USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Tiffany Chenneville, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida at St. Petersburg



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The purpose of this study was to examine the use of the biopsychosocial (BPS) model in HIV research. Using qualitative methods, peer reviewed journal articles were identified by searching four databases-PubMed, Medline, ERIC, and PsychINFO-using the following key terms: “Biopsychosocial” and “HIV or AIDS.” There were 596 articles identified. After excluding duplicates and entries that did not report original research, 62 articles were coded using the following themes to identify the focus of the research and the populations studied: age, gender, mode of transmission, population of interest (people living with HIV versus people affected by HIV), type of study (prevention versus intervention), and BPS factors emphasized (biological, psychological, and social). In addition, a qualitative rating of the application of the BPS model (strong, moderate, or weak) was documented. Findings revealed that few articles incorporated all three components of the BPS model into research. However, among those that did, qualitative ratings were strong. Future research is needed to further explore the use of the BPS model in HIV research.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

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