Sex Roles

, Volume 33, Issue 1–2, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Gender role conflict, instrumentality, expressiveness, and well-being in adult men

  • Mark J. Sharpe
  • P. Paul Heppner
  • Wayne A. Dixon


This study examined gender roles and gender role conflict in relation to a broad range of indices of psychological well-being in men. Eighty-eight community adult primarily white men (median age = 50) completed ten inventories assessing masculine role constructs and measures of psychological well-being. Whereas instrumentality continued to be the strongest correlate of traditional measures of well-being, the canonical analysis confirmed the Sharpe and Heppner 1991 study indicating that at least two roots or variates are needed to understand psychological well-being in men, and that expressivity and emotional well-being accounts for a third of the variance in adult men. The results also suggest a weak association between gender role conflict and psychological well-being. Implications and future research are discussed.


Strong Correlate Social Psychology Gender Role Weak Association Role Conflict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, C. H., & Sherer, M. (1985). Sex-role orientation and psychological adjustment: Implications for the masculinity model.Sex Roles, 12 1211–1218.Google Scholar
  2. Bassoff, E. S., & Glass, G. V. (1982). The relationship between sex roles and mental health: A meta-analysis of twenty-six studies.The Counseling Psychologist, 10 105–112.Google Scholar
  3. Beck, A. T. (1967).Depression: Clinical, experimental, and theoretical aspects. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  4. Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42 155–162.Google Scholar
  5. Bem, S. L. (1977). On the utility of alternative procedures for assessing psychological androgyny.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 45 196–205.Google Scholar
  6. Bem, S. L., Martyna, W., & Watson, C. (1976). Sex typing and androgyny: Further explorations of the expressive domain.Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 34 1016–1023.Google Scholar
  7. Bernstein, I. H. (1988).Applied multivariate statistics. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  8. Berzins, J. H., Welling, M. A., & Wetter, R. E. (1978). A new measure of psychological androgyny based on the Personality Research Form.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 126–138.Google Scholar
  9. Bunting, A. B., & Reeves, J. B. (1983). Perceived male sex orientation and beliefs about rape.Deviant Behavior, 4 281–295.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, P. M. (1985). Locke marital adjustment scale and the dyadic adjustment scale.American Journal of Family Therapy, 13 66–71.Google Scholar
  11. Cook, E. P. (1987). Psychological androgyny: A review of the research.The Counseling Psychologist, 15 471–513.Google Scholar
  12. Coopersmith, S. (1967).The antecedents of self-esteem. San Francisco: Freeman.Google Scholar
  13. Corcoran, K., & Fischer, J. (1987).Measures for clinical practice: A sourcebook. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  14. David, D. S., & Brannon, R. (1976).The forty-nine percent majority: The male sex role. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  15. Davis, F., & Walsh, W. B. (1988, August).Antecedents and consequents of gender role conflict: An empirical test of sex role strain analysis. Presented at The American Psychological Association annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  16. Della Selva, P. C., & Dusek, J. S. (1984). Sex role orientation and resolution of Ericksonian crises during the late adolescent years.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47 204–212.Google Scholar
  17. Farrell, W. (1974).The liberated man. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  18. Forisha, B. L. (1978).Sex roles and personal awareness. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.Google Scholar
  19. Goldberg, H. (1977).The hazards of being male. New York: New American Library.Google Scholar
  20. Good, G. E., & Mintz, L. M. (1990). Gender role conflict and depression in college men: Evidence for compounded risk.Journal of Counseling and Development, 69 17–21.Google Scholar
  21. Good, G. E., O'Neil, J. M., DeBord, K. A., & Braverman, D. G. (1993).Psychometric Properties of the Gender Role Conflict Scale: Implications for future research on men's gender role conflict. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  22. Good, G. E., & Wood, P. R. (1993).Men's Avoidance of Psychological help-seeking: An empirical examination of masculine gender roles and depression. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  23. Guttentag, M., & Bray, H. (1976).Undoing sex stereotypes. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  24. Heilbrun, A. B., & Pepe, V. (1985). Awareness of cognitive defenses and stress management.British Journal of Medical Psychology, 58 9–17.Google Scholar
  25. Horowitz, L. M., Rosenberg, S. E., Baer, B. A., Ureno, G., & Villasenor, V. S. (1988). Inventory of interpersonal problems: Psychometric properties and clinical applications.Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 56 885–892.Google Scholar
  26. Jung, C. G. (1969). The stages of life.Collected works (Vol. 8). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Jung, C. G. (1971). Psychological types.Collected works (Vol. 6). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Kendall, P. C., Hollon, S. D., Beck, A. T. Hammen, C. L., & Ingram, R. E. (1987). Issues and recommendations regarding use of the Beck Depression Inventory.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 11 289–299.Google Scholar
