Online Program

Effects of partner support on relationship conflict and depression among HIV positive dyads

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Ashley Billig, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Angela Wendorf, MS, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Amanda M. Brouwer, PhD, Department of Psychology, Winona State University, Winona, MN
Cami Thomas, BA, Department of Africology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Rachael Wandrey, B.A., Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Katie E. Mosack, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Problem: For some individuals living with HIV, interpersonal factors such as loneliness have been associated with depression (Grov, Golub, Parsons, Brennan, & Karpiak, 2010). However, the relationship between other social factors such as partner support and depression within dyads with the same illness is not well understood. This study describes the relationship between social support, relationship conflict, and depression in a sample of HIV-positive dyads (with each dyad containing an index and an HIV-positive supporter). Methods: Thirty-four seroconcordant African American dyads were recruited to complete a questionnaire which included measures of social support (i.e. having a reliable alliance; Cutrona & Russell, 1987), relationship conflict (Pierce, Sarason, & Sarason, 1991), and depression (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 2000). After participation, subjects were each paid $30 for their time. The mean age of the sample was 44 years old. Results: Results showed no significant differences in mean scores in depression, having a reliable alliance, and relationship conflict between index participants and their supporters. However, for index participants, depression was significantly correlated (r= -.436) with the absence of a reliable alliance with their HIV-positive supporters. Conclusions: Members of dyads in our study were homogenous with respect to important social support variables. Our findings also indicate that social support within HIV-positive dyads is related to depression. Given that social support has been demonstrated to be predictive of medication adherence, these findings have important public health implications. Avenues for future study will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between depression and social support in HIV positive dyads.

Keyword(s): HIV Interventions, Mental Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple accepted presentations, both oral and poster, at conferences such as the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Midwestern Psychological Association, and the Southwestern Psychological Association. Among my scientific interests are sexual health behaviors and related mental health disorders.
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.