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Subfecundity and anxiety in a nationally representative sample


  • King, Rosalind Berkowitz


Research thus far on the psychological consequences of impaired fecundity in developed countries has relied heavily on clinic-based samples. This study uses a nationally representative sample of American women regardless of fecundity status or treatment status. I analyze reports of fecundity status and anxiety from a 1995 sample of almost 11,000 respondents. The results show consistent positive effects of subfecundity on the odds of fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the incidence rate of symptoms among those who would be so diagnosed, even when controlling for potential confounding factors. Whether a subfecund respondent currently desires to have a child does not moderate the likelihood of being anxious, but does moderate the number of symptoms reported. The lack of a moderating effect of seeking treatment suggests that past research on clinic-based samples is generalizable to all subfecund women.

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  • King, Rosalind Berkowitz, 2003. "Subfecundity and anxiety in a nationally representative sample," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 739-751, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:4:p:739-751

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Angus Deaton, 2001. "Relative Deprivation, Inequality, and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 8099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Victor R. Fuchs & Mark B. McClellan & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2004. "Area Differences in Utilization of Medical Care and Mortality among U.S. Elderly," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 367-414 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    6. Michael Grossman, 1976. "The Correlation between Health and Schooling," NBER Chapters,in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 147-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Re-Examining the Evidence of an Ecological Association between Income Inequality and Health," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9922, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
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    10. David A. Jaeger & Susanna Loeb & Sarah E. Turner & John Bound, 1998. "Coding Geographic Areas Across Census Years: Creating Consistent Definitions of Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 6772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maximova, Katerina & Quesnel-Vallée, Amélie, 2009. "Mental health consequences of unintended childlessness and unplanned births: Gender differences and life course dynamics," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 850-857, March.
    2. Greil, Arthur L. & McQuillan, Julia & Lowry, Michele & Shreffler, Karina M., 2011. "Infertility treatment and fertility-specific distress: A longitudinal analysis of a population-based sample of U.S. women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 87-94, July.


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