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There are many concerns about mental and behavioral problems of adolescents having HIV-infected parents (or “HIV-affected adolescents”). This study identifies associations of perceived social support and emotional intelligence of HIV-affected adolescents aged 12-17 years in Thailand with their stress and alcohol use. This study used follow-up data from 173 Thai HIV-affected adolescents and their parents at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to develop indicators of adolescents’ perceived social support. Bivariate correlation and multilevel model analyses were used to examine predictors of adolescents’ stress and alcohol use. While the males reported having a higher number of close friends, greater frequency of calling friends and more social activities than the females, they have less frequency of friend visiting activities. HIV-affected adolescents having higher emotional intelligence reported lower level of stress and less alcohol drinking in the past 30 days. Higher frequency of having alcohol drinking was positively associated with larger friend network and more social activities. Based on the findings, intervention to reduce stress and alcohol drinking among the adolescents needs to address how to improve emotional intelligence and constructive friend and social activities.
Keywords: social support, emotional intelligence, stress, alcohol use, HIV-affected adolescent, Thailand
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