Background: Research has shown that the mental health of women contributes to their parenting style. However, it remains unclearwhether the experience of in vitro fertilization (IVF) affects parenting style. Purpose: This study was designed to assess whether there is a difference in parenting styles between women who conceived using IVF and those who conceived naturally. Methods: This meta-analysis searched three electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsychInfo, and CINAHL) for relevant articles published between 1978 and 2011. Key words used included parenting, mothering, parent-child relations, childrearing, infertility, assisted reproductive technique, IVF, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Study inclusion criteria were as follows: published in an English-language peer-reviewed journal, with the definition of parenting style categorized as one of two dimensions: warmth and control; quantification of the parenting behaviors; use of a casecontrolled study design to compare IVF and natural conceptions; and reported data sufficient to calculate the effect sizes. Studies that includedwomenwho conceived using a donor egg or sperm for IVF and those that included womenwho were either surrogates or in homosexual relationships were excluded. Three hundred ninety studies were identified. Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to appraise the quality of the data. Results: The IVF participants used significantly greater controlling parenting behaviors than their natural conception participant peers (d = 0.148, p < .01). There was no difference between the two groups in terms of parenting behaviors related towarmth, rejection, or respect for autonomy. The homogeneity test for the effect size of warmth and controlling parenting behavior achieved significance. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Womenwhoconceive using IVF have slightly but still significantly greater controlling parenting behaviors thanwomen who conceive naturally. The results of this study may help professionals to better understand the parenting style of IVF women and develop appropriate interventions to reduce parenting anxiety and promote themental health of IVF women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes