Correlates of HIV-related stigma among HIV-positive mothers and their uninfected adolescent children

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this study was to examine the degree and impact of HIV-related stigma among HIV positive mothers and their uninfected children. One hundred eighteen HIV-infected mothers and their uninfected early- and middle-adolescent children (mean age = 13 years) participated in a study of maternal mental and physical health and child school performance and psychological distress. Mothers and a subset of children (to whom the mother's HIV status had previously been disclosed) were administered a series of questions to measure stigma related to the mother's HIV status. Mothers reporting high levels of HIV-related stigma scored significantly lower on measures of physical, psychological, and social functioning. Mothers' levels of depression were also significantly higher when their levels of stigma were higher. No significant differences were found in children's depression by perceived level of stigma; however, adolescents who perceived high levels of stigma because of their mothers' HIV status were more likely to participate in delinquent behavior, compared with those reporting low HIV-related stigma. The experience of stigma had consequences for many aspects of well-being among the HIV-infected mothers. While their children were aware of and perceived stigma, they appeared to be affected primarily in the realm of delinquent behavior. Copyright © by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 23380700
  • Author List

  • Murphy DA; Austin EL; Greenwell L
  • Start Page

  • 19
  • End Page

  • 42
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 3