Gender roles and mental health in women with and at risk for HIV

Leslie R. Brody, Lynissa R. Stokes, Sannisha K. Dale, Gwendolyn A. Kelso, Ruth C. Cruise, Kathleen M. Weber, Jane K. Burke-Miller, Mardge H. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Predominantly low-income and African American women from the same community, HIV-infected (n = 100; HIV+) and uninfected (n = 42; HIV-), were assessed on reported gender roles in sexual and other close relationships—including levels of self-silencing, unmitigated communion, and sexual relationship power—at a single recent study visit during 2008–2012.Recent gender roles were investigated in relation to depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life assessed both at a single visit during 2008–2012 and averaged over semiannual visits (for depressive symptoms) and annual visits (for quality of life) occurring between 1994 and 2012.Compared to HIV- women, HIV+ women reported significantly higher levels of several aspects of self-silencing, unmitigated communion, and multi-year averaged depressive symptoms as well as lower levels of sexual relationship power and recent and multi-year averaged quality of life.For both HIV+ and HIV- women, higher selfsilencing and unmitigated communion significantly related to recent or multi-year averaged higher depressive symptoms and lower quality of life.Intervention strategies designed to increase self-care and self-advocacy in the context of relationships could potentially minimize depressive symptoms and enhance quality of life in women with and at risk for HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Communion
  • Depression
  • Empowerment
  • HIV
  • Health
  • Quality of life
  • Sex roles
  • Silencing the self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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