Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Mary Lou Kelley
The present study investigated the frequency and intensity of behavior problems exhibited by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-infected toddlers ages 16 to 40 months by comparing them to HIV-exposed toddlers, toddlers at risk for development delays, and healthy toddlers. The role of maternal factors, such as depression, insularity, and stress, in behavior ratings also was considered. Mothers completed a set of questionnaires and the toddlers' developmental status was assessed by a member of the research team. It was hypothesized that HIV-infected children would demonstrate a higher frequency and intensity of behavior problems than children in the three equivalent control groups. With regard to maternal factors, it was expected that mothers of HIV-infected and HIV-exposed children would endorse higher levels of depression, insularity, and stress than mothers of developmentally at-risk or healthy toddlers. Results indicated that HIV-exposed toddlers exhibited a significantly higher frequency of behavior problems than healthy control toddlers. Contrary to expectation, HIV-infected toddlers' behavior did not significantly differ from any group. HIV-infected mothers reported higher levels of depression and insularity than uninfected mothers. For HIV-infected mothers, a higher frequency of behavior problems was significantly associated only with parental stress. Overall, these data suggest that HIV-exposed toddlers, although not often a focus of research and clinical attention, represent a group of toddlers at risk for behavior problems.
Hoover, Jennifer L., "Examination of Behavior Problems in HIV-infected Toddlers: The Role of Maternal Factors." (1997). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6570.