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Title:The Development of a Normative Model of Social Support for Women Living With HIV
Author(s):Peterson, Jennifer L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Brashers, Dale E.
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Mental Health
Abstract:HIV and AIDS affect a growing number of women. Although they have received some attention in the literature, more needs to be learned about their social experiences of women living with HIV. Research has shown that social support is a valuable resource for those battling HIV or AIDS. In particular, research has indicated that social support is associated with better physical health as well as better psychological well-being. However, most of this research has been conducted with men, leaving us with limited research on the functions of social support for women. Women often feel that the HIV support and health care networks developed by and for gay men cannot meet their needs. Because social support is essential to both physical and mental health, this study was designed to explore the social support needs and specific experiences of women living with HIV. Using a grounded theory approach, 45 women were interviewed. Through examining what stressors women living with HIV experience, how support functions for them, how they are challenged by their support experiences, how they effectively seek support, how to effectively provide support for them, and how peer support compared to support from others, it is clear that social support plays a large role in the lives of women living with HIV. In particular, women living with HIV face numerous challenges to finding and receiving the support they need. In response to these challenges, the women developed strategies for seeking support and focused on finding support from unique sources. Spiritual resources, doctors, and children provided these women with vital support. Future interventions and the development of support programs guided by this study will have the potential to improve the physical and psychological health of women living with HIV.
Issue Date:2003
Description:200 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3101947
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2003

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