AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 605–616 | Cite as

The Role of Parenting in Affecting the Behavior and Adaptive Functioning of Young Children of HIV-Infected Mothers in South Africa

  • Alexandra Boeving Allen
  • Michelle Finestone
  • Irma EloffEmail author
  • Heather Sipsma
  • Jennifer Makin
  • Kelli Triplett
  • Liesel Ebersöhn
  • Kathleen Sikkema
  • Margaret Briggs-Gowan
  • Maretha Visser
  • Ronél Ferreira
  • Brian W. C. Forsyth
Original Paper


Prior investigations suggest that maternal HIV/AIDS poses significant challenges to young children. This study investigates the relationships between mothers’ psychological functioning, parenting, and children’s behavioral outcomes and functioning in a population of women living with HIV (N = 361) with a child between the ages of 6 and 10 years in Tshwane, South Africa. Utilizing path analysis, findings revealed that maternal depression is related to increased parenting stress and parent–child dysfunction, maternal coping is related to parenting style, and maternal coping, parenting style and stress, and parent–child dysfunction are associated with children’s behavior and functioning, with parenting emerging as an important mediator. These findings suggest that interventions for women living with HIV and their children should not only address maternal psychological functioning (depression and coping), but should also focus on parenting, promoting a positive approach.


Maternal HIV/AIDS Child behavior Parenting Coping OVC South Africa 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Boeving Allen
    • 1
  • Michelle Finestone
    • 2
  • Irma Eloff
    • 2
    Email author
  • Heather Sipsma
    • 3
  • Jennifer Makin
    • 4
  • Kelli Triplett
    • 5
  • Liesel Ebersöhn
    • 2
  • Kathleen Sikkema
    • 6
    • 7
  • Margaret Briggs-Gowan
    • 10
  • Maretha Visser
    • 8
  • Ronél Ferreira
    • 2
  • Brian W. C. Forsyth
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsWake Forest University School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Health Policy and AdministrationYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  6. 6.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  7. 7.Duke Global Health InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  8. 8.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  9. 9.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  10. 10.University of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

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