AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 11, pp 2130–2139 | Cite as

Parenting Mediates the Impact of Caregivers’ Distress on Children’s Well-Being in Families Affected by HIV/AIDS

  • Peilian ChiEmail author
  • Xiaoming Li
  • Cheuk Chi Tam
  • Hongfei Du
  • Guoxiang Zhao
  • Junfeng Zhao
Original Paper


Parental illness imposes great challenges to children’s life and mental health. Having a parent infected by HIV may further challenge children’s psychological well-being. Existing studies have demonstrated a negative impact of caregiver’s distress on children’s well-being. Limited studies examined the potential pathways of the link. This study aims to examine whether parenting stress, parenting competence and parental responsiveness can explain the relationship between caregivers’ distress and children’s well-being. A community sample of children of parents living with HIV and their current caregivers (n = 754 dyads) was recruited in rural central China. Children completed the measures on their psychological well-being and perceived parental responsiveness of their caregivers. Caregivers reported on their psychological well-being, parenting stress, and parenting competence. Structural equation modeling analysis showed that caregivers’ distress indirectly affect children’s well-being through parenting stress, parenting competence and parental responsiveness. Parenting stress explained the impact of caregiver’s distress on parental responsiveness and showed pervasive effects on parenting competence. Our findings lend credence to family-based intervention for children affected by HIV and affirm the importance of incorporating the cognitive, emotional and behavioral components of parenting practices in such intervention.


Children affected by HIV/AIDS Parenting stress Parenting competence Parental responsiveness Caregiver 



This study reported in this article was supported by NIH Research Grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR13466). The authors wish to thank Bo Wang for his statistical advices in preparing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of MacauMacau SARChina
  2. 2.Pediatric Prevention Research CenterWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Behavior and PsychologyHenan UniversityKaifengChina

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