Family mechanisms of structural ecosystems therapy for HIV-seropositive women in drug recovery

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12 Scopus citations


Objective: Examined the effects of Structural Ecosystems Therapy (SET), a family intervention for women living with HIV or AIDS, compared to a psycho-educational health group (HG) intervention, and reciprocal relationships between women and family members. Method: Women (n = 126) and their family members (n = 269) were randomized to one of two conditions and assessed every 4 months for 12 months. Family functioning, drug use, and psychological distress was reported by multiple family members. Results: Multilevel growth curve modeling showed a different family functioning trajectory between SET and HG, B = -0.05, SE = 0.02, p < .01. There was no intervention effect on the trajectory of family-level drug abstinence or psychological distress, but there was a significant difference in the trajectory of psychological distress after controlling for change in family functioning, B = -0.28, SE = 0.13, p < .05. There was an indirect effect from treatment through change in family functioning to change in psychological distress, B = 0.29, SE = 0.12, p < .05. With respect to reciprocal effects, family drug abstinence significantly predicted women's abstinence 4 months later, B = 0.22, SE = 0.06, p < .001. Conclusion: Findings demonstrated the interdependence of family members and the impact of family in relapse prevention and partially supported SET's potential for maintaining family functioning and well-being for women living with HIV or AIDS in drug recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-600
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • AIDS
  • Drug abuse
  • Family functioning
  • HIV
  • Psychological distress
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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