Forms of social support and their relationships to mental health in HIV-positive persons

Warren A. Reich, David W. Lounsbury, Soye Zaid-Muhammad, Bruce D. Rapkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A baseline assessment for an HIV health services study recruited 626 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in New York city who participated in an interview querying social support, health status, substance use, and mental health. Data were modeled using hierarchical classes (HICLAS) analysis. HICLAS discriminated items reflecting general support and assistance vs. support from an important person in one's life who was named in addition to other family members and friends. HICLAS then identified respondents who reported that they had general support and assistance, support from an important person, both types, or neither type of support. Having one or more important persons as part of the respondent's social network was associated with more positive mental (but not physical) health than having only general support and assistance, or no support at all. Results argue for differentiating support obtained through one's relationship with an important person.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Mental health
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Forms of social support and their relationships to mental health in HIV-positive persons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this