The association of benefit finding to psychosocial and health behavior adaptation among HIV+ men and women

Littlewood, Rae A.; Vanable, Peter A.; Carey, Michael P.; Blair, Donald C.
April 2008
Journal of Behavioral Medicine;Apr2008, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p145
Academic Journal
Psychological and behavioral adaptation to HIV is integral to long-term survival. Although most research on coping with HIV has focused on factors associated with poor adaptation, recent research has expanded to include positive concomitants of adaptation, such as benefit finding. This study examined the occurrence of benefit finding among HIV+ men and women and evaluated the potential relevance of benefit finding to positive health behavior and psychosocial adaptation. HIV+ participants ( N = 221) recruited during outpatient care completed self-report assessments of benefit finding, social support, depression, HAART adherence, substance use, and physical activity. In a series of multivariate analyses that controlled for demographic and health status variables, benefit finding was associated with lower depression scores, greater social support, and more physical activity, but showed no association to HAART adherence or substance use. The association of benefit finding to depression was partially mediated by differences in social support. Thus, benefit finding may improve psychological adjustment by motivating patients who experience stress-related growth to seek social support.


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