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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1998 Feb;19(1):18-25.

A preliminary study of factors associated with psychological adjustment and disease course in school-age children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.

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HIV/AIDS Malignancy Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1928, USA.


This study consisted of a longitudinal examination (baseline and approximately 2-yr follow-up) of factors associated with psychological adjustment in a sample of 24 school-age children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Measures of depression, anxiety, and self-concept were administered to the children, and measures of behavioral problems, social functioning, and negative life events were administered to the parents. Generally, psychological adjustment seemed stable, though a decrease in positive social self-concept over time was observed. Negative life events were significantly associated with greater adverse psychological and behavioral outcomes at both baseline and follow-up. An additional component to the study investigated factors associated with survival. Examination of an additional five children who died within 12 months of baseline indicated that they experienced significantly more adverse life events, were less resilient, and had greater disease progression. The sample size was small and requires that these findings be considered as preliminary and suggestive rather than conclusive.

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