Cognition, Coping, and Psychological Distress in HIV

Nikhil Banerjee, Zachary T. Goodman, Roger McIntosh, Gail Ironson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interrelationships among HIV-associated neurocognitive dysfunction, avoidant coping, cognitively-oriented coping, and psychological distress were examined using structural equation modeling in an ethnically diverse sample of 209 adults predominantly in the mid-range of illness. Global neurocognitive deficits, assessed with the HIV-dementia scale, were associated with higher levels of avoidant coping, lower levels of cognitive coping, and a higher avoidant/cognitive coping ratio, which were each in turn associated with higher psychological distress measured by a latent factor comprising symptoms of depression, anxiety, and HIV-related distressing thoughts. There were significant indirect effects through avoidant coping and a higher avoidant/cognitive coping ratio. Results suggest the presence of HIV-associated neurocognitive deficits may interfere with the utilization of cognitive-based coping strategies and increase reliance on more maladaptive strategies, which in turn may translate to elevated reports of psychological distress. Findings may help inform interventions aimed at reducing avoidant coping and psychological distress, two factors associated with accelerated HIV disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS and Behavior
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Avoidant coping
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive coping
  • HIV
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Cognition, Coping, and Psychological Distress in HIV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this