  29. Lenney, E. (1991). Sex roles: The measurement of masculinity, femininity, and androgyny. In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.),Measures of Personality and social psychological attitudes (Vol. 1). Academic Press: New York.Google Scholar
  30. Maloney, J. P., Cheney, R., Spring, W., & Kanusky, J. (1986). The physiologic and psychological effects of a 5-week and a 16-week physical fitness program.Military Medicine, 151 426–433.Google Scholar
  31. Miller, R. S., & Lefcourt, H. M. (1982). The assessment of social intimacy.Journal of Personality Assessment, 46 514–518.Google Scholar
  32. Miller, R. S., & Lefcourt, H. M. (1983). Social intimacy: An important moderator of stressful life events.American Journal of Community Psychology, 11 127–139.Google Scholar
  33. O'Neil, J. M. (1981a). Male sex role conflicts, sexism, and masculinity: Psychological implications for men, women, and the counseling psychologist.The Counseling Psychologist, 9 61–80.Google Scholar
  34. O'Neil, J. M. (1981b). Patterns of gender role conflict and strain: Sexism and fear of femininity in men's lives.The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 60 203–210.Google Scholar
  35. O'Neil, J. M., Helms, B., Gable, R., David, L., & Wrightsman, L. (1986). Gender role conflict scale: College men's fear of femininity.Sex Roles, 4 335–350.Google Scholar
  36. Orlofsky, J. L. (1977). Sex-role orientation, identity formation, and self-esteem in college men and women.Sex Roles, 3 561–575.Google Scholar
  37. Pleck, J. H. (1976). The male sex role: Definitions, problems and sources of change.Journal of Social Issues, 32 155–164.Google Scholar
  38. Pleck, J. H., Brannon, R. (Eds.). (1978). Male roles and the male experience.Journal of Social Issues, 34, 1–4.Google Scholar
  39. Pleck, J. H., & Sawyer, J. (1974).Men and masculinity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  40. Pleck, J. H., Sonenstein, F. L., & Ku, L. C. (1993). Masculinity ideology and its correlates. In s. Oskamp & M. Costanzo (Eds.),Gender issues in social psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  41. Pleck, J. H., Sonenstein, F. L., & Ku, L. C. (1994). Attitudes toward male roles among adolescent males: A discriminant validity analysis.Sex Roles, 30 481–501.Google Scholar
  42. Rodgers, R. F. (1984). Theories of adult development: Research status and counseling implications. In S. Brown & R. Lent (Eds.),Handbook of counselling psychology. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  43. Selye, H. (1976).The stress of life (rev. ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  44. Sharpe, M. J., & Heppner, P. P. (1991). Gender role, gender role conflict and psychological well-being in men.Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38 323–330.Google Scholar
  45. Shichman, S., & Cooper, E. (1984). Life satisfaction and the sex role concept.Sex Roles, 11 227–240.Google Scholar
  46. Skovholt, T. M. (1978). Feminism in men's lives.The Counseling Psychologist, 7 3–10.Google Scholar
  47. Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38 15–28.Google Scholar
  48. Speilberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., & Lushene, R. E. (1970).Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  49. Spence, J. T. (1991). Do the BSRI and the PAQ measure the same or different concepts?Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15 141–165.Google Scholar
  50. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1978). Masculinity and femininity:Their Psychological dimensions, correlates, and antecedents. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  51. Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R., & Stapp, J. (1975). Ratings of self and peers on sex role attributes and their relation to self-esteem and conceptions of masculinity and femininity.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32 29–39.Google Scholar
  52. Stevens, M. J., Pfost, K. S., & Ackerman, M. D. (1984). The relationship between sex-role orientation and the Type A behavior pattern: A test of the main effect hypothesis.Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40 1338–1341.Google Scholar
  53. Stillson, R. W., O'Neil, J. M., & Owen, S. V. (1991). Predictors of adult men's gender-role conflict: Race, class, unemployment age, instrumentality-expressiveness, and personal strain.Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38 458–464.Google Scholar
  54. Taylor, M. C., & Hall, J. A. (1982). Psychological androgyny: Theories, methods, and conclusions.Psychological Bulletin, 92 347–366.Google Scholar
  55. Thompson, E. H. (1990). Courtship violence and the male role.Men's Studies Review, 7(1), 4–13.Google Scholar
  56. Thompson, E. H., Erisanti, C., & Pleck, J. H. (1985). Attitudes toward the male role and their correlates.Sex Roles, 13 413–427.Google Scholar
  57. Thompson, E. H., Jr., Pleck, J. H., & Ferrera, D. L. (1992). Men and masculinities: Scales for masculinity ideology and masculinity-related constructs.Sex Roles, 27 573–607.Google Scholar
  58. Whitley, B. E. (1983). Sex-role orientation and self-esteem: A critical meta-analytic review.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44 765–785.Google Scholar
  59. Whitley, B. E. (1985). Sex-role orientation and psychological well-being: Two meta-analyses.Sex Roles, 12 207–225.Google Scholar
  60. Yoder, J. D., Rice, R. W., Adams, J., Priest, R. F., & Prince, H. T. (1982). Reliability of the Attitudes toward Women Scale (AWS) and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire.Sex Roles, 8 651–657.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark J. Sharpe
    • 1
  • P. Paul Heppner
    • 1
  • Wayne A. Dixon
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations