Picking up the pieces: Caregivers of adolescents bereaved by parental AIDS

Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Noelle R. Leonard, Marguerita Lightfoot, Laura H. Franzke, Nim Tottenham, Sung Jae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study describes caregivers of adolescents whose parents died of AIDS and examines how caregivers perceive the impact of raising bereaved adolescents. For adolescents bereaved by AIDS, 65 non-parental caregivers were recruited and assessed twice over 6 months. Most caregivers (89%) were female members of the extended family, 49% were married and 29% were employed. Caregivers were older and more likely to be employed than parents with HIV (PWH), but were similar in ethnicity, partnership and financial status, and religiosity. Caregivers had generally been selected by the parent prior to death (66%) and most caregivers (75%) had at least moderate involvement in the care of the youth prior to parental death. Caregiver-youth relationships were stable (91%) over a 6-month period. Caregivers were significantly less emotionally distressed than PWH had been. Caregiver burden was rated as moderate; the number of positive caregiver-youth relationships decreased significantly over 6 months. Family caregiving is a common, ongoing and stable relationship in families coping with AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • AIDS
  • Adolescents
  • Caregiver
  • Orphans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Picking up the pieces: Caregivers of adolescents bereaved by parental AIDS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this