An application of attribution theory in persons' willingness and obligation to disclose HIV-positive status to family members



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Texas Tech University


The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to be one of this country's most severe health issues for both those infected with the disease and those affected by the disease. Utilizing attribution theory as a framework, this analogue study examined factors associated with the HIV-positive individual and his/her relationship with specific family members that may be associated with the willingness and obligation to disclose an HIV-positive diagnosis. Results indicated that for the 585 men and women of this study, the gender of the actor, the mode by which the actor contracted HTV, and the gender of the participant were all significantly related to the willingness and obligation of the actor to disclose his/her diagnosis to family members. Interestingly, symptomology was not significantly related to disclosure. Each of the five relationship variables (closeness, past response, attitude, health, and financial assistance) were also statisticaUy significantly related to disclosure. Limitations and future research directions are also presented.



HIV-positive persons, Communication in the family, Attribution, HIV infections