Coping and psychological distress among symptomatic HIV+ men who have sex with men

Frank J. Penedo, Jeffrey S. Gonzalez, Catherine Davis, Jason Dahn, Michael H. Antoni, Gail Ironson, Robert Malow, Neil Schneiderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This study evaluated relations among indicators of latent coping factors and psychological distress while incorporating measures of life stress and HIV illness related factors simultaneously among 211 symptomatic, HIV+ men who have sex with men (MSM). Participants were all assessed at a single time point. A structural equations model with latent factors for approach-oriented coping, avoidant-oriented coping, and psychological distress showed adequate fit. Furthermore, significant associations were identified among latent factors for approach-oriented coping, avoidance coping, and psychological distress; specifically, greater use of approach-oriented coping strategies and less use of avoidant-oriented coping were associated with lower levels of psychological distress. The model was revised to incorporate variables significantly associated with psychological distress (i.e., personal loss-total events, personal loss-controllability, and HIV-related symptoms). Relations among the coping and psychological distress latent factors remained significant. The results suggest that HIV+ MSM who do not have the coping skills or resources necessary to use adequate coping strategies to face the chronic burdens associated with HIV illness are likely to experience higher levels of psychological distress, independent of lie stress and ongoing HIV-related symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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