-85.
16. Bahrainian SA, Nazemi F, Dadkhah A. The Comparison of Marital Satisfaction between Fertile and Iinfertile Women. Iranian Rehabilitation Journal. 2009;7(1):11-6.
17. Kluwer ES. From partnership to parenthood: A review of marital change across the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Theory & Review. 2010;2(2):105-25.
18. Amiri M, Sadeqi Z, Hoseinpoor MH, Khosravi A. Marital Satisfaction and Its Influencing Factors in Fertile and Infertile Women. J Family Reprod Health. 2016;10(3):139-45.
19. Sheikhan Z, Ozgoli G, Azar M, Alavimajd H. Domestic violence in Iranian infertile women. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2014;28:152.
20. Hashemieh C, Neisani Samani L, Taghinejad H. Assessment of Anxiety in Pregnancy Following Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and Associated Infertility Factors in Women Commencing Treatment. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2013;15(12):e14465.
21. Onat Gl, Beji NK. Marital Relationship and Quality of Life Among Couples with Infertility. Sex Disabil. 2012;30:39–52.
22. Pasha H, Basirat Z, Esmailzadeh S, Faramarzi M, Adibrad H. Marital Intimacy and Predictive Factors Among Infertile Women in Northern Iran. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017;11(5):Qc13-qc7.
23. Hansen T. Parenthood and Happiness: a Review of Folk Theories Versus Empirical Evidence. SIR. 2012;108(1):29-64.
24. Lawrence E, Rothman AD, Cobb RJ, Rothman MT, Bradbury TN. Marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood. J Fam Psychol. 2008;22(1):41-50.
25. Pollmann‐Schult M. Parenthood and life satisfaction: Why don't children make people happy? Journal of Marriage and Family. 2014;76(2):319-36.
26. Aarts JW, van Empel IW, Boivin J, Nelen WL, Kremer JA, Verhaak CM. Relationship between quality of life and distress in infertility: a validation study of the Dutch FertiQoL. Hum Reprod. 2011;26(5):1112-8.
27. Zaheri F, Dolatian M, Shariati M, Simbar M, Ebadi A, Azghadi SB. Effective Factors in Marital Satisfaction in Perspective of Iranian Women and Men: A systematic review. Electron Physician. 2016;8(12):3369-77.
28. Ghahremani F, Doulabi MA, Eslami M, Shekarriz-Foumani R. Correlation Between Number and Gender Composition of Children and Marital Satisfaction in Women Presenting to Health Centers in Tehran-Iran, 2015. Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2017; 11(2): 95-98.
29. soodeh MH, Khalili S, Daneshpour M, Lavasani MG. Factors of successful marriage: Accounts from self described happy couples. Procedia-social and behavioral sciences. 2010;5:2042-6.
30. Newton CR, Sherrard W, Glavac I. The Fertility Problem Inventory: measuring perceived infertility-related stress. Fertil Steril. 1999;72(1):54-62.
31. Samani RO, Almasi-Hashiani A, Shokri F, Maroufizadeh S, Vesali S, Sepidarkish M. Validation study of the Fertility Problem Inventory in Iranian infertile patients. MEFSJ. 2017;22(1):48-53.
32. Hosseini S, Farahani M, Rashidi B. The Role of Infertility Stress, Coping Styles, Personality Trait and Social Support in Marital Adjustment of Infertile Women. JRPH. 2014; 7(2): 1-12.
33. Sreshthaputra O, Sreshthaputra RA, Vutyavanich T. Gender differences in infertility-related stress and the relationship between stress and social support in Thai infertile couples. J Med Assoc Thai. 2008;91(12):1769-73.
34. Karaca A, Unsal G. Psychosocial Problems and Coping Strategies among Turkish Women with Infertility. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2015;9(3):243-50.
36. Izadi N, Sajjadian I. The Relationship between Dyadic Adjustment and Infertility-Related Stress: The Mediated Role of Self-compassion and Self-judgment.IJPN. 2017;5(2):15-21.
38. Ledermann T, Bodenmann G, Rudaz M, Bradbury TN. Stress, communication, and marital quality in couples. Family Relations. 2010;59(2):195-206.
39. Maroufizadeh S, Karimi E, Vesali S, Omani Samani R. Anxiety and depression after failure of assisted reproductive treatment among patients experiencing infertility. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2015;130(3):253-6.
40. Peyvandi S, Hosseini SH, Daneshpour M, Mohammadpour R, Qolami N. The prevalence of depression, anxiety and marital satisfaction and related factors in infertile women referred to infertility clinics of Sari city in 2008. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci. 2011;20(80):26-32.
IssueVol 16 No 3 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijps.v16i3.6249
Child Infertility Life Style Marital Relationship

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Chehreh R, Ozgoli G, Abolmaali K, Nasiri M, Karamelahi Z. Child-Free Lifestyle and the Need for Parenthood and Relationship with Marital Satisfaction among Infertile Couples. Iran J Psychiatry. 2021;16(3):243-249.