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Title:HIV Identity Trajectories and Social Interaction
Author(s):Rintamaki, Lance Spencer
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, General
Abstract:The experience and expression of social identity for people living with HIV involves processes that affect, and are affected by, communication and psychological variables. As an exploration of how people relate to HIV as a social identity and the implications this may have for social interaction, two complementary studies were conducted. The first involved one-on-one qualitative interviews with 72 people living with HIV. The second study consisted of a series of focus groups with 33 people living with HIV. Four years later, nine of these participants returned for a reunion and discussed how their lives had changed since the initial set of focus groups. Four identity processes were identified in these studies as important to how people relate to HIV as a social identity. These processes involve how people place value on their HIV social group membership and the salience of this identity. Value of the social group membership consists of the three identity processes: (a) managing negative meaning, (b) constructing positive meaning, and (c) orienting to stigma. Salience consists of how aware people are of their HIV-positive status and what actions people take to heighten or diminish this awareness. Social interaction and other variables (such as health and personality) can have considerable impacts on movement across these process dimensions. Conversely, the ways in which people interact with others may depend greatly on their location across the four identity processes. The four identity processes were used to construct a theory on HIV social identity that can be used to both understand the behaviors of people living with HIV and affect their ability to manage the HIV experience.
Issue Date:2003
Description:325 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3111633
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2003

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