Relationship Satisfaction Among Infertile Couples: Implications of Gender and Self-Identification

Arthur L. Greil, Kathleen Slauson-Blevins, Julia McQuillan, Michele H. Lowry, Andrea R. Burch, Karina M. Shreffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We use path analysis to analyze heterosexual couples from the U.S. National Survey of Fertility Barriers, a probability-based sample of women and their male partners. We restrict the sample to couples in which the women are infertile. We estimate a path model of each partner’s relationship satisfaction on indicators of self-identifying as having a fertility problem or not at the individual and couple levels. We find a gender effect: for women, but not men, relationship satisfaction was significantly higher when neither partner self-identified as having a fertility problem. Women’s relationship satisfaction exerted a strong influence on their partners’ relationship satisfaction, but no similar association between men’s relationship satisfaction and their partner’s satisfaction was found. In infertile couples, higher levels of perceived social support are associated with higher levels of relationship satisfaction for women but not for men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1304-1325
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • dyadic relationship/quality/satisfaction
  • gender and family
  • infertility
  • path analysis
  • quantitative


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