Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from applicant's abstract): Structural Ecosystems
Therapy (SET) is a theoretically derived intervention that builds on the
basic tenets of human ecology and structural family therapy. The term
ecosystems reflects a belief in the influence of the context on the
individual, with family comprising the most significant system in human
ecology. "Structural" concepts refer to a focus on patterns of
interactions that occur within and between systems. The major focus of
the (SET) intervention is to identify patterns of interactions--and then
to strengthen those interactions that support the individual and her
family and correct those interactions that are problematic. SET is thus
targeted at the social systems (or more precisely interactions with these
ecosystems) which are the most relevant contexts for these women:
intrapersonal, family, and environment, as well as the interactions among
these systems. The model builds on over two decades of family-oriented
research with minority families by the investigators.

The primary aims of this study are to investigate the efficacy of
Structural Ecosystems Therapy, and to describe some of its theoretical
mechanisms. This will be achieved by randomizing 264 HIV+ African
American women to one of three conditions: SET, Attention Control, or
Community Control. The Attention Control condition is operationalized
in the form of Person-Centered Therapy. The Community Control is
intended to reflect the baseline level and mix of services usually
utilized by these women. Considerable rigor is introduced into four
levels of controls to ensure fidelity to conditions. Outcomes are linked
to family processes derived from observational ratings. SET is
hypothesized to have a beneficial effect on family functioning and
supportiveness, distress, maladaptive coping, perceived control, and
perceptions of hassles. Proposed analyses include RMANOVA, RANOVAS,
multiple regression, and structural equations modeling.
Effective start/end date9/30/954/30/99


  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • National Institute of Mental Health


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.