Psychologic Adjustment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected School-Age Children

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We investigated the psychosocial adjustment of school-aged, human immunodeficiency viruspositive children and factors associated with level of adjustment. Participants were primarily transfusioninfected children living in middle-class families. We administered measures of depression, anxiety, and self-concept to children, and measures of behavior problems, social functioning, personality characteristics, and life events to parents. An index of disease stage was also collected. Children reported experiencing low levels of depressive and anxious affect and generally felt positively about themselves. By contrast, parents saw their children as more anxious and less socially active than respective standardization samples. A greater than expected proportion of these children, as reported by their parents, scored in the maladaptive range on measures of social functioning, anxiety, and conduct problems. Experience of adversive life events and progression of the disease were associated with more behavioral and social problems. Findings are discussed in terms of their generalizability and implications for future research. J Dev Behav Pediatr 15:S26-S33, 1994. Index terms: children, pediatric human immunodeficiency virus, coping, risk factors.

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