ObjectiveTo examine the friendships and social expectations of children with perinatally acquired HIV and compare them to children with moderate to severe persistent asthma and healthy children of HIV-positive mothers.Methods70 children (ages 8-14 years) were recruited from pediatric allergy and immunology multidisciplinary clinics and hospital-based HIV-support programming. Children completed measures of friendship quality and interpersonal functioning. Caregivers completed a measure of child psychosocial functioning.ResultsChildren with asthma, not HIV, demonstrated poorer indicators of friendship and the most negative social expectations of the three groups. Children with HIV maintained best friendships and rated themselves as socially well-adjusted. ConclusionsComprehensive multidisciplinary services and ancillary supports may have buffered against stressors and facilitated positive psychosocial outcomes in children with HIV. Children with asthma displayed higher disease activity, possibly contributing to poorer outcomes. Results suggest a need to better understand the protective factors that enhance social functioning in children with HIV.
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