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Association of High Traditional Masculinity and Risk of Suicide Death: Secondary Analysis of the Add Health Study



In the United States, men die by suicide at 3.5 times the rate of women.¹ One driver of this gender disparity may be high traditional masculinity (HTM), a set of norms that includes competitiveness, emotional restriction, and aggression.² Quantitative studies of HTM are interrelated with discourse on hegemonic masculinity.³ Using norm- and trait-based measures, HTM men were found to have higher suicidal ideation (SI),²,4 but to our knowledge, the association with suicide death has not been tested with a credible measure of HTM.
Association of High Traditional Masculinity
and Risk of Suicide Death: Secondary Analysis
of the Add Health Study
In the United States, men die by suicide at 3.5 times the rate
of women.
One driver of this gender disparity may be high tra-
ditional masculinity (HTM), a set of norms that includes com-
petitiveness, emotional restriction, and aggression.
titative studies of HTM are interrelated with discourse on
hegemonic masculinity.
Using norm- and trait-based mea-
sures, HTM men were found to have higher suicidal ideation
but to our knowledge, the association with suicide death
has not been tested with a credible measure of HTM.
Add Health is a nationally representative study of adolescents
into adulthood. Feigelmanand colleagues
found 9 Add Health
variables associated with suicide (Figure, A and B) and weak
nonsignificant effects for depression and gun access. This study
hypothesizes that HTM is associated with suicide, depression,
gun access, and the 9 variables previously noted. No prediction
was made for HTM regarding SI or suicide attempts.
Methods |Add Health began with 20 745 adolescentsin 1995 and
in 2014 was matched with death records using the National
Death Index. The details of the methods of Add Health can be
found at The Add Health
study was reviewed and approved for human participant
issues at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Under that
protocol, written informed consent was elicited from all par-
ticipants. The secondary analysis of this data was approved by
the institutional review board at Fordham University.
Death by suicide was defined by National Death Index pro-
cedures. Through the use of a method novel to suicide research,
an established procedure was replicated for scoring gender-typed
attitudes and behaviors in which a single latentprobability vari-
able of identifying as male was generated from 16 gender-
discriminating variables (including not crying, physically fit, not
moody,not emotional, liking yourself, fighting, and risk taking).
Participants scoring 73% probability or higher of identifying as
male (>1 SD above the mean) were coded as HTM. Details of
additional variables can be found in Feigelman et al.
of the small number of suicides, the analysis was limited to
bivariate tests and effect sizes: χ
and odds ratios (ORs) and ttests
and Cohen d. Stata, version 14 (StataCorp),was used for all data
analyses and the criterion Pvalue was set at P< .05.
Results |Of the 22 suicide deaths, 21 were men (OR, 21.7;
95% CI; 2.9-161; χ
= 18.8; P< .001). All subsequent analyses
Figure. Forest Plots of FactorsAssociated With Suicide Death and High Traditional Masculinity (HTM)
Suicide Risk
Suicide Risk
OR (95% CI) Log
Family member suicide
Expelled from school
Ran away from home
Used weapon
Smoking (past 30 d)
Serious fight (past year)
8.98 (2.1-39)
(95% CI)
3.89 (1.4-10.6)
3.06 (1.1-8.4)
2.94 (1.1-8.1)
2.83 (1.0-7.8)
2.5 (1.1-5.9)
2.11 (1.3-3.6)
Feigelman et al,5 2016 categorical risk factors for suicide death
101 1000.1
Feigelman et al,5 2016 continuous risk factors for suicide death
Family member suicide
Expelled from school
Used weapon
Ran away from home
Serious fight (past year)
Smoking (past 30 d)
1.89 (1.3-2.7)
(95% CI)
1.46 (1.3-1.7)
1.43 (1.3-1.7)
1.43 (1.3-1.7)
1.29 (1.2-1.4)
1.22 (1.1-1.3)
1.18 (1.1-1.3)
Association of HTM with categorical risk factors
0.66 (0.23-1.09)
Cohen d
(95% CI)
0.47 (0.04-0.9)
0.17 (0.13-0.21)
Cohen d
(95% CI)
0.17 (0.13-0.21)
Association of HTM with continuous risk factors
0 1.51.0
Cohen d (95% CI)
0 32
OR (95% CI)
0.10 1.251.20
Cohen d (95% CI)
A and B, Feigelman et al
risk factors for suicide death. C and D, Association of HTM with risk factors. All tests, P<.05. OR indicates odds ratio. (Reprinted) JAMA Psychiatry Published online February 12, 2020 E1
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include men only. High–traditional masculinity men were
2.4 times more likely to die by suicide than non-HTM men
= 3.979; P< .046; Table) but were 1.45 times less likely to
report SI (χ
= 23.06; P< .001). There was no association
between HTM and suicide attempts. High–traditional mascu-
linity men were slightly more likely to report easy gun access
(OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.01-1.20; χ
=4.27;P< .04) and had mod-
estly lower depression levels (Cohen d,0.17;P< .001).
