ROLE OF RELIGIOUS COMMITMENT, COPING STRATEGIES AND SOCIAL SUPPORT IN LEARNED HELPLESSNESS AMONG HIV/AIDS PATIENTS.

ROLE OF RELIGIOUS COMMITMENT, COPING STRATEGIES AND SOCIAL SUPPORT IN LEARNED HELPLESSNESS AMONG HIV/AIDS PATIENTS.

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the role of religious commitment, coping strategies and social support in learned helplessness among HIV/AIDS patients. One hundred and eighty seven (187) patients (93 males and 94 females) between the ages of 19-64 (M=37.7, SD 11.55) receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) at the General Hospital Ogoja participated in the study. A convenient sampling method was employed for the study. Participants completed four instruments: Religious Commitment Inventory-10 (RCI-10), Brief COPE, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and the Learned Helplessness Scale (LHS). Hierarchical Multiple regression result showed that religious commitment statistically predicted learned helplessness in HIV/AIDS prpatients (β=.36, t= 4.20, p< .001). A closer examination reveals that interpersonal (β =.28, t= 2.75, p < .01) but not intrapersonal religious commitment predicted learned helplessness. The positive relationship between religious commitment and learned helplessness was rather striking; raising the fact that more religiously committed people were more likely not to seek out solutions to life problems. The result also showed that emotion focused coping (β =.30, t=3.60, p < = .001) but not problem focused coping significantly predicted learned helplessness. This hints to the idea that among these patients, adopting emotional coping will urge them towards not seeking out solutions to presenting life challenges. Social support, though consistently negatively related to learned helplessness, did not significantly predict learned helplessness in HIV/AIDS patients. The relationship was similar even when the subscales of social support were put into consideration. The implications and the limitations of the study were discussed and suggestions were made for further study.