Date of Award
Educational Specialist (EdS)
Although depression is a common mental health disorder, less research has been devoted to men's experience with depression compared to women's experiences. Although men may exhibit similar patterns of depression as women, men often have unique pattern of exhibiting depression characterized by substance abuse, irritability, aggression, and interpersonal conflict. The paper presents a review of the relevant literature on male depression and, in particular, how it is potentially affected by male gender role factors. Biological, psychological, social, and artifact theories have been proposed to explain gender differences in how depression is expressed. It is hypothesized that the male gender role and gender role strain contribute to men's unique presentation of depression Gender role strain has been found to relate to depression and help-seeking behavior. Men may be reluctant to discuss depressive feelings and less aware of depressive symptoms or exhibit symptoms of alexithymia. Men are more likely to employ externalizing coping responses to depressive feelings. Different cultures have some differences and some similarities compared with Western culture in responses to depression. Among multiple cultures, cultures where alcohol or aggression is actively discouraged, males exhibit more depression. Several male gender specific therapies have been developed for male depression. However, there has been little research on the effectiveness of these treatments.
Liljegren, Tom, "The Male Gender Role and Depression" (2010). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 961.