Perceived Control and Psychological Adjustment in Gay Men With AIDS1

Authors

  • Geoffrey M. Reed,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Geoffrey M. Reed, Ph. D., Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759.
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  • Shelley E. Taylor,

    1. University of California, Los Angeles
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  • Margaret E. Kemeny

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles
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  • 1

    This article is based in part on dissertation research completed by the first author. This research was supported by two research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH 42258 and MH 42918) to the second and third authors. The first author was partially supported by a grant from the University of California Universitywide AIDS Research Program (K92LA013). The second and third authors were partially supported by NIMH Research Scientist Development Awards (MH00311 and MH00820, respectively).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Geoffrey M. Reed, Ph. D., Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759.

Abstract

The relationship of control beliefs to psychological adjustment was investigated in a sample of 24 gay men diagnosed with AIDS, participants in the University of California, Los Angeles site of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Distinctions between generalized contingency beliefs and specific competence beliefs and between personal and vicarious control beliefs were included in the questionnaire and interview measures administered. The results support these distinctions and indicate that beliefs in personal control over day-to-day symptoms and over course of illness were positively related to adjustment, whereas beliefs in control by others over course of illness and over medical care and treatment were negatively related to adjustment. These relationships appeared to be strongest for men who reported poorer health. These associations were not accounted for by locus of control beliefs, negative affectivity, or time since diagnosis with AIDS.

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