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Depression and Social Support among HIV-Affected Adolescents


Adolescents of parents infected with HIV/AIDS (HIV-affected adolescents) were recruited from August 1993 to March 1995 to examine their depression as a function of their social support. Adolescent depression and the size, frequency of contact, satisfaction, negative role model influence, and positive social support were examined. Adolescent depression was associated with higher parent depression score, parental HIV disclosure, conduct problems, and was inversely related to higher self-esteem, being male, and a positive living situation. Negative social support was significantly associated with higher adolescent depression, indicating negative role model influence may be more salient than size, frequency of contact, perception, or positive social support. The findings underscore the complex relationships between social support and mental/behavioral outcomes among HIV-affected adolescents as well as the need to examine HIV disclosure in more detail within the context of adolescent social support.

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