Dissertations and Theses

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Aids- Bereared, identities, possible self


In-person interviews conducted with 40 English-speaking AIDS-bereaved 18-22 year olds and a control group revealed a significant difference in identities. Data were collected from an AIDS-bereaved group through Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and an introductory psychology class at Hunter College, City University of New York. Hierarchical Classes (HICLAS; Ceulemans & Van Mechelen, 2005) data analysis uncovered a significant difference in how the groups elaborate their current and ideal selves and their self-cognitions surrounding protected and unprotected sex with both new and ongoing partners. Chi-square analysis showed significant differences in elaboration levels regarding how the AIDS-bereaved viewed unprotected versus protected sex when evaluated against the comparison sample. The AIDS-bereaved participants were more likely to attach traits connoting shame and guilt to unprotected sex, and have less complex ideas about protected sex; the comparison sample showed more complex identities for protected sex than for unprotected sex. These findings suggest that those who are AIDS-bereaved have less elaborated current and ideal identities and are more likely to attach guilty traits to actions that could transmit HIV-infection compared to a non-bereaved sample.



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