Psychosocial functioning of children with AIDS and HIV infection

Review of the literature from a socioecological framework

Ric G. Steele, Timothy D Nelson, Brian P. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the development of highly effective treatments for the disease, pediatric human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to affect a substantial number of families both in the United States and worldwide. This article reviews the psychosocial functioning of children with HIV, taking a socioecological perspective to organize the literature. When compared to children from similar socioeconomic situations, children with HIV demonstrate a range of possible outcomes. However, beyond the direct effects on children's neurocognitive and psychological functioning, HIV infection may disrupt many of the social support systems that children depend on for optimal development. Further, unlike many other illnesses, children with HIV infection are more likely to experience parental illness and possible death, social stigmatization, and the prospect of lifelong adherence to complicated medical regimens. Families face difficult decisions regarding disclosure of the illness both to the child and to others within and outside of the family. Children who are disclosed to about their illness generally evidence better adjustment. Similarly, appropriate disclosure outside of the immediate family may confer some benefits to the child in terms of psychological and physical health. However, research into the larger social ecologies of youth with HIV remains lacking, limiting the conclusions that can be drawn regarding longer term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-69
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

Fingerprint

Virus Diseases
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
HIV
Disclosure
Psychology
Social Adjustment
Stereotyping
Social Environment
Social Support
Pediatrics
Health
Research

Keywords

  • Disclosure adherence
  • Pediatric AIDS
  • Pediatric HIV infection
  • Psychosocial functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Psychosocial functioning of children with AIDS and HIV infection : Review of the literature from a socioecological framework. / Steele, Ric G.; Nelson, Timothy D; Cole, Brian P.

In: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Vol. 28, No. 1, 01.02.2007, p. 58-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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