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African American Men, Gender Role Conflict, and Psychological Distress: The Role of Racial Identity

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Most men, especially African American men experience distress when confronted ... African American men's GRC scores were predictive of their experienced ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: African American Men, Gender Role Conflict, and Psychological Distress: The Role of Racial Identity


1
African American Men, Gender Role Conflict, and
Psychological Distress The Role of Racial
Identity
  • Study completed by Stephen R. Wester, David L.
    Vogel, Meifen Wei, and Rodney McLain
  • Presentation by

2
Introduction
  • A males cultural background influences his
    experiences with the socialized male gender
    role.
  • Gender Role Conflict Theory explored by Pleck,
    demonstrated importance of understanding how
    traditionally socialized male gender roles
    conflict with situations that may require
    non-traditional behavior.

3
Introduction
  • Most men, especially African American men
    experience distress when confronted with a
    mixture of gender roles.
  • African American men are especially caught in a
    conflict, because they feel they have to conform
    to two set of gender roles, Euro American and
    African American.
  • It is hypothesized that the association between
    GRC (gender role conflict) and psychological
    distress would be mediated by the different
    stages of racial identity.

4
Beyond Race? The Potential Role of Racial Identity
  • Racial Identity Theory describes a process by
    which African American men internalize an
    adaptive Black identity with in an American
    context.
  • Generally a persons internal sense of racial
    identity seems to buffer him/her from
    psychological affects of societal racism.
  • Race also plays a big role in defining
    self-worth.

5
Beyond Race? The Potential Role of Racial Identity
  • African American men are at an increased risk for
    psychological consequences associated with
    racism.
  • African American men especially are working
    toward reconciling independent cultural and
    gender identities.

6
Current Research Bridging the Gap
  • Relationships between the early stages of racial
    identity and increased GRC have already been
    established, but there is a need for a more
    complex understanding of the relationship of the
    three.
  • Certain aspects of racial identity either serve
    as tools or channels through which the
    internalized sexism of GRC affects psychological
    functioning.
  • Racial identity could also serves to buffer the
    individual against the combined effects of sexism
    and racism.

7
Procedure
  • Male participants were recruited on the campus of
    a large, urban, Midwestern university
  • Student research assistants asked male students
    if they were willing to participate in a study of
    racial and gender role attitudes in return for
    being entered for a 50 raffle
  • Those who agreed were given questionnaire packet
  • 130 participated out of the 245 who were asked

8
Method- Participants
  • Students were then asked to identify
    themselves.The students self identified
    themselves as Black (31), African (6), African
    American (41) or a combination of 3 origins (52)
    participated in the study
  • 26.4 was the average age of the participants
  • 36 first year students
  • 24 second year students
  • 20 fourth year students
  • 16 pursuing graduate study
  • 22 declined to respond about school

9
Method- Measures
  • The GRC of the participants was measured using
    the GRC scale, which is the measure of mens
    reactions to the tensions between traditional
    socially linked male gender roles and situational
    demands

10
Method- Measures
  • The GRC scale consists of items divided into four
    subscales
  • Success, power and competition
  • Restrictive emotionality
  • Restrictive affectionate behavior between men
  • Conflict between work and family relations

11
Method-MeasuresHypothesized Mediated Model
12
Measures
  • Respondents rated their agreement on each item of
    the GRC on a 6-point Likhert scale.
  • Racial identity was measured using Cross Racial
    Identity Scale (CRIS) and the respondents
    agreement was rated on a 7-pt Likhert scale.
  • Psychological distress was measured using the
    Brief Symptom Inventory.
  • Respondents were asked to respond to questions
    measuring age, race, and year in school.

13
Results
  • The indirect effect from the GRC to Self-Hatred
    to psychological distress was statistically
    significant. Allowing Self-Hatred to be most
    popular mediator of GRC.
  • 30 of the variance in psychological distress was
    explained by GRC and racial identity.

14
Discussion
  • Pressures experienced by African American men to
    live up to their prescribed gender role leads to
    myriad negative psychological outcomes.
  • African American mens GRC scores were predictive
    of their experienced psychological distress.
  • African American men who internalized a racist
    understanding of themselves as men of color
    suffered more from their attempts to navigate the
    male gender role.

15
Discussion
  • The results extended the idea that internalized
    racism acts as vehicle through which the
    internalized sexism affects the quality of life.
  • Assimilation and Miseducation represent the
    respondents beliefs about other individuals
    while Self-Hatred represents their internalized
    beliefs about themselves.
  • This may account for the lack of contribution by
    the other CRIS subscales.

16
Discussion
  • GRC primarily represents internal negative
    consequences associated with conflicts between
    socialized male behaviors and the demand
    situation.
  • Therefore it is probably unlikely for a more
    positive aspect of racial identity, such as
    Multicultural Inclusive to contribute to ones
    GRC.

17
Conclusion
  • The studys findings illustrated that racial
    identity attitudes reflective of internalized
    racism or self-hatred partially mediated the
    relationship between GRC and psychological
    distress.
  • However all of the participants in the study were
    college students, therefore specific statistics
    can not be generated on how either younger or
    older men of color might experience the
    intersection of racial identity and GRC.
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