All 9 risks for suicide from Feigelman et al
were posi-
tively associated with HTM (Figure, C and D), with small to
small-medium effect sizes.
Discussion |To our knowledge, this is the first study to showthat
HTM is associated with subsequent suicide among men. In ad-
dition to a direct association with suicide death, the associa-
tion of HTM with all other risks suggests a web of indirect ef-
fects. In male suicide death, HTM may be an underlying
influence increasing the probability of externalizing behav-
ior risk factors, such as anger, violence, gun access, and school
problems. The finding that almost all suicide decedents were
men underlines the central role of gender in suicide death. The
protective or null association of HTM with nonfatal suicidal
behavior mirrors the gender differences in suicide death and
nonfatal attempts but conflicts with previous studies of HTM.
Relevant interpretive theories of these findings include the
Canetto cultural scripts theory and the Baumeister escape
suicide theory.
The measure of HTM is based on a well-established
and the 16 gender-discriminating variables are con-
sistent with US relevant masculinity theory and measures in
content, but its convergent validity with measures used in
previous suicide research is unknown. Other limitations
include that the small number of suicides precluded multi-
variate analyses and Add Health has no coding of gender
identity other than male or female. This study should cata-
lyze research, prevention, and intervention attention to the
role of masculinity in suicide.
Daniel Coleman, PhD
William Feigelman, PhD
Zohn Rosen, PhD
Author Affiliations: Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University,
New York, New York (Coleman); Department of Sociology, Nassau Community
College, Jamaica, New York (Feigelman); Mailman School of Public Health,
Columbia University,New York, New York (Rosen).
Corresponding Author: Daniel Coleman, PhD, Graduate School of Social
Service, Fordham University, 113 W 60th St, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10023
Published Online: February 12, 2020.doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.4702
Author Contributions: Dr Feigelman had full access to all of the data
in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and
the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Coleman, Feigelman
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: Coleman, Rosen.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content:Coleman,
Statistical analysis: All authors.
Supervision: Feigelman.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Funding/Support: This research uses data from Add Health, a program project
directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S.
Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, and is funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy
Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with
cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations.
No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor:The funding organizations had no role in the
design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and
Table. χ
and tTest of Factors Associated With High TraditionalMasculinity Among Male Respondents
HTM, No. (%)
Total, % OR (95% CI) χ
(df)PValueYes No
Suicide death
Yes 10 (.3) 9 (.1) 0.19
2.4 (0.99-6.0) 3.979 (1) .046
No 3084 (99.7) 6747 (99.9) 99.8
Total, No. 3094 6756 9850
Suicidal thoughts
Yes 249 (8) 760 (11.1) 10.2
0.69 (0.60-0.81) 23.06 (1) <.001
No 2856 (92) 6048 (88.8) 89.8
Total, No. 3105 6808 9913
Suicide attempt
Yes 62 (2) 164 (2.4) 2.3
0.82 (0.61-1.1) 1.71 (1) .19
No 3076 (98) 6683 (97.6) 97.7
Total, No. 3138 6847 9985
Easy access to guns
Yes 1020 (32.5) 2085 (30.4) 31.1
1.1 (1.01-1.2) 4.27 (1) .04
No 2118 (67.5) 4764 (69.6) 68.9
Total, No. 3138 6894 9987
Depression Cohen d(95% CI) t(df)
Mean (SD) 9.59 (6.17) 10.73 (6.98) NA 0.17 (0.13-0.21) 7.81 (9936) <.001
Total sample size, No. 3121 6817 9938 NA NA NA
Abbreviations: HTM, high traditional
masculinity; NA, not applicable;
OR, odds ratio.
