Article Title: Depression: A Common Factor Associated with Childlessness

Author(s): Sarwat Sultan

Institute/University:  Department of Applied Psychology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences (PJSS), Vol. 29, No. 1 (June 2009), pp. 79-90

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The present study aimed at investigating and comparing the differences in the levels of depression inflicted by childbearing and childless couples. A sample of 400 couples; 200 childless and 200 childbearing couples ranging in age from 20-69 years was taken from different cities of Pakistan. To measure the depression, Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock & Erbaugh, 1961) was used. The results indicated that childless couples tend to demonstrate higher levels of depression as compared to that of childbearing couples. Findings of the gender differences suggested that infertile females tend to have higher levels of depression as compared to infertile males. The data provided evidence that education, age, income, family system and rural/urban area do not play any important role in deterioration of sadness of infertile couples. The findings further showed the positive role played by language for depression that implies the sample of Urdu language is more likely to be depressed as compared to Punjabi speaking sample

Key Words: Childbearing Ability, Childlessness, Distress, Disappointment, Psychological Stress

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