Katie Gunter

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

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Publications (9)9.41 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between masculinity and the health of US men of color aged 18 years and older. We identified 22 population-based studies that included a measure of masculinity and a measure of health behavior, mental health, or physical health. The associations between masculinity and health were complex and varied by construct and health outcome, though they generally were significant in the hypothesized directions. Future research should explore the centrality of masculinity versus other identities and characteristics, how the relationship between masculinity and health varies by health outcome, and the identification of the conceptions and aspects of masculinity that are most relevant to and associated with specific health behaviors and health outcomes.
    American Journal of Public Health 03/2012; 102 Suppl 2:S187-94. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While there is consensus that health promotion programs should be culturally sensitive, it is less clear how interventions can be more gender sensitive. Gender influences health and intersects with other known determinants of health to play an important role in health behavior; male gender, however, remains a critical but understudied factor that impacts men's health practices and interventions. In this presentation, we describe the process we used to develop Men 4 Health: an intervention designed to improve African American men's healthy eating and physical activity by considering and addressing gendered, ethnic and environmental factors. We combined intersectional and community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches with exploratory focus group data collection to tailor this intervention to the lives of urban, African American men in southeast Michigan. In addition to considering behavior-specific motivation and other psychological factors, Men 4 Health was designed to help men determine how to eat healthier and engage in more physical activity in the context of their social and built environment. The involvement and input from our community partners and members of our population of interest were essential in helping us understand how men's social roles, ethnic and gender identities, and daily activities influenced contextual and environmental factors that shaped African American men's daily lives and health behaviors. These factors helped us develop different yet complementary strategies to improve healthy eating and physical activity. Specifically, the CBPR approach provided insight into how central gender was to African American men's health priorities, social relationships, social roles and health behavior.
    139st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2011; 11/2011
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last three decades, the increase in the prevalence of obesity across gender, age, socioeconomic status, and racial and ethnic groups has continued to garner attention and concern. Various and inconsistent findings have been reported on differences between BMI and obesity among black and non-black men. These inconsistent findings prompt further questions as to the current picture of BMI and obesity among US men, given the current and historical differences in social and economic contexts for black and white men. Few national studies, however, have empirically examined racial differences in obesity among men, or if financial stress increases men's odds of being obese. This paper explores the relationship between provider role strain and obesity in a nationally-representative sample of men. This article highlights role strain as a theoretical framework that describes the personal and social coping strategies men use to manage and mitigate social, cultural, life stage, and economic stressors that influence health behaviors and health outcomes. We compare overall odds of obesity, as well as differences between black and white men, while examining the effects of financial stress using The National Survey of American Life. Our findings indicate that while a greater proportion of white males were likely to be obese than black men, when we considered financial stress black men were more likely to be obese. The implications of these findings are discussed within the overall context of rates of obesity, high rates of chronic illnesses, and premature mortality among Black American men.
    139st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2011; 10/2011
  • D M Griffith, J M Metzl, K Gunter
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    ABSTRACT: Although gender, racial and ethnic differences in health in the USA are well documented, it is less clear how race and gender intersect to produce large and consistently poor health outcomes for men of colour, particularly Black American men. This paper will illustrate how race and gender intersect at multiple levels to shape men's health and health behaviours, and function as fundamental social determinants of health. The paper will conclude by discussing the need to attend to the role of male gender in pathways and processes underlying racial health disparities, and the challenges of developing health promotion interventions for Black American men.
    Public health 07/2011; 125(7):417-23. · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the potential health consequences, African American men tend to treat their roles as providers, fathers, spouses, and community members as more important than engaging in health behaviors such as physical activity. We conducted 14 exploratory focus groups with 105 urban, middle-aged African American men from the Midwest to examine factors that influence their health behaviors. Thematic content analysis revealed three interrelated barriers to physical activity: (a) work, family, and community commitments and priorities limited time and motivation for engaging in physical activity; (b) physical activity was not a normative individual or social activity and contributed to men prioritizing work and family responsibilities over physical activity; and (c) the effort men exerted in seeking to fulfill the provider role limited their motivation and energy to engage in physical activity. These findings highlight the need for physical activity interventions that consider how health fits in the overall context of men's lives.
    Health Education &amp Behavior 06/2011; 38(5):482-91. · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine the factors that influenced African American men’s medical help seeking. Method: Thematic analysis of 14 focus groups with 105 older, urban African American men. Results: African American men described normative expectations that they did not go to the doctor and that they were afraid to go, with little explanation. When they did go, men reported that they were particularly uncomfortable with the tone physicians used when talking to them. Providers often made recommendations but offered the men little useful information on how to make lifestyle and behavior changes. Following receipt of care, spouses, medical test results, and men’s desire to fulfill social roles were key motivating and instrumental factors in following medical advice. Conclusions: African American men’s medical help seeking seemed to be negatively influenced by social norms and patient-provider interactions but positively influenced by spouses and the desire to fulfill social roles.
    Research on Social Work Practice 05/2011; 21(3):337-347. · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Health behavior interventions have tended to focus more on Black Americans' food preparation and access to physical activity than where health fits in the context of their lives. Black men's personal health is often considered a low priority until health problems impair more highly valued aspects of their lives or social roles (e.g., provider, father, spouse). Gendered cultural and social demands present unique stressors in the lives of Black men and constrain their opportunities and efforts to prioritize diet and physical activity. This presentation describes data from 14 exploratory focus groups examining factors that influence Black men's eating behaviors and physical activity that were conducted with 110 urban men with a mean age of 55 from Flint and Ypsilanti, Michigan. Thematic content analysis reveals that gendered and cultural responsibilities and roles, which Black men describe as a hierarchy of responsibilities, influence how men prioritize employment and family needs over eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity. Black men were socialized to prioritize work and family roles over their own personal health, and this pattern is reinforced by today's gendered social and cultural norms. While it is critical to overcome knowledge limitations, personal preferences and environmental barriers, these data suggest that interventions designed to improve Black men's eating behaviors and physical activity consider how they cope with chronic life stressors. There are key culturally anchored beliefs and priorities that influence men's willingness to engage in healthy behaviors and constrain their ability to make and sustain lifestyle changes.
    138st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2010; 11/2010
  • American journal of men's health 01/2010; 7(3):300-300. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decade, obesity has increased significantly among men but few national studies have empirically examined racial and socioeconomic differences in obesity among men. In this paper, we utilized logistic regression to evaluate the potential associations that race and socioeconomic status may have with obesity among men in the National Survey of American Life: an in-person household survey of non-institutionalized U.S. blacks and whites who lived in communities where at least 10% of the community residents were black Americans. A greater proportion of black men were likely to be obese than white men, but no interaction among race, SES, and obesity was detected when potential confounding variables were included. There was not a relationship between SES and obesity for white men, but there was an apparent positive relationship between SES and obesity for black men that did not remain significant in adjusted models. No relationship was found between age and obesity among black men, though white men who were 55 and older were more likely than those 18–34 to be obese in confounder adjusted models. Among white men, no relationships were found between obesity and education, household income, or marital status. Black men in the lowest income category were less likely to be obese than those in the highest income category, in bivariate but not adjusted models. These findings suggest that the way racial, economic, stress and behavioral factors combine to affect obesity in black and white men may be different.
    Race and Social Problems 3(4).