Masculine Identity and Traumatic Brain Injury
Men are twice as likely to experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as women (Cassidy et al. in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 36: 28–60, 2004). This difference indicates that aspects of masculinity whether biological, psychological or social contribute to how people acquire brain injuries. Research also suggests that the experience of illness and disability are affected by a person’s identity and this means that men will experience TBI differently from women because of gender identity in its biological, psychological and social aspects. TBI can result in changes to capacities such as strength, autonomy and independence. These capacities also relate to the expression of masculine identity and this means that an individual’s personal sense of masculine identity will also play a major role in the process of adjustment, recovery and rehabilitation. This chapter reviews the experience of men in relation to their day-to-day life, social roles and rehabilitation following TBI. As the rehabilitation process includes helping individuals with their sense of identity and self, the implications arising from research in relation to improving engagement and outcomes for men in neuropsychological therapy and rehabilitation are also considered.
KeywordsTraumatic brain injury Masculine identity Neurorehabilitation Adjustment
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