The Effect of Social Support on Mental and Behavioral Outcomes Among Adolescents With Parents With HIV/AIDS

Center for Community Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 11/2007; 97(10):1820-6. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.084871
Source: PubMed


We examined the associations between social support and mental and behavioral outcomes among adolescents whose parents were infected with or died of HIV/AIDS.
Families (parents who were HIV infected and their adolescent children) were randomly assigned to a coping skills intervention or a standard care group. After completing the intervention, the parents and adolescents were assessed for 2 years.
Adolescents who had more social support providers reported significantly lower levels of depression and fewer conduct problems; adolescents who had more negative influence from role models reported more behavior problems. Reductions in depression, multiple problem behaviors, and conduct problems were significantly associated with better social support.
Our findings underscore the complex relations between social support and mental and behavioral outcomes among adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS. Future prevention programs must focus on increasing social support to reduce negative outcomes among adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS as well as the need to reduce influence from negative role models.

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