Social relationships of men at risk for AIDS

Kerth O'Brien, Camille B. Wortman, Ronald C. Kessler, Jill G Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Survey data collected in 1984-85 from a community sample of 637 gay and bisexual men were used to determine the features of social relationships that were most conductive to changes in both psychological health and AIDS-related sexual risk behavior. Multiple regression analyses showed that both the perceived availability of social support and the absence of conflicts in the social network were related to improved psychological health. At the same time, the subjective experience of integration into social networks was associated with increased psychological distress, and validation (the experience of being accepted by others) was related to a higher level of risk activity. These findings are discussed in terms of the social relationships among community members that share a common stressor-in this case the shared problem of being at risk for AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1167
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • social relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)


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