Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Robert C. McMahon

Second Committee Member

Kent F. Burnett

Third Committee Member

Daniel J. Feaster

Fourth Committee Member

Robert A. Halberstein


The purpose of this study was to investigate concurrent and prospective relationships between psychological distress and social support and substance abuse in a convenience sample of predominantly minority women with HIV in substance use recovery. This study involved a secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial comparing a family therapy intervention and a group health intervention. Participants completed the Hamilton Depression and Anxiety Scales (psychological distress) and the Social Support Questionnaire (social support) at baseline and 4 months, 8 months, and 12 months post-baseline. Substance use over a 30-day period was measured by the Addiction Severity Index Lite, which was completed at baseline and at 2-month intervals post-baseline. A series of path analyses was used to test hypotheses generated from theory and empirical research. Results of the current investigation failed to reject the null hypothesis for the 6 hypotheses, and found only partial support for 2 hypotheses. Psychological distress was concurrently related to change in substance use only at 12 months (Hypotheses 1 and 2). Psychological distress was not related to social support, so there was no mediation of concurrent relationships (Hypothesis 3). Psychological distress was prospectively related to change in substance use that was measured 2 months after psychological distress was measured, but not change in substance use that was measured 4 months after psychological distress was measured (Hypothesis 4). Social support was not prospectively related to change in substance use that was measured either 2 months or 4 months after social support (Hypothesis 5). There was no evidence of mediation of prospective relationships (Hypothesis 6). These results were discussed within the context of relevant literature.


HIV/AIDS; minority; women; depression; social support; substance use