The role of spirituality in sustaining the psychological well-being of HIV-positive black women

Nikia D. Braxton, Delia L. Lang, Jessica M. Sales, Gina M. Wingood, Ralph J. DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Historically, spirituality has been an instrumental component to the survival of Black women. In an era when the HIV epidemic disproportionately compromises their health, it is imperative to explore spirituality's role in sustaining the psychological health of Black women living with HIV. This study examined the relationship between spirituality and self-reported depression among Black women living with HIV. A sample of 308 HIV-positive Black women were recruited from HIV/ AIDS clinics in the Southeastern United States. Participants completed an interview assessing demographics, quality of life, depression, coping, and spirituality. A hierarchical multiple regression was used to determine the association between spirituality and depression. The results suggest that in our sample, spirituality accounted for a small, yet significant proportion of variance in reducing depressive symptoms, above and beyond variance accounted for by demographic variables and other theoretically important psychosocial factors. In light of these findings, future studies with HIV-positive Black women should assess spirituality as a salient factor affecting psychological health. Developing interventions that address spirituality may serve to enhance women's psychological adjustment to living with HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-129
Number of pages17
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2007


  • Black women
  • Depression
  • HIV positive
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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