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Title: Outcomes of fertility treatments for children and families
Author: Barbuscia, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 6480
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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A continued postponement of childbearing and the rapid technological development that have occurred in the last decades have led to a considerable increase in the demand and use of fertility treatments and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Since the first birth in vitro in 1978 an estimated 5 million babies have been born through ART worldwide, with the number of couples seeking fertility treatments continuously increasing (Calhaz-Jorge et al., 2016). In light of the great expansion in the use of ART and fertility treatments and of the intense debates about their regulation, funding and use, there is a growing urgency to understand the long-term outcomes of such treatments. This thesis studies the outcomes of fertility treatments for children and families and specifically children's cognitive development, parenting and couples' stability. While there is evidence of increased health risks for children at birth such as multiple births and low birth weight, the literature has usually shown a good development of children and positive family functioning. However, the existing literature presents several limitations especially on the long-term outcomes. Furthermore, the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of couples accessing the treatments have been neglected. This is a crucial point, as people accessing the treatments tend to be older and from an advantaged socio-economic background, which is likely to affect the observed outcomes. I rely on representative, longitudinal data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) and the US National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which allow me to follow a consistent number of children and families to study their outcomes over time. An important focus is on how the observed outcomes might be affected by the selective background of individuals who can afford the expensive treatments in the UK and US.
Supervisor: Mills, Melinda Sponsor: EU Seventh Framework Program ; European Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available