During the past year.
E2 JAMA Psychiatry Published online February 12, 2020 (Reprinted)
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interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approvalof the manuscript;
and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Additional Information: Information on how to obtain the Add Health data
files is available on the Add Health website (
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3. Messerschmidt JW. The salience of “hegemonic masculinity”. Men Masculinities.
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4. Pirkis J, Spittal MJ, Keogh L, Mousaferiadis T, Currier D. Masculinity and
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Letters (Reprinted) JAMA Psychiatry Published online February 12, 2020 E3
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... One prominent factor proposed to explain the demographic variation in the U.S. suicide rate is traditional masculinity, which suggests that men should be competitive and emotionally strong. This belief system has been associated with men's higher vulnerability to suicide in the U. S. (Coleman, 2015;Coleman et al., 2020). This cultural code is a significant characteristic of honor cultures in the southern U.S. states (Cohen andNisbett, 1994, Nisbett andCohen, 1996). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic heightened risk factors for suicide globally. Using prominent sociocultural theories of suicide, we investigated whether the COVID-19 pandemic affected suicide rates differently across demographic groups and regions in the United States of America. In Study 1, we found that after 2020 suicide rates increased especially among young Black and Alaskan Native populations. Conditional process analyses were conducted to shed light on racial disparities in the temporal impact of unemployment on suicide from 2018 to 2021. The results showed that suicides among younger Asians and Blacks were affected by the surge in unemployment, whereas Whites, especially the older population, benefitted from the increased unemployment. In Study 2, we explored the regional variation in the temporal associations between suicide, unemployment, and depression across the 50 U.S. states from 2019 to 2021 taking into account pre-pandemic between-state conditions. Multilevel regression analyses showed that urbanism (characterized by low firearm proportion, high income, high cultural looseness, and high population density) but not social integration (characterized by low social capital, high collectivism, and high southerness), partially explained the regional variation in the temporal pattern of suicide rates. We also found that in states with already high depression levels, the temporal increase in depression predicted increases in suicide from 2019 to 2021, whereas it had minimal impact in states with low average depression. We emphasize the need for future theories to consider longitudinal designs and highlight two key takeaways: (1) the pandemic reshaped racial disparities in suicide, and (2) the temporal effects brought by the national crisis on suicide patterns depended on existing between-state differences.
... Regarding ideas of masculinity, research has shown that traditional masculinity is an important predictor of suicidal thoughts in males (Coleman, 2015;King et al., 2020;Pirkis et al., 2017). Expectations to conform to traditional norms of masculinity (e.g., emotional restriction, competitiveness and aggression) further heightened the risk of suicidal behaviour in men (Coleman et al., 2020). Since these norms are not restricted to men, these findings might indicate a potential high objective need for psychotherapy, particularly in the conservatives milieu group, which shares many of the traditionally masculine norms. ...
