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Perceptions of children with HIV/AIDS from the USA and Kenya: self-concept and emotional indicators

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Waweru, S. M.; Reynolds, A.; Buckner, E. B.

Perceptions of children’s self-concept and associated emotional indicators were assessed in two populations, United States and Kenya, in children living with HIV/AIDS. Assessment of the self-concept mode of the Roy Adaptation Model used both verbal and nonverbal strategies. The sample of children (N = 48), ages 7 to 12 years who were HIV-positive, was recruited from a family clinic that cares for children with chronic illness in the United States (n = 6) and an orphanage that provides for HIV-positive children in Kenya (n = 42). Self-concept was measured using a modification of Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale. Emotional indicators were measured from Human Figure Drawings (HFD) described by Koppitz (1968). All U.S. children were found to have an average self-concept and one-third demonstrated significant emotional indicators. In Kenya, 93% of the participants had an average self-concept and half were found to have significant emotional indicators. HFD can be used with other screening tools to perform a psychosocial assessment and screening for referral. This study contributes to nursing science by introducing a model-based assessment with cross-cultural applicability.

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