IJERPH, Vol. 20, Pages 2187: Personal Growth and Life Satisfaction During Fertility Treatment—A Comparison between Arab and Jewish Women (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Coping with difficulty conceiving and the ensuing fertility treatments is a stressful experience that impacts many aspects of women’s lives. On the basis of Lazarus and Folkman’s model of stress and coping and Schaefer and Moos’s model of personal growth, and in view of the sparse literature on cultural aspects of infertility and personal growth, this study examined the relationship between stress on the one hand and personal growth and life satisfaction on the other among Arab and Jewish Israeli women. Furthermore, it investigated the moderating role played by perceived stigma, coping flexibility, cultural orientation (individualism and collectivism), and ethnicity. Two hundred five Arab and Jewish Israeli women undergoing fertility treatment completed self-report questionnaires. The results show that Arab women reported higher levels of personal growth and individualism than Jewish women. In the whole sample, a linear negative relationship was found between stress and life satisfaction, and a curvilinear relationship was found between stress and personal growth. In addition, perceived stigma, collectivism, individualism, and coping flexibility were found to moderate the association between perceived stress and personal growth. The findings provide further understanding of personal growth in the context of infertility, showing that personal resources and perceptions are more important than cultural differences in this regard.