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Aims: Help-seeking for mental health problems is facilitated and hindered by several factors at the individual, interpersonal and community level. The most frequently researched factors contributing to differences in help-seeking behaviour are based on classical socio-demographic variables, such as age, gender and education, but explanations for the observed differences are often absent or remain vague. The present study complements traditional approaches in help-seeking research by introducing a milieu approach, focusing on values and political attitudes as a possible explanation for differences in help-seeking for emotional mental health problems. Methods: A representative cross-sectional survey of N = 3,042 respondents in Germany was conducted through face-to-face interviews about past help-seeking for mental health problems, socio-demographic characteristics and values and political attitudes. Results: Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that belonging to a cosmopolitan intellectual milieu group was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of past help-seeking for mental health issues (psychotherapeutic/psychological help-seeking [OR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.11-3.93, p < 0.05) and primary care (OR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.15-4.24, p < 0.05]), whereas members of individualist and conservative milieu groups were less likely to report having sought help from a psychotherapist, but not from a general practitioner. Increased odds ratios were also found for a number of socio-demographic variables, such as being aged 26 years and over, a female gender and more than 12 years of formal education. Associations between socio-demographic variables remained significant, and the explained variance of the used models improved considerably when milieu variables were added. Conclusions: We discuss how milieu-specific patterns were relevant for explaining differences in mental health service use in addition to socio-demographic factors. It seems promising to consider help-seeking from a milieu perspective to improve disparities in access to and the use of psychotherapy as well as to resource allocation.
... The self-reliance and reticence for help-seeking embedded in traditional masculinity may also lead some men to interpret suicide as more viable than reaching out for psychological assistance (Pirkis et al., 2017;Seidler et al., 2016). Indeed, death by suicide has been linked with a high level of identification with traditional masculinity (Coleman et al., 2020). Relatedly, research has pointed to externalizing symptoms as indicative of men's depression and heightened suicide risk (Genuchi, 2015;Rice et al., 2022b), with profiles that include anger, risk-taking, and substance misuse being predictive of suicidality among some men with minimal internalizing depressive symptoms . ...
The Psychic Pain Scale (PPS) measures a form of mental pain involving overwhelming negative affect and loss of self-control. Understanding psychic pain among men is needed to advance efforts for preventing male suicide. The present study examined the factor structure and psychosocial correlates of the PPS among 621 online help-seeking men. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated a higher-order factor comprising affect deluge and loss of control factors. Psychic pain evinced significant associations with general psychological distress, r = 0.64; perceived social support, r = -0.43; social connectedness, r = -0.55; and suicidal ideation, r = 0.65 (all p's < 0.001)-the latter three remained significant after controlling for general distress. Psychic pain also mediated the association between social disconnection and suicidal ideation (standardized indirect effect = -0.14 [-0.21, -0.09]), after controlling for social support and distress. Findings support the PPS as a promising measure for investigating psychic pain among men and indicate psychic pain as a link between social disconnection and suicidal ideation.
... Strong endorsement of TMI is further linked to increased self-stigmatization in depressed men and to the feeling that a man should be able to cope with mental health problems without professional help (30). It is therefore not surprising that in a longitudinal observational study over 20 years, men with high endorsement of TMI died twice as much by suicide as men exhibiting low endorsement of TMI (31) This is alarming since men in general die by suicide up to four times more often than women (32). Furthermore, men with high endorsement of TMI are particularly vulnerable to commit suicide in v response to stressors such as economic crises (33). ...
