Asset ownership and health and mental health functioning among AIDS-orphaned adolescents: findings from a randomized clinical trial in rural Uganda

Soc Sci Med. 2009 Jul;69(2):191-8. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.05.019. Epub 2009 Jun 10.


This study evaluated an economic empowerment intervention designed to promote life options, health and mental health functioning among AIDS-orphaned adolescents in rural Uganda. The study used an experimental design in which adolescents (N=267) were randomly assigned to receive an economic empowerment intervention or usual care for orphaned children. The study measured mental health functioning using 20 items of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS: 2)--a standardized measure for self-esteem-and measured overall health using a self-rated health measure. Data obtained at 10-month follow-up revealed significant positive effects of the economic empowerment intervention on adolescents' self-rated health and mental health functioning. Additionally, health and mental health functioning were found to be positively associated with each other. The findings have implications for public policy and health programming for AIDS-orphaned adolescents.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Child, Orphaned*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • School Health Services / economics
  • Self Concept*
  • Students
  • Uganda