An investigation of hostility as a moderator in a cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention for HIV-seropositive gay men

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Michael H. Antoni - Committee Chair


Previous research has found cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) interventions with HIV+ gay men to be associated with positive changes in measures of emotional distress and immune parameters. A separate body of literature has implicated trait hostility as a risk factor for negative health outcomes. In an attempt to integrate these findings, this study examined the moderating effects of hostility in a 10-week CBSM intervention for a sample of 46 HIV+ gay men. CBSM participants were predicted to show reductions in angry mood, perceived stress, dysfunctional beliefs, number of physical symptoms, antibody titers to EBV-VCA and increases in self-reported social support. It was hypothesized that men with higher hostility scores would benefit more from CBSM than men with lower hostility scores. Results found that CBSM participants reported less dysfunctional beliefs related to the way they respond to irritating situations, decreased anger and increased perceptions of social support related to reliable alliance. Contrary to predictions, hostile men did not seem to benefit more from the intervention. Limitations of this study and suggestions for improved data collection and protocol adherence are discussed.


Psychology, Behavioral; Psychology, Clinical; Psychology, Personality

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