Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Phillip J. Brantley

Abstract

Concern over the devastating effects of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has been met with rigorous research efforts by allied health professions. Identifying variables, or co-factors, that contribute to the progression of HIV has been of increased interest to health professionals in recent years. Social scientists as well as medical professionals have begun to offer evidence that certain psychosocial co-factors are important in predicting the health status of HIV-positive individuals. A few models have been offered to illustrate the interrelations among psychosocial co-factors and HIV disease. Stress, social support, coping, and mood states constitute the most frequently researched variables in this area. However, data have been inconclusive and the models have not been substantiated empirically. The present study examined the impact of stress, social support, coping and mood on the health status of HIV-positive individuals. Correlational data suggested all of these psychosocial co-factors were associated with HIV symptom count. However, no psychosocial variable (with the exception of coping) predicted immune functioning in these same individuals. A model was created and supported that illustrated the links among these psychosocial co-factors and HIV symptoms. The results are discussed with implications for future HIV research and treatment.

Pages

85

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