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Psychology of Men & Masculinity - Vol 18, Iss 2

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Psychology of Men and Masculinity This twice yearly journal is devoted to the dissemination of research, theory, and clinical scholarship that advances the discipline of the psychology of men and masculinity. This discipline is defined broadly as the study of how men’s psychology is influenced and shaped by gender, and by the process of masculinization, in both its socially constructed and biological forms.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • “Do you even lift, bro?” Objectification, minority stress, and body image concerns for sexual minority men.
    With a United States-based sample of 326 sexual minority men, the present study tested hypotheses derived from objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), minority stress theory (e.g., Meyer, 2003), and prior research regarding men and body image (e.g., McCreary & Sasse, 2000). Specifically, we examined a path model wherein objectification constructs (internalized standards of attractiveness, body surveillance, body dissatisfaction, and drive for muscularity) and a minority stress variable (internalized heterosexism) were direct and indirect predictors of intention to use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) and compulsive exercise. Results of the path model yielded adequate fit to the data. Regarding direct links, internalized heterosexism was correlated positively with internalized standards of attractiveness and related positively to body dissatisfaction, internalized standards of attractiveness related positively to drive for muscularity and body surveillance, and drive for muscularity related positively with intention to use AAS and compulsive exercise; internalized standards of attractiveness yielded a significant and positive indirect link to intention to use AAS through drive for muscularity. Implications of our findings, regarding the application and limitations of the objectification theory framework for research and practice with sexual minority men, are further discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • College men’s and women’s masculine gender role strain and dating violence acceptance attitudes: Testing sex as a moderator.
    The present study tested sex as a moderator of the connections between men’s and women’s masculine gender role strain (i.e., masculine gender role conflict and masculine gender role stress) and attitudes toward psychological, physical, and sexual male-perpetrated dating violence. Self-report measures were administered online to a large sample of male (n = 398) and female (n = 390) college students, and data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) procedures for testing moderation through measurement and structural invariance. In the measurement model for both men and women, masculine gender role stress was associated with acceptance of each form of dating violence acceptance, but only the restricted emotionality and restrictive same-sex affectionate behavior domains of masculine gender role conflict evidenced significant relationships with dating violence acceptance. In the structural model, where dating violence attitudes were regressed onto gender role strain constructs simultaneously, only masculine gender role stress emerged as a significant predictor of acceptance of each form of dating violence in the male sample and acceptance of physical and sexual violence in the female sample. Additionally, the direct associations between masculine gender role strain and dating violence acceptance attitudes were statistically invariant across men and women, although certain regression coefficients were statistically significant for men but not for women. The present findings support a small but growing body of literature examining women’s masculine gender role strain and highlight the importance of studying the combined contributions of different forms of gender role strain with respect to dating violence attitudes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The “sensory deprivation tank”: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of men’s expectations of first-time fatherhood.
    Few studies have investigated expectations of fatherhood in men without children, and none within the age bracket most often associated with new fatherhood. Therefore, the objective of this qualitative study was to gain in-depth understanding of young men’s beliefs and perceptions of that role. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of interview transcripts identified 3 key themes: The contemporary model father, perceived threat to life as we know it, and, the central theme, an unforeseeable future. Analysis revealed that while participants held broad expectations to be emotionally and physically involved as well as economically responsible fathers, their views often lacked specificity, consideration of meaning, and practical notions about how expectations could be fulfilled. We explain the lack of development in men’s conceptualization of fatherhood across emerging adulthood through hegemonic masculinity, identity theory, and life course perspectives. The current study provides a rationale for promoting increased discussion around fatherhood in the preconception period to help lessen the turbulent nature of men’s transition through pregnancy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Exposure to stress during childbirth, dyadic adjustment, partner’s resilience, and psychological distress among first-time fathers.
    This study examined posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSS) and anxiety symptoms among men attending the birth of their first offspring. Furthermore, the authors examined the moderating role of dyadic adjustment and participants’ partner’s resilience in the association between exposure to stress during birth and postpartum PTSS and anxiety symptoms. Most studies among men attending childbirth only examined depression symptoms. However, childbirth can be a potentially traumatic event that might result in postnatal PTSS and anxiety symptoms. This is a short-term longitudinal designed study. Participants were Israeli men (N = 171) who were assessed with self-report questionnaires during the third trimester of pregnancy and a month following birth. The rates of postnatal self-reported PTSS (1.2–2.3%) and anxiety symptoms (6%) were relatively low. Dyadic adjustment was negatively related to both PTSS and anxiety symptoms, whereas partner’s resilience was negatively related only to anxiety symptoms. Subjective exposure to stress during birth (T2) contributed to PTSS and anxiety in T2, above and beyond other negative life events and PTSS and anxiety in T1. In addition, dyadic adjustment, but not partner’s resilience, moderated the relations between subjective exposure to stress during birth and PTSS. Although men attending childbirth reported relatively low PTSS, some are troubled by anxiety-related symptoms. Importantly, low dyadic adjustment and, specifically, dyadic satisfaction during pregnancy, should be considered as a risk factor for PTSS and anxiety symptoms in men who perceived childbirth as stressful. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Coping and adjustment in informal male carers: A systematic review of qualitative studies.
