Emotional support and gender in people living with HIV: Effects on psychological well-being

Victoria Gordillo, Erin M. Fekete, Tom Platteau, Michael H. Antoni, Neil Schneiderman, Christiana Nöstlinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Current research indicates that emotional support is strongly associated with physical and psychological adjustment in persons living with HIV/AIDS. While gender-differences in health and health behaviors of HIV positive patients are well studied, less is known about how men and women living with HIV/AIDS may differentially perceive and integrate support into their lives, and how it subsequently affects their psychological well-being. This cross-sectional study examines how emotional support received from partners and family/friends and gender explains psychological well-being (i.e., stress, depression, anxiety) in a sample of 409 partnered European HIV positive individuals. We hypothesized that gender would modify the associations between support and psychological well-being such that men would benefit more from partner support whereas women would benefit more from family/friend support. Results revealed that regardless of the source of support, men's well-being was more positively influenced by support than was women's well-being. Women's difficulties in receiving emotional support may have deleterious effects on their psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-531
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Emotional support
  • Gender
  • HIV
  • Psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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