Adult Attachment and High-Risk Sexual Behavior Among HIV-Positive Patients

Jeffrey A. Ciesla, John E. Roberts, Ross G. Hewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the relationship between adult attachment style and sexual behavior among HIV-positive patients. HIV-positive (HIV+) participants (N = 48) completed questionnaires assessing number of sexual partners, adult attachment, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms. Results revealed that insecure attachment styles (particularly negative attachment representations of self and fearful attachment) were associated with having multiple sexual partners, including at-risk HIV-negative (HIV-) partners. These relationships remained significant after controlling for sexual orientation, self-esteem, and depressive symptomatology. These results suggest that interpersonal issues may play a key role in high-risk sexual behavior among HIV+ individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-124
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


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