Psychosocial adjustment of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Ghana
AbstractObjective: The study was conducted to assess the psychosocial adjustment of children affected by HIV/AIDS in the eastern part of Ghana.
Method: Four groups of children (children who lost their parents to AIDS, children who lost their parents through other causes, children living with HIV infected, alive parents and the comparison children who were from the same community but did not have HIV/AIDS-related illness or death in their families) were interviewed on depressive symptoms, prosocial behaviours, hyperactivity, conduct and peer problems using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).
Results: Orphans in general and children living with HIV-infected parents consistently demonstrated poorer psychosocial adjustment than comparison children in the same community.
Conclusion: The findings underscore the urgency and importance of culturally and developmentally appropriate intervention efforts targeting psychosocial problems among children affected by AIDS and call for more exploration of risk and resilience factors, both individual and contextual, affecting the wellbeing of these children.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2010, 22(1): 25–34