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Caregivers’ Perception of HIV-Infected Dominican Children’s Behaviour



Caregivers (mothers and non-mothers) of HIV+ children face many challenges related to both physical demands and emotional well-being. The perception of caregivers in the Dominican Republic, a country greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS, in regard to their children’s behaviour, has not been investigated to date. To extend understanding of the potential behavioural issues involved in providing care to children without access to antiretroviral therapy, the Child Behaviour Checklist was administered to 52 caregivers of HIV+ Dominican children (2–8 years old). Both mothers and non-mothers perceived significant pathological internalizing behavioural symptoms in immunosuppressed children, compared to children with less disease progression. Analyses of gender comparisons revealed that older female children were perceived as withdrawn/depressed by their caregivers. These findings suggest that children’s disease status may be an important contributor to caregiver perception in mothers, as well as non-mothers and indicate that gender-specific relationships warrant further study.

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e-Published: 01 Jul, 2013
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