Social Support, Conflict, and Integration Among Women Living With HIV/AIDS1


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    This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute for Mental Health (MH 50414), Karolynn Siegel, principal investigator. The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper, Karolynn Siegel for her helpful comments and permission to use these data, and Suzanne Ouellette and Margaret Rosario for their support and guidance, which immeasurably improved this research. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, Massachusetts, August 1999.

concerning this article should be addressed to Eric W. Schrimshaw, Doctoral Program in Psychology, Subprogram in Social-Personality Psychology, The City University of New York Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016. E-mail:


The relationship between depressive symptoms and perceptions of available social support, social conflict, and subjective social integration were examined as part of a psychosocial study of Puerto Rican, African American, and non-Hispanic White women living with HIV/AIDS (N= 146) in New York City. Lower levels of subjective social integration and higher levels of social conflict were associated with more depressive symptoms. Perceived availability of social support was not significantly associated with depression in comparison with these other forms of support. No evidence was found for a stress-buffering or a stress-amplification effect. Significant ethnic differences in levels of social integration and social conflict also were noted. Results suggest that intervention efforts should go beyond addressing support to further address the conflict and lack, of integration experienced.