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The relationship between maternal HIV status and child depressive symptoms: Do maternal depressive symptoms play a role?

Elsevier Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0005-7894(98)80040-3


This study examined whether maternal depressive symptoms serve as a mediator, moderator, or both, between maternal HIV status (absence vs. presence of HIV) and child depressive symptoms. Participants were 224 noninfected children, ages 6 to 11, and their mothers, 38% of whom were HIV-infected. Initial analyses indicated that HIV-infected mothers and their children reported more depressive symptoms than noninfected mothers and their children. The primary analyses suggested that maternal depressive symptoms play a moderating, but not a mediating, role as the direction of the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms and child depressive symptoms differed between HIV-infected and noninfected groups. Explanations for the findings are offered and implications for prevention and intervention programs are considered.

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