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Background Treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in men is complicated by the endorsement of traditional masculinity ideologies (TMI) often leading to reluctance toward psychotherapy, therapy interfering processes, or premature termination. In addition, it has been shown that men with MDD have a significantly increased risk of being hypogonadal (e.g., total testosterone levels <12.1 nmoL/L). Therefore, it is recommended to examine depressed men with regard to their testosterone status and if hypogonadism is present to combine psychotherapy with testosterone treatment (TT). Aim This project aims to evaluate a male-specific psychotherapeutic program (MSPP) for MDD in depressed eugonadal and hypogonadal men receiving testosterone in comparison to a standard cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for MDD and a Waitlist. Methods The study presents a 2×3 factorial study design. In total, 144 men aged between 25 and 50 will be stratified by testosterone status (eugonadal/hypogonadal) and then randomized into one of the three conditions (MSPP, CBT, or Waitlist). Additionally, a healthy control group of 100 men will be recruited, which will undergo only baseline assessments. Both standardized psychotherapy programs will encompass 18 sessions delivered in a weekly manner. Aligned with the TT-related medical visits of the 72 hypogonadal men, all participants will be followed up with clinical assessments and bio sampling at weeks 0, 6, 15, 24, and 36. Expected results Compared to Waitlist control groups, treatment groups are expected to be more effective and efficacious (depression score reduction of ≥50%) at week 24 and at the follow-up at week 36. The MSPP is expected to show higher effectiveness and efficacy for depressive symptoms and higher acceptability (lower dropout rate) as compared to CBT. Discussion This study represents the first attempt to test a male-specific psychotherapy for MDD in a single-setting compared to standard CBT and a Waitlist control condition using randomized clinical trial methodology. In addition, the potential positive adjunct effect of psychotherapy to TT in reducing depressive burden and improving quality of life in hypogonadal depressed men represents a neglected research area and might introduce new hypogonadism screening procedures in depressed men and combined treatment approaches for depressed men suffering from hypogonadism. Limitations are the rigorous inclusion and exclusion criteria, which limit the generalizability of the study results to first episode treatment naïve depressed men. Clinical Trial Registration , identifier NCT05435222.
... However, it remains less clear whether externalizing symptoms themselves (e.g., engaging in risky behavior) or underlying TMI increase men's risk for suicidality. For example, a study by Coleman et al. (2020) found men with strong TMI to be more than twice as likely to die by suicide than men with low TMI, while also being less likely to disclose suicidal ideation. Concordantly, found men with strong TMI who experienced status loss -status being a core dimension in many conceptualizations of TMI -to be about four times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past month. ...
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Purpose of review Societal, cultural, and contextual norms about how men should be and behave (so called traditional masculinity ideologies; TMI) affect men’s presentation of depressive disorders, psychotherapy use, and treatment engagement. Only recently, however, male-tailored psychotherapy approaches for depressive disorders have been developed, which aim to systematically soften dysfunctional TMI. In this review, we outline the necessary groundwork as well as recent advances in research on TMI, men’s help-seeking, male depression, and their interrelatedness. Subsequently, we discuss the potential value of these findings for male-tailored psychotherapy for depressive disorders. Recent findings A preliminary evaluation of a male-specific psychoeducation program found that a male-specific psychoeducation text could reduce negative affect as well as state shame and potentially elicit a shift from externalizing depression symptoms toward more prototypical depression symptoms. The James’ Place program, a male-tailored community-based service, improved suicidal men’s overall well-being, problems, functioning, and suicide risk. The Heads Up Guys! program, an eHealth resource aimed at depressed men, reported a high and increasing global interest in their website, with considerable visitor engagement. The Man Therapy online resource improved depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and help-seeking behavior. Finally, the Men in Mind program, an online training program for clinical practitioners, increased practitioners’ capacity to engage and support men in therapy. Summary Male-tailored psychotherapy programs for depressive disorders, which are informed by recent advances in TMI research, may potentially increase therapeutic effectiveness, engagement, and adherence. While recent preliminary analyses of individual male-tailored treatment programs show promising results, extensive and systematic primary studies evaluating these programs are pending but greatly needed.
... The researchers found that HTM men were 2.4 times more likely to commit suicide, but 1.45 times less likely to report suicidal ideation compared to non-HTM men. 3 Societal representations of masculinity can therefore affect mental health outcomes for men, as many men internalize these stereotypes and strive to act in accordance with them. It is important to analyse how the news media portrays men's mental health issues. ...
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Men’s mental health has long been stigmatized in Western society. The media plays a substantial role in emphasizing the importance of mental health; however, a gender disparity exists as men are often less highlighted than women in regard to this subject. This study investigated whether a difference in men’s mental health portrayal exists between progressive and conservative news media in the United Kingdom. Using Factiva, eight news articles were analysed; these included: The