Sex Roles

, Volume 43, Issue 11–12, pp 787–820 | Cite as

Gender, Gender Roles, and Personality: Gender Differences in the Prediction of Coping and Psychological Symptoms

  • Liliana J. Lengua
  • Elizabeth A. Stormshak


Path models of the effects of gender, gender roles, and personality variables (achievement and affiliation orientation, locus of control, empathy) on coping and symptoms were tested to explore the risk and protective effects of gender roles and personality on psychological symptoms, and to test whether or not gender roles or personality accounted for gender differences in coping and symptoms. In a sample of university undergraduates (35% Asian American, 59% European American or Caucasian, 6% other ethnic/racial background), masculinity predicted lower depression but higher antisocial and substance use problems, whereas femininity predicted lower antisocial and substance use problems. Personality variables did not account for the effects of gender or gender roles on coping or symptoms, but rather gender roles and personality each predicted unique variance in those variables. Significant gender differences in the relations among gender roles and personality emerged; however, there were no gender differences in the relations between coping and symptoms. Findings highlight the importance of studying gender differences in the effects of gender roles and personality on coping and symptoms, because it appears that gender roles and personality operate differently for males and females.


Depression Protective Effect Gender Difference Social Psychology Gender Role 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liliana J. Lengua
    • 1
  • Elizabeth A. Stormshak
    • 2
  1. 1.University of WashingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of Oregon College of EducationUSA

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