    Informal caregivers represent a significant proportion of the population. This can be a challenging role associated with adverse psychological outcomes. Gender can have important influences on choice of coping strategies; however, male caregivers have been a relatively understudied group in this regard. A systematic review of qualitative studies was conducted to synthesize research on male carer self-initiated coping strategies. A total of 16 studies met inclusion criteria for the current review. Caregiving in the context of neurological conditions was a key focus of studies, as was a focus on older male carers. Data on coping strategies were extracted and summarized under 4 metathematic categories: Finding meaning and purpose; creating new behaviors, roles, and identities; maintain status quo and utilize existing resources; promoting masculinities and taking charge. The findings of the current review suggest that men employ various coping strategies, many of which can be conceptualized as adopting either a traditional or flexible approach to gender role socialization. The implications for the review are discussed, along with directions for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The “Inventory of Father Involvement–Short Form” among Portuguese fathers: Psychometric properties and contribution to father involvement measurement.
    The aim of this study was to analyze the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Inventory of Father Involvement–Short Form (IFI-SF) with respect to its factor structure, reliability, and preliminary concurrent and discriminant validity (Study 1), and to confirm the factor structure in a different sample (Study 2). In Study 1, 380 men (M = 42.2, SD = 6.8) completed the IFI-SF translated version, and a subgroup of 92 men also completed the Portuguese versions of the Parenting Stress Index–Short Form, the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire–Short Form, and the Paternal Involvement Scale. In Study 2, 220 men (M = 43.1, SD = 6.1) completed the IFI-SF translated version. The results of confirmatory factor analyses (Study 1) found that the Portuguese IFI-SF had a bifactor structure, dissimilar to that of the original version. More specifically, a model depicting a general factor and 9 first-order factors was confirmed, with omega hierarchical coefficients indicating that only an IFI-SF global score should be calculated/interpreted. This structure was confirmed in Study 2. Cronbach’s alpha reliabilities in Study 1 and 2 were .93 and .95 for the global scale, respectively. Moreover, there was preliminary evidence of the scale’s concurrent and discriminant validity. These results indicate that the measure is suitable for use in the Portuguese context with an interpretable global score, and may be a useful tool for research regarding the positive aspects of men’s parental involvement, as such information may also be relevant in cross-cultural studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Career and romantic partnership role salience between sexual minority men living with and without a chronic illness/disability (CID).
    Ratings of career and romantic partnership life role salience were explored between sexual minority men in same-sex, dual-earner relationships living with and without chronic illness/disability (CID) conditions. Approximately 141 sexual minority men living in the United States completed questionnaires via the Internet. Results indicated that sexual minority men living with a CID scored higher on romantic partnership life role salience, but lower on career life role salience when compared with sexual minority men not living with a CID. Limitations and implications for practice and research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Contextualizing behaviors associated with paranoia: Perspectives of Black men.
    The sociocultural context of racism influences the behaviors of Black men and may reflect healthy paranoia (Sue, Capodilupo, & Holder, 2008). No published studies however, have directly examined the sociocultural experiences that influence Black men’s endorsement of paranoid-like behaviors. An online study was conducted with a nonclinical sample of Black men (N = 104) who completed the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory–III (MCMI-III) Paranoid scale (Millon, Millon, Davis, & Grossman, 1994) and reported why they endorsed certain items. Responses to weighted items on this scale were analyzed using modified consensual qualitative research (CQR) procedures (Spangler, Liu, & Hill, 2012). The results indicated that this sample of Black men endorsed items reflective of clinical paranoia because they have life experiences that make them mistrustful. Their item responses were systematically categorized into the following categories: (a) life lessons learned in close relationships, (b) negative experiences at work or school, and (c) experiences living in oppressive contexts. Participant responses also reflected coping strategies categorized as: (d) personal coping (through awareness, acceptance, and meaning-making), (e) relational coping (through analysis and boundary enforcement), and (f) coping with systemic oppression. These results suggest that adaptive coping with life experiences may be misinterpreted as paranoia when the sociocultural context is not carefully considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Does trait masculinity relate to expressing toughness? The effects of masculinity threat and self-affirmation in college men.
    Men have higher morbidity and mortality rates than women across the life span. One potential explanation for this gap is greater pressure for men to express their masculine toughness. Situations that threaten masculinity often result in compensatory behaviors (e.g., binge drinking) geared toward proving toughness. The present research tested the hypothesis that threats to masculinity would lead men to behave in ways that express toughness to a greater extent if they were highly masculine, as measured by the Bem Sex-Role Inventory. Further, we anticipated that self-affirmation would ameliorate the compensatory responding exhibited by higher masculine men under threat. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 experimental cells in a 2 (Masculine Identity Threat: yes, no) × 2 (Self-Affirmation: yes, no) between-subjects factorial design. Results indicated that men expressed masculine toughness to a greater extent when facing a masculinity threat than when under no threat. Further, higher masculinity amplified the effect of threat in expressing toughness. Results also showed that the opportunity to self-affirm reduced expression of toughness among higher masculine men facing a masculinity threat. Theoretical contributions, implications, and future directions for this line of research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Gender differences in cisgender psychologists’ and trainees’ attitudes toward transgender people.
    Research that has explored the attitudes of cisgender people toward transgender people has identified gender differences, with cisgender men commonly reporting more negative attitudes than cisgender women. However, little research has explored whether such differences exist among mental health professionals. This brief report outlines findings from 3 studies focusing on attitudes toward transgender people among 3 samples of Australian cisgender psychologists or psychology trainees. The first explored attitudes toward transgender people among psychology undergraduates in an Australian university. The second 2 explored attitudes toward transgender people among Australian mental health-care professionals (with the specific focus of this brief report being upon participants in each study who were psychologists). The findings from each study suggest that cisgender men reported more negative attitudes than did cisgender women. This brief report concludes by considering the broader context that potentially shapes cisgender men’s attitudes and advocates for further research that examines the impact of gender ideology upon attitudes and awareness raising so as to improve service outcomes for transgender people. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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