Relationship of Social Support and Coping with Psychosocial Adjustment in People Living With HIV

Author: Aqeela Jabeen

Supervisor: Ms. Naima Hassan

Degree: M.Phil

Year: 2000-2002

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


Purpose of the present research project was to study social support, coping and psychosocial adjustment variables as a function of HIV stages and then to explore the relationship among these variables. A total sample of 21 was taken consisting of three groups: symptomatic group (n=7), asymptomatic group (n=7) and comparison group (n=7). Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ) and Measure of Coping Strategies (MCS) were administered to assess the level of social support and preferences for coping strategies. Bell’s Adjustment Inventory and Symptom Checklist Revised (SCL-R) were employed to measure the levels of psychosocial adjustment and psychological distress. Results of One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed significant differences among the three groups on social support, coping strategies, psychological distress and psychosocial adjustment. Furthermore it was revealed that the preferences for emotion-focused coping strategies increased and levels of social support and coping decreased with the severity of HIV illness. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analysis revealed positive associations of social support and coping with psychosocial adjustment variables and negative associations with psychological distress variables. Significant positive correlations of problem-focused coping strategies and negative correlations of emotion-focused coping strategies with psychosocial adjustment variables determined the adaptive nature of problem- focused coping strategies in HIV illness. Quantitative- qualitative research design was employed under the complementary needs motivation. Categorical analysis revealed that experiences of stigma and discrimination had increased psychological distress level and decreased adjustment level in people living with HIV.

Keywords: Coping, Psychosocial Adjustment, HIVAIDS, Psychological Distress, Coping.

Visit University to get the full thesis.

Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245