The relationship between personality pathology and HIV-risk in a sample of mentally ill adults

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Psychology

First Committee Member

Robert C. McMahon - Committee Chair


Epidemiological studies in the U.S. have revealed that there are high prevalence rates of personality disorders among HIV infected patients. However, there is little known regarding the relationship between disordered personality characteristics and HIV-risk behavior among high-risk groups, including mentally ill adults. The current study will examine four pathological personality factors hypothesized to influence HIV sexual risk behavior among a heterogeneous group of psychiatric patients recruited from representative clinical sites around Miami. Baseline and 12-month follow-up data was collected from male (n = 120) and female (n = 152) participants. Measures included the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III), Addiction Severity Index (ASI), and the Risk Behavior Assessment (RBA). Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to establish if personality dimensions improve prediction of 12-month follow-up sexual risk behavior after controlling for potentially important covariates. Borderline personality was found to significantly predict number of partners at 12-month follow-up. Antisocial personality was found to significantly predict frequency of unprotected sex acts at 12-month follow-up. A recommendation for further study is enclosed.


Health Sciences, Mental Health; Health Sciences, Public Health; Psychology, Personality

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Link to Full Text