Determinants of social support among gay men: the context of AIDS.

Academic Article


  • In this study, the determinants of social support are examined among a probability sample of gay men residing in San Francisco. Using two waves of data (collected in 1985 and 1987), cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses focused on the effects of five sets of factors (demographic, community integration/network, AIDS-related loss, individual, and health) on satisfaction with three types of support (emotional, informational, and practical). Personal acceptance of one's gay identity and talking to family members about AIDS showed the strongest positive associations with concurrent measures of support and changes in support satisfaction over the two-year period. Conversely, depression and number of HIV symptoms were negatively associated with cross-sectional support and support changes. Family knowledge of respondents' homosexuality interacted with HIV symptoms, such that knowledge was negatively associated with support among those experiencing greater numbers of HIV symptoms. Findings suggest that those most in need of support may be the least satisfied with the support they receive. Family appear to have the potential to be particularly helpful or especially harmful to gay men trying to cope with the AIDS crisis.
  • Authors

  • Turner, Heather
  • Hays, RB
  • Coates, TJ
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 1993
  • Published In


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • San Francisco
  • Sick Role
  • Social Support
  • Urban Population
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 8463634
  • Start Page

  • 37
  • End Page

  • 53
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 1