The Role of Illness, Resources, Appraisal, and Coping Strategies in Adjustment to HIV/AIDS: The Direct and Buffering Effects

  • Pakenham K
  • Rinaldis M
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Examined the utility of a stress and coping model of adjustment to HIV/AIDS. A total of 114 HIV-infected gay or bisexual men (mean age 36 yrs) were interviewed and they completed self-administered scales. Predictors included illness variables (disease stage and number of symptoms), coping resources (optimism and social support), appraisal (threat, challenge, and controllability), and coping strategies (problem- and emotion-focused). Adjustment outcomes were depression, global distress, social adjustment, and subjective health status. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicate that better adjustment was related to an asymptomatic illness stage, fewer HIV-related symptoms, greater social support, challenge and controllability appraisals, problem-focused coping, and lower threat appraisals and reliance on emotion-focused coping. There was limited support for the stress-buffering effects of optimism. Findings support the utility of a stress and coping model of adjustment to HIV/AIDS. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adjustment
  • Appraisal
  • Coping resources
  • Coping strategies
  • Illness

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  • Kenneth I. Pakenham

  • Machelle Rinaldis

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