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Fam Process. 2010 Dec;49(4):517-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01337.x.

A multilevel mediation model of stress and coping for women with HIV and their families.

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  • 1Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, 1425 NW 10 Ave., Miami, FL 33136, USA.


Families are influential systems and may be an important context in which to consider the stress and coping process. To date, many studies have focused on modeling the stress and coping process for the individual, isolated from the family. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to investigate a cross-sectional stress and coping model for HIV-positive African-American mothers recruited from HIV service facilities in South Florida (n=214) and their family members (n=294). Avoidance coping was hypothesized to mediate the relationship between stress and psychological distress. In addition, the family average of individual stress was hypothesized to moderate the relationship between avoidance coping and psychological distress. For all constructs, individuals reported on themselves and multilevel modeling techniques were used to account for similarities between members of the same family. The estimated mediation effect was significant. Aggregated family stress significantly moderated the relationship between avoidance coping and psychological distress. This study suggests that individuals exhibit different relationships between avoidance coping and psychological outcomes and that average stress reported by members of a family moderates the relationship between avoidance coping and psychological distress.

2010 © FPI, Inc.

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