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Title: "It's not over until it's over" : self and dyadic regulation and wellbeing when facing a blocked parenthood goal
Author: Da Silva, Sara Mesquita
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 919X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
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Parenthood is a major life-goal that the majority of the population ultimately aims to achieve. Unfortunately, some individuals are not able to achieve parenthood when they desire to. This can happen for reasons related with the postponement of parenthood beyond the optimal biological period to achieve it and/or infertility. In these situations the parenthood goal becomes blocked. The studies presented in this thesis aimed to investigate how people self-regulate when experiencing such a blocked parenthood goal. More specifically, theories of developmental regulation claim that when facing a blocked goal individuals are expected (1) to experience poor wellbeing and (2) to disengage from the goal and reengage in alternative goals; (3) the use of goal disengagement and reengagement strategies is then expected to result in better wellbeing. This thesis directly tests these predictions. Dyadic approaches of regulation were also investigated in an exploratory way. Overall, results provided weak support for the predictions made by developmental regulation theories. People facing a blocked parenthood goal did not want to disengage from it and only reengaged in alternative life-goals if doing so did not interfere with the pursuit of parenthood. Additionally, in general, disengagement from parenthood did not seem to have benefits for wellbeing. However, in line with predictions, the experience of a blocked parenthood goal was associated with poor wellbeing and reengaging in alternative goals had wellbeing benefits. At the dyadic level, the decision to continue treatment as long as opportunities were not exhausted was predetermined and couples neither communicated about it, nor updated this decision after experiencing a treatment failure. These results suggest that health professionals should ensure that the true chances of achieving pregnancy are clearly communicated to patients as they often intend to invest in the parenthood goal until the opportunities are absolutely exhausted. Based on the work presented here, more studies aimed at testing developmental regulation theories in the context of parenthood goal should opt to use longitudinal designs and integrate dyadic processes of regulation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology