Conversation Orientation Moderates the Relationship between Information Sharing of Medically Assisted Reproduction and Child Adjustment

Muzi Chen, Martha A. Rueter, Kayla N. Anderson, Jennifer J. Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Parents who experienced infertility have increasingly used medically assisted reproduction (MAR) to add children to their families over the past few decades. These parents will need to decide if they will tell their children about being conceived using MAR. Although MAR information sharing operates within family contexts, little is known about the role of conversation orientation—one family contextual factor—in child outcomes associated with MAR information sharing in middle childhood. Derived from the Family Communication Patterns Theory, this study proposes that conversation orientation moderates the associations between MAR information sharing and children's psychosocial adjustment. This proposal was tested using a sample of 81 6- to 12-year-old MAR-conceived children from 55 families and a structured observational measure of conversation orientation. Multiple regression analyses showed that MAR information sharing interacted with conversation orientation to influence children's behavioral and attention problems but not emotional problems. In families with high conversation orientation, MAR information sharing was not significantly associated with children's behavioral and attention problems. In families with low conversation orientation, MAR information sharing was significantly associated with an increase in children's behavioral and attention problems. Results of this exploratory study demonstrate the potential significance of general communication orientation in understanding child outcomes of MAR information sharing and highlight the needed family context nuances in MAR research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-243
Number of pages15
JournalFamily process
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • Child Adjustment
  • Conversation Orientation
  • Information Sharing
  • Medically Assisted Reproduction

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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