245514 Childhood sexual trauma as a predictor of psychological distress among Black HIV positive men who have sex with men in New York City

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:50 PM

Stephanie Cook, MPH , Department of Sociomedical Science, Columbia University, New York, NY
Patrick A. Wilson, PhD , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Background: It has been established in the scientific literature that there is a relationship between childhood sexual trauma (CSA) and psychological dysfunction in adulthood. However, the mechanism by which this relationship holds has been understudies specifically in populations of HIV positive MSM who experience the added burden of living with the HIV disease. This result seems to be especially prevalent among Black HIV-positive MSM. This paper proposes that there is a significant relationship between CSA and adult psychological distress.

Methods: Data were collected from a sample of 257 Black HIV-positive MSM living in New York City. CSA was measured using a subscale of the Trauma Experience Checklist (TEC). The emotional well-being subscale of the Functional Assessment of HIV Infection (FAHI) was used to evaluate psychological distress. Psychological distress was also evaluated using the Center for Epidemiology Studies-Depression Inventory (CES-D). Regression analysis was conducted to the examine relationships among key variables.

Results: Results showed that CSA predicted 12.6% of the variance in depression (R2= .126; p <.01). Likewise, CSA predicted 15.1% of the variance in Emotional well being such that more CSA was related to less emotional well being (R2= .151; p <.01). Preliminary evidence suggested that there is a strong relationship between CSA and psychological distress.

Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest that CSA has a profound effect on psychological distress among Black HIV positive MSM in New York City. The extent to which this relationship is associated with other health outcomes must be explored further.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the relationship between childhood sexual trauma and psychological distress among Black HIV+ MSM. 2. Inform the Public Health community concerning new ways to promote well-being in populations of Black HIV+ MSM

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a Dr.PH student who conducts research in the area of mental health, HIV, Sexual risk and MSM.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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