Coping and psychological distress in women with HIV/AIDS

Mary C. Commerford, Deborah A. Orr, Enrique Gular, Marvin Reznikoff, Mary A. O'Dowd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The relationship between coping strategies and anxiety and depression was investigated in 29 women patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, at a psychiatric AIDS clinic. The women were divided on the basis of risk factor, intravenous drug use (IVDU), and nonintravenous drug use (non‐IVDU), and coping strategies were compared. Based on a battery of psychological tests, the coping strategies of self‐blaming denial, wish‐fulfilling fantasy, emotional expression, and threat minimization were significantly related to greater anxiety and depression. There was no difference in coping strategies between the IVDUs and non‐IVDUs, and none of the coping strategies employed appeared to be associated with less anxiety or depression. This may have been due to the psychiatric AIDS clinic sample, possibly representing the more distressed group of HIV/AIDS patients, for whom coping strategies were overwhelmed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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