Psychological distress amongst AIDS‐orphaned children in urban South Africa

Psychological distress amongst AIDS‐orphaned children in urban South Africa Background: South Africa is predicted to have 2.3 million children orphaned by Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by 2020 (Actuarial Society of South Africa, 2005). There is little knowledge about impacts of AIDS‐related bereavement on children, to aid planning of services. This study aimed to investigate psychological consequences of AIDS orphanhood in urban township areas of Cape Town, South Africa, compared to control groups of children and adolescents orphaned by other causes, and non‐orphans. Method: One thousand and twenty‐five children and adolescents (aged 10–19) were interviewed using socio‐demographic questionnaires and standardised scales for assessing depression, anxiety, post‐traumatic stress, peer problems, delinquency and conduct problems. Results: Controlling for socio‐demographic factors such as age, gender, formal/informal dwelling and age at orphanhood, children orphaned by AIDS were more likely to report symptoms of depression, peer relationship problems, post‐traumatic stress, delinquency and conduct problems than both children orphaned by other causes and non‐orphaned children. Anxiety showed no differences. AIDS‐orphaned children were more likely to report suicidal ideation. Compared to Western norms, AIDS‐orphaned children showed higher levels of internalising problems and delinquency, but lower levels of conduct problems. Conclusions: Children orphaned by AIDS may be a particularly vulnerable group in terms of emotional and, to a lesser extent, behavioural problems. Intervention programs are necessary to ameliorate the psychological sequelae of losing a parent to AIDS. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Wiley

Psychological distress amongst AIDS‐orphaned children in urban South Africa

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0021-9630
eISSN
1469-7610
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01757.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background: South Africa is predicted to have 2.3 million children orphaned by Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by 2020 (Actuarial Society of South Africa, 2005). There is little knowledge about impacts of AIDS‐related bereavement on children, to aid planning of services. This study aimed to investigate psychological consequences of AIDS orphanhood in urban township areas of Cape Town, South Africa, compared to control groups of children and adolescents orphaned by other causes, and non‐orphans. Method: One thousand and twenty‐five children and adolescents (aged 10–19) were interviewed using socio‐demographic questionnaires and standardised scales for assessing depression, anxiety, post‐traumatic stress, peer problems, delinquency and conduct problems. Results: Controlling for socio‐demographic factors such as age, gender, formal/informal dwelling and age at orphanhood, children orphaned by AIDS were more likely to report symptoms of depression, peer relationship problems, post‐traumatic stress, delinquency and conduct problems than both children orphaned by other causes and non‐orphaned children. Anxiety showed no differences. AIDS‐orphaned children were more likely to report suicidal ideation. Compared to Western norms, AIDS‐orphaned children showed higher levels of internalising problems and delinquency, but lower levels of conduct problems. Conclusions: Children orphaned by AIDS may be a particularly vulnerable group in terms of emotional and, to a lesser extent, behavioural problems. Intervention programs are necessary to ameliorate the psychological sequelae of losing a parent to AIDS.

Journal

The Journal of Child Psychology and PsychiatryWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2007

References

  • Psychological distress among AIDS orphans in rural Uganda
    Atwine, Atwine; Cantor‐Graae, Cantor‐Graae; Bajunirwe, Bajunirwe
  • Annotation: Childhood bereavement following parental death
    Dowdney, Dowdney
  • The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A research note
    Goodman, Goodman
  • Resilience and risk: Childhood and uncertainty in the AIDS epidemic
    Pivnick, Pivnick; Villegas, Villegas
  • What I think and feel: A revised measure of children's anxiety
    Reynolds, Reynolds; Richmond, Richmond
  • Post‐traumatic stress disorder in child sexual abuse survivors: A literature review
    Rowan, Rowan; Foy, Foy
  • Coping and psychological distress in children involved in road traffic accidents
    Stallard, Stallard; Velleman, Velleman; Langsford, Langsford; Baldwin, Baldwin
  • Comorbidity of PTSD and depression among refugee children during war conflict
    Thabet, Thabet; Abed, Abed; Vostanis, Vostanis

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