Role of family factors, coping resources, and coping responses in predicting life satisfaction among symptomatic HIV -positive adults

Deborah Ann McKee, Fordham University


A preponderance of literature has reported relationships between HIV and psychological distress, psychopathology, substance abuse, and stress associated with major illness events and lifestyle changes. In response to these issues, coping with HIV and associated stressors has become a topic of much interest and investigation. However, as evidenced by the inconsistencies reflected in the research to date, further investigation is necessary in order to gain clarity about the elements of effective coping. This study was designed in an attempt to gain clearer understanding of the coping processes that contribute to greater life satisfaction among symptomatic HIV-positive adults. One of the intentions of this study was to explore variables that potentially predict effective coping with HIV, thus, family of origin relationship factors were examined in their hypothesized role as precursors to the development of effective coping. It was also thought that greater understanding of effective coping with HIV could be achieved if coping resources, seen as precursors to coping responses, were investigated in relationship to both coping responses and life satisfaction. One hundred and twenty-seven symptomatic, HIV-positive men and women completed measures of family relationship factors, coping resources, coping responses, and life satisfaction. A path analysis was conducted to analyze the data. The results indicated that family of origin Cohesion, Expressiveness, and Conflict did not have a direct effect on Coping Resources, although significant correlations between these family relationship factors and Coping Resources were found. In addition, Coping Resources had a direct and positive effect on Planful Problem Solving coping and Life Satisfaction, as well as a direct and negative effect on Escape-Avoidance coping responses. Although a significant correlation was observed, Planful Problem Solving had no direct effect on Life Satisfaction. Escape-Avoidance coping responses were directly related to Life Satisfaction in a negative direction. Overall, the path model was highly significant, and the independent variables in the path model accounted for 36% of the variance in life satisfaction.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Mental health|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

McKee, Deborah Ann, "Role of family factors, coping resources, and coping responses in predicting life satisfaction among symptomatic HIV -positive adults" (2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9975355.