Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: The relationship between loneliness, interpersonal competence, and immunologic status in HIV-infected men.
Authors: Straits-Tr, Patterson TL, Semple SJ, Temoshok L, Roth PG, McCutchan JA, Chandler JL, Grant I, and the HNRC Group
Year: 1994
Publication: Psychology and Health
Volume: 9 Issue: Pages: 205-19
Abstract:The relationships among interpersonal competence, loneliness, depression. and immune status were examined in HIV-infected men and healthy controls. A sample of 108 men [88 HIV-1 antibody seropositive (HIV +) and 20 HIV-I antibody seronegative (HIV -)] completed the Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire at baseline and the UCLA Loneliness scale at two consecutive six-month timepoints as part of the psychosocial component of the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center longitudinal study. Absolute number of CD4 + helper cells and depression were determined at baseline. Among seropositive men, loneliness was negatively correlated with self-perceived competence in all five relationship domains assessed: initiation of social interactions. turning down unreasonable demands (negative assertion). self-disclosure, providing emotional support to others, and conflict management. Competence or level of comfort in initiation of social interaction and management of interpersonal conflict accounted for 39% of the variance in loneliness at baseline. Level of comfort in initiation of interactions and self-disclosure accounted for 44% of the variance in loneliness at follow-up. After controlling for loneliness at baseline, an additional 12% of the variance in loneliness at follow-up was accounted for by all domains of interpersonal competence, suggesting that these dimensions of social skill may be partial determinants of loneliness. High-lonely HIV+ men had significantly fewer CD4 + helper cells than did low-lonely HIV+ men. The relationship between loneliness and CD4+ cell number was independent of stage of HIV disease. Lonely HIV + men may be at greater risk for disease progression. Clinical intervention efforts to reduce loneliness and increase quality of life should consider targeting interpersonal skills.

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