Adolescents With HIV: Attachment, Depression, and Adherence

by Erin Leonard


The medicine that kept infants born with HIV alive for years is now threatening their existence in adolescence. Antiretroviral medications decrease in efficacy and boost the virus if not administered perfectly. Attachment issues due to maternal depression, addiction, and death, are rampant in these adolescents. Attachment trauma contributes to depression and depression prompts nonadherence. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Erin Leonard employs a mixed methodology approach, to analyze adherence, attachment histories, and level of depression in a randomly selected sample population of 20 perinatally HIV-infected adolescents aged 14 to 18. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between the qualities of attachment, depression and medication adherence in adolescents with HIV-1 infection. Early disruptions in attachment relationships are significantly correlated with depression among adolescents with perinatally acquired HIV infection.

Attachment relationship disruptions and depression are significantly related to high rates of nonadherence to antiretroviral medication regimens during adolescence. This study evaluates the quality of attachment relationships, symptoms of depression, and medication adherence. Family history, demographic information, and health information were also examined. Psychological factors that were related to medication adherence and nonadherence were identified and analyzed in order to derive an understanding of the dynamics that deter an adolescent from adherence.

This is an important book for collections in Adolescent Studies, Public Health, Psychology, and HIV studies.


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