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Cross-sectional and Longitudinal associations in coping strategies and physical health outcomes among HIV-Positive youth

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This study assessed whether coping styles had an influence on physical health outcomes either concurrently or longitudinally in a sample of HIV-positive youth. Coping styles were characterized as positive, passive, depressive withdrawal, and escapist. A cross-sectional latent variable analysis (N = 279) assessed associations among environmental stress, self-esteem, social support, coping styles, AIDS symptoms, and CD4 count. A more restricted longitudinal analysis (N = 174) tested associations among earlier environmental stress, self-esteem, coping styles, and AIDS symptoms at follow-up. CD4 count was not associated with coping styles in the cross-sectional analysis. Concurrent AIDS symptoms were significantly predicted by depressive withdrawal and environmental stress. A passive coping style modestly predicted more AIDS symptoms longitudinally. Correlates of perceived health and well-being of persons with HIV/AIDS are important to investigate in addition to more objective measures such as CD4 count that may not be amenable to change through coping style interventions alone.
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Keywords: AIDS symptoms; CD4 counts; Coping styles; HIV-positive youth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology Franz Hall University of California Los Angeles CA 90095-1563 2: Department of Psychiatry Division of Social and Community Psychiatry University of California Los Angeles

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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