Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (xiii, 121 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Mitch Earleywine

Committee Members

Robert McCaffrey, Julie Lynch


AIDS, Cognitive, Depression, HIV, Neuropsychological, HIV-positive persons, Depression, Mental, HIV infections

Subject Categories



The rates of depression and neuropsychological impairment in HIV-positive populations are considerably higher than the general population. Consistent research suggests that depression is not related to cognitive impairment in HIV, however the majority of these studies were conducted with unidimensional or dichotomous measures of depression, weak methodologies, and small sample sizes. There is limited research suggesting that affective and somatic depressive symptoms alone may be associated with neuropsychological impairment in HIV, possibly through central nervous system dysfunction, yet no study to date has assessed this relation with an adequate sample size and a full neuropsychological battery. In addition, no study to date has adequately examined the factor structure of the Beck Depression Inventory-II among a sample of HIV-positive participants. In the current study, confirmatory factor analyses conducted on data collected from 1583 HIV-positive participants of the CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research study (CHARTER) revealed the best fit for a three-factor model of depression, with cognitive, affective, and somatic symptom subtypes, over one and two-factor models. Depressive symptom subtypes were not differentially related to neuropsychological performance or cognitive complaints as hypothesized. This study is the first to examine the factor structure of depressive symptoms among HIV-positive participants and the relation of these factors to neuropsychological performance with adequate methodology and sample size. The results provide support for previous research suggesting that depression and neuropsychological function in the context of HIV have unrelated etiological and biological processes. Future research should utilize neuroimaging to examine these hypotheses further.

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