Published for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology by IRL Press
Human Reproduction vol:23 issue:12 pages:2724-2730
BACKGROUND A follow-up study was conducted in mid-adolescence on parenting and the child's psychosocial development after in vitro fertilization (IVF). The first phase of the study had compared 31 IVF families and 31 families with a naturally conceived child when the children were 2 years old (Colpin et al., 1995). Of these, 24 IVF families and 21 control families participated again when the children were 15-16 years old. METHODS Fathers, mothers and adolescents completed questionnaires assessing parenting style and stress, and adolescent psychosocial adjustment. RESULTS No significant differences were found in self- or adolescent-reported parenting style, or in parenting stress between IVF mothers and mothers in the control group, nor between IVF fathers and fathers in the control group. Neither did we find significant differences in self- or parent-reported behavioural problems between adolescents conceived by IVF and those conceived naturally. Comparison of behavioural problems between IVF adolescents informed or not informed about the IVF conception did not reveal significant differences. CONCLUSIONS Parenting and 15-16-year-old adolescents' psychosocial adjustment did not differ significantly between IVF families and control families. This study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first psychosocial follow-up in mid-adolescence, and adds to the evidence that IVF children and their parents are well-adjusted. Large-scale studies in adolescence are needed to support these findings.