The role of distance and proximity in social support and psychological distress for women with infertility


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Towson University. Department of Psychology


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About 10% of women aged 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or remaining pregnant (CDC, 2011). This study was on how women use their social support to cope with their infertility. The three aims of the present study were: (1) examine online communication versus face-to-face interactions for infertility social support groups, (2) examine online communications versus face-to-face interactions for personal social support network, and (3) examine relationships between the average geographical location of personal social support network and psychological distress outcomes. There were no significant differences between face-to-face interactions and online communication on psychological distress for either infertility social support groups or personal social support groups. A greater average geographical distance of personal social support was significantly correlated with lower levels of emotional distress and less negative coping styles. The findings suggest that the use of online communication for social support when coping with infertility is comparable to face-to-face interactions, if not preferable.