HIV in a relational context: Understanding social support among HIV-infected African American dyads
Methods: Thirty-four HIV-infected (i.e., seroconcordant) dyads completed psychosocial questionnaires and a communication task. Using the actor-partner interdependence model, we analyzed dyadic data to determine whether there were actor and/or partner effects within dyadic relationships on measures of support and conflict and HIV-related problems, communication about these problems, and health symptoms.
Results: As predicted, we found significant relationships in the hypothesized directions between relational support and HIV-related problems, communication about these problems, and perceptions of problem inequity within dyads. Contrary to our expectations, we found no significant relationship between social support and HIV symptoms.
Conclusions: Although our study precludes our drawing causal conclusions, we have found evidence of a relationship between the personal experience of HIV-related problems, the communication of these problems, and perceptions of social support among HIV-infected African American dyads. These findings suggest the need to consider how support-related communication within HIV-infected dyads might influence and be influenced by problem perceptions. They also provide a framework for the development of a culturally relevant support intervention within HIV-affected communities to help HIV-positive African Americans better cope with the disease.
Learning Areas:Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the relationship between perceived support and perceived problems, problem communication, and HIV symptoms among HIV-infected dyads. Explain the implications the findings have for the development of effective social support-focused interventions.
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted numerous funded studies related to social network support and HIV.
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.