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Publication Date

2010-12-16

Availability

UM campus only

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense

2010-05-19

First Committee Member

Etiony Aldarondo - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Brian L. Lewis - Committee Co-Chair

Third Committee Member

Laura Kohn-Wood - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Victoria Behar Mitrani - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential contribution of religious involvement, spiritual well-being, existential well-being and HIV-related symptoms to health-related quality of life in HIV-infected African American women recovering from substance abuse. The study also examined whether religious and spiritual variables served as potential moderators between HIV symptoms and health-related quality of life. This study relied on data obtained as part of a larger longitudinal investigation of the effectiveness of Structural Ecosystems Therapy (SET) for HIV infected women in substance abuse recovery. A total of 175 participants were recruited from regional residential and outpatient clinics. The sample in this study included 99 African American women who had completed the required baseline assessment. It was hypothesized that religious involvement, spiritual well-being and existential well-being would be positively associated to various health-related quality of life indicators (i.e., physical functioning, social functioning, mental health functioning and health distress). On the other hand, HIV symptoms were hypothesized to be inversely related to the health-related quality of life indicators. Religious involvement, spiritual well-being and existential well-being were posited to moderate the relationship between HIV symptoms and the health-related quality of life indicators. Findings from the multivariate analysis of variance showed existential well-being to be significantly related to mental health functioning and health distress and HIV symptoms to be significantly related to mental health functioning and physical functioning. Results from the regression analyses also showed that after controlling for age, both existential well-being and HIV symptoms were significantly related to mental health functioning. Results suggest that increased symptom frequency is significantly associated with worse mental health while higher levels of existential well-being are significantly related to better mental health. No evidence was found in support of the hypothesized moderating role of religious involvement, spiritual well-being and existential well-being between HIV symptoms and health-related quality of life indicators. Research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords

Spiritual Well-being; Religious Involvement; And Health Status

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