Causal attributions predict rate of immune decline in HIV-seropositive gay men.

TitleCausal attributions predict rate of immune decline in HIV-seropositive gay men.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association

Research has suggested that attributions-the perceived causes of events-may affect psychological and physical health and the immune system. The authors hypothesized that attributions reflecting negative beliefs about the self, the future, and control would affect helper T cell (CD4) decline and onset of AIDS in individuals with HIV, either directly or through associations with psychological states such as depression. HIV+ gay men (N = 86) participated in a structured interview from which causal attributions were extracted and coded. Attributing negative events to aspects of the self significantly predicted faster CD4 decline over 18 months following the interview, controlling for potential psychological, behavioral, social, and health mediators such as depression and health behavior. However, attributions did not predict AIDS diagnosis during the study period. The results support the idea that causal attributions related to beliefs about the self may have an influence on the immune system.

Short TitleHealth Psychol
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