Coping and physical health during caregiving: The roles of positive and negative affect

Douglas W. Billings*, Susan Folkman, Michael Acree, Judith Tedlie Moskowitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


The associations among coping, mood, and health variables were examined prospectively over 2 years in 86 HIV positive (HIV+) and 167 HIV negative (HIV-) gay men undergoing the stress of AIDS-related caregiving. Path models suggested that including both positive and negative mood and the men's associated coping strategies increases understanding of why some people suffer adverse health effects during times of stress. Among the HIV-caregivers, higher levels of social coping predicted increases in positive affect, which in turn resulted in lower levels of physical symptoms. In contrast, higher levels of cognitive avoidance predicted increases in negative affect, which in turn resulted in higher levels of physical symptoms. Self-injurious forms of avoidance coping predicted higher levels of physical symptoms independent of mood among the HIV+ caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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