Psychological predictors of coping in AIDS-risk situations in adolescence
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The number of HIV and AIDS cases in adolescents, especially minorities and females, are rising as the numbers of HIV and AIDS cases decrease in other populations. Many adolescents who are at increased risk for HIV reside in foster homes, group homes, and residential facilities.;Psychological characteristics may have an impact on the adolescents' ability to use coping skills and engage in HIV-preventive behavior. To explore this effect, 85 Black and Hispanic adolescents from New York City who were residing in a residential treatment center completed self-report questionnaires between January and March, 1999.;Internal health locus of control, social support from friends, knowledge about AIDS, and positive attitudes toward prevention were significantly correlated with having high scores on coping in AIDS risk situations (r (83) = .26, .22, .22 and .32 respectively, p < .05). Stepwise regression incorporating all independent variables found that internal health locus of control (IHLC) and attitudes for prevention (AAP) were the only variables that could predict coping. Together, IHLC and AAP predicted 16% of the total variance on the CHRS (F (2,82) = 7.55, R 2 = .16, adjusted R2 = .13), with AAP predicting most of the variance (F (1,83) = 9.59, p = .003, B = 1.4, R2 = .10, adjusted R2 = .09). IHLC alone uniquely predicted about 6% of the variance (F (1,83) = 7.55, p = .001, B = .09, R2 = .07, adjusted R2 = .06). Family support and self-esteem were not correlated with ability to cope. Additional exploration indicated that female gender and personally knowing someone with HIV/AIDS are also predictors of coping ability. Behavioral and environmental risk factors of adolescents are explored, as well as special issues related to youth in foster care.