Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Barbara Golden, PsyD, ABPP

Second Advisor

Robert DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Michael Roberts, PsyD


Infertility is becoming a significant problem for many women around the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infertility impacts 186 million individuals worldwide. Women who experience infertility may be exposed to increased pressure from family and friends to get pregnant, feelings of isolation, and inadequacy. Both cultural and societal views that promote the connection between womanhood and motherhood may increase a woman’s negative view about herself due to her inability to conceive a child. The purpose of this study was to bring awareness about the impact that social stigma of infertility has on a woman’s cognitions and ability to adaptively cope. This knowledge may enable women with infertility concerns to respond effectively to not only the societal pressures of bearing children, but also the social stigma associated with infertility. Results revealed that infertility stigma is strongly correlated with a woman’s cognitions and negatively correlated with self-efficacy. As cognitive distortions in women increase, infertility stigma increases. When self-efficacy in women increases, infertility stigma decreases. Contrary to expectations, duration of infertility was not strongly correlated with infertility stigma. As the duration of infertility increases, infertility stigma may only slightly increase. The results of this study highlight the need for early detection of infertility stigma, education and awareness on the gender bias of infertility.

Included in

Psychology Commons