In the present study hypotheses derived from a psychobiological model of male fertility were tested. The basic assumption of the model proposes that, mediated by specified endocrine mechanisms, an active coping style and sperm concentration are negatively correlated. Data from 55 infertile patients without organic causes for impaired spermatogenesis were included to test this assumption. Patients completed questionnaires to assess coping efforts in relation to infertility and distress due to infertility. For each patient a mean value for sperm concentration based on several semen analyses was computed. As hypothesized, there was a significant negative correlation between sperm concentration and an active coping style, but no significant correlation between sperm concentration and a passive coping style. These associations were significantly different. Previous research suggests that the confirmed association cannot be supposed to be simply a reaction to former semen analyses. The results indicate that further validation of the psychobiological model under study could lead to a better understanding of male infertility.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Psychology, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany
Department of Andrology, Dermatological Clinic, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany
August 1, 2000