Ethnic identity and perceived stress in hiv+ minority women: The role of coping self-efficacy and social support

Corina R. Lopez*, Michael H. Antoni, Erin M. Fekete, Frank J. Penedo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background Ethnic minority women living with HIV (WLWH) face multiple stigmas that can contribute to overwhelming levels of stress, which could hamper their ability to manage their chronic disease. Little is known about whether having a greater sense of ethnic identity might insulate WLWH from stress. It is also possible that certain cognitive and interpersonal factors (i.e., coping selfefficacy and perceived social support) may act as mediators of this relationship. We hypothesized that WLWH with a greater sense of ethnic identity would report less stress because they access these cognitive and interpersonal resources to better manage stressors. Purpose The present study (1) related ethnic identity to perceived stress and (2) examined coping self-efficacy and social support as co-mediators of this relationship in a sample of low-income minority WLWH. Method Ninety-two minority women (89% African American) completed self-report psychosocial measures including the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Cognitive Coping Selfefficacy Scale (CCSE), and Social Provision Scale (SPS). Results Greater ethnic identity was associated with less perceived stress, and this relationship was mediated by greater levels of both coping self-efficacy and social support. Conclusions WLWH who identify more with their ethnic group may experience less stress via their access to more cognitive and interpersonal resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Coping Self-Efficacy
  • Ethnic Identity
  • HIV. Social Support
  • Perceived Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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