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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005 Apr;73(2):221-8.

Adolescent adjustment before and after HIV-related parental death.

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AIDS Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90024-6521, USA.


The impact of HIV-related parental death on 414 adolescents was examined over a period of 6 years. The adjustment of bereaved adolescents was compared over 4 time periods relative to parental death and was also compared with the adjustment of nonbereaved adolescents. Bereaved adolescents had significantly more emotional distress, negative life events, and contact with the criminal justice system than nonbereaved youths; these behaviors did not remain significantly higher after parental death. Depressive symptoms and passive problem solving increased soon after parental death, as compared with nonbereaved adolescents. One year subsequent to parental death, depression and passive problem solving were similar to the levels of nonbereaved peers. Only sexual risk behaviors increased following parental death. These results suggest the importance of early family intervention soon after parental HIV diagnosis, prior to parental death, and sustained over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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