Masculine norms about emotionality and social constraints in young and older adult men with cancer
- 398 Downloads
Beliefs that men should restrict their display of emotions, or restrictive emotionality, might contribute to adjustment to cancer and this might be sensitive to social receptivity to disclosure. The present research examined relationships of restrictive emotionality, social constraints, and psychological distress in young adults with testicular cancer (N = 171; Study 1) and older men with prostate cancer (N = 66; Study 2). Study 1: positive associations were observed for social constraints and restrictive emotionality with depressive symptoms. Social constraints moderated the relationship, such that high restrictive emotionality was associated with higher depressive symptoms in those with high constraints. Study 2: only social constraints (and not restrictive emotionality) was positively associated with depressive symptoms and cancer-related intrusive thoughts. The social constraints × restrictive emotionality interaction approached significance with depressive symptoms, such with high social constraints low restrictive emotionality was associated with higher depressive symptoms compared to those with less constraints. No significant associations were found for intrusive thoughts in either study. Findings demonstrate unique relationships with psychological distress across the lifespan of men with cancer given perception of constraints and adherence to masculine norms about emotionality.
KeywordsRestrictive emotionality Social constraints Masculinity Cancer disparities Psychological distress
This work was supported by funds from the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, the Livestrong Foundation, and supported by the National Institutes of Health under Grants T32-MH15750 and SC1-CA187494.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Katie Darabos and Michael A. Hoyt declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and Informed consent
All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Carpentier, M. Y., Fortenberry, J. D., Ott, M. A., Brames, M. J., & Einhorn, L. H. (2011). Perceptions of masculinity and self-image in adolescent and young adult testicular cancer survivors: Implications for romantic and sexual relationships. Psycho-Oncology, 20, 738–745. doi: 10.1002/pon.1772 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gray, R. E., Fitch, M., Phillips, C., Labrecque, M., & Fergus, K. (2000). To tell or not to tell: Patterns of disclosure among men with prostate cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 9, 273–282. doi: 10.1002/1099-1611(200007/08)9:4<273::AID-PON463>3.0.CO;2-F
- Hall, A. E., Boyes, A. W., Bowman, J., Walsh, R. A., James, E. L., & Girgis, A. (2012). Young adult cancer survivors’ psychosocial well-being: A cross-sectional study assessing quality of life, unmet needs, and health behaviors. Supportive Cancer in Cancer, 20, 1333–1341. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1221-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hoyt, M. A., & Stanton, A. L. (2012). Adjustment to chronic illness. In A. S. Baum, T. A. Revenson, & J. E. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of health psychology (2nd ed., pp. 219–246). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Lepore, S. J., & Ituarte, P. H. G. (1999). Optimism about cancer enhances mood by reducing negative social interactions. Cancer Research, Therapy and Control, 8, 165–174.Google Scholar
- Levant, R. F., Hirsch, L., Celentano, E., Cozza, T., Hill, S., MacEachern, M., et al. (1992). The male role: An investigation of norms and stereotypes. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 14, 325–337.Google Scholar
- Lewinsohn, P. M., Seeley, J. R., Roberts, R. E., & Allen, N. B. (1997). Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) as a screening instrument for depression among community-residing older adults. Psychology and Aging, 12, 277–287. doi: 10.1037/0882-7922.214.171.1247 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- National Cancer Institute. (2014). Depression-for health related professionals (PDQ). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/depression-hp-pdq
- Pistrang, N., & Barker, C. (2005). How partners talk in times of stress: A process analysis approach. In T. A. Revenson, K. Kayser, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: Emerging perspectives on dyadic coping (pp. 97–119). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pleck, J. H., Sonenstein, F. L., & Ku, L. C. (1993). Masculinity ideology and its correlates. In B. M. Clinchy & J. K. Norem (Eds.), The gender and psychology reader (pp. 308–333). New, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Schneider, D. J. (2004). The psychology of stereotyping. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Wester, S. R., & Vogel, D. L. (2012). The psychology of men: Historical developments, current research, and future directions. In N. A. Fouad, J. Carter, & L. Subich (Eds.), Handbook of counseling psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 371–396). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Zakowski, S. G., Harris, C., Krueger, N., Laubmeier, K. K., Garrett, S., Flanigan, R., et al. (2003). Social barriers to emotional expression and their relations to distress in male and female cancer patients. British Journal of Health Psychology, 8, 271–286. doi: 10.1348/135910703322370851 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar