Optimism and coping with loss in bereaved HIV-infected men and women


Journal Article

Bereavement due to AIDS-related loss is a severe Stressor, particularly for those who are themselves HIV-infected. Previous research investigating coping with loss has overlooked the effects of positive psychological states, such as optimism or hopefulness, and has focused instead upon negative coping outcomes, particularly psychological distress. Using an ethnically diverse cohort of 172 men and 92 women suffering from the combined Stressors of HIV infection and loss of loved ones to HIV/AIDS, we tested the hypotheses that active coping strategies are predictive of optimism and high levels of hope, and that avoidant coping strategies are predictive of pessimism and hopelessness. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that active coping was positively associated with optimism and negatively associated with hopelessness, and avoidant coping was negatively associated with optimism and positively associated with hopelessness. Regression analyses also showed that both depression and social support were significant predictors in the final models. Implications for improving the targeting and tailoring of interventions designed to improve coping and to reduce distress following bereavement are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rogers, ME; Hansen, NB; Levy, BR; Tate, DC; Sikkema, KJ

Published Date

  • May 1, 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 341 - 360

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0736-7236

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1521/jscp.24.3.341.65619

Citation Source

  • Scopus