Psychosocial factors associated with adaptation in HIV-infected mothers

Claude Ann Mellins, Anke A. Ehrhardt, Bruce Rapkin, Jennifer F. Havens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Factors associated with the mental health of 40 HIV-infected mothers were examined in a sample of primarily African-American and Latina, socioeconomically disadvantaged single mothers with histories of substance use recruited from pediatric HIV clinics. Structured questionnaires on stress, social support, family functioning, psychiatric disorder, psychological distress, and substance abuse were individually administered. Different dimensions of stressful experiences (particularly losses due to death and victimization), social support, and family functioning combined in different ways to influence the mother's mental health. The combined influence of stress and social support accounted for at least half the variance in both psychiatric symptoms and psychological distress. This study supports models of stress and protective factors in understanding the mental health of HIV+ mothers, particularly models that examine stress in different life domains and different positive and negative components of social support and family functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-328
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Family functioning
  • HIV+ mothers
  • Mental health
  • Social support
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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