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Differentiating the effects of positive and negative social transactions in HIV illness

by Ralph Swindle, Kenneth Heller, Michael Frank
Journal of Community Psychology ()


This study examines the role of positive and negative social transactions in HIV illness as influenced by depressive symptoms and alcohol comorbidities. Our model distinguishes between confidant and broader network transactions, and between overt criticism and undermining transactions. This is a sample of 121 HIV+ patients from two urban infectious diesease clinics surveyed to assess the quality of both the confidant relationship and the broader social network, depressive symptoms, alcohol abuse, and HIV health symptoms. In hierarchical regression analyses, criticism from the broader network was related to symptoms of alcohol abuse, whereas disappointment with transactions from the broader network were moe often associated with depressive symptoms. Negative confidant relationships and negative network transactions were both associated with greater severity of HIV illness, and were predictive of subsequent emergency room utilization. This study illustrates the value of distinguishing both the yptes of negative social transactions and their sources. Future research shoulc examine the significant roles that criticism andundermining negative social network transactions appear to play in HIV illness and its comorbid symptoms.

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