The Relationship between Body Image and Marital Adjustment in Infertile Women

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant professor of Reproductive Health, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University Of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahrkord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrkord, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women’s Health Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

5 Professor of Psychology, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Body image is one of the most important issues in women's mental health and due to its relationship with physical, cognitive and emotional aspects of women’s life; it can predict their healthy or unhealthy behaviors. According to some research reports, women’s negative or positive body image can affect their marital relationships. Considering the impact of infertility on both body image and marital adjustment and the lack of evidence regarding the relationship of these two variables in infertility, this study aimed to investigate the relationship of body image with marital adjustment in infertile women in 2010 in Mashhad.
Methods: This correlational study was carried out on 130 infertile women referred to Montaserie Infertility Research Center in Mashhad who were selected through convenient sampling. Research tools were consisted of valid and reliable demographic questionnaire including personal and infertility-related information, modified Younesi Body Image Questionnaire and Spanier marital adjustment scale (DAS) which were completed by subjects. Data analysis was carried out by SPSS software (version 15/5) using t-tests, one way ANOVA, and Spearman and Pearson correlation test.
Results: 93/1% of women reported positive body image and 76/9% had high marital adjustment. There was a direct correlation between the overall score of body image with marital adjustment (P<0/001). There was also a direct correlation between the scores of body image subscales including body in loneliness (P= 0/001), real body (P=0/014), public image of body (P=0/016), spouse image of body (P<0/001) and spouse family image of body (P<0/001) with marital adjustment. However, this relationship was not observed between the subscale of ideal body and marital adjustment.
Conclusion: The presence of a direct correlation between body image and marital adjustment could guide developing educational or counseling programs particularly for infertile women who suffer from marital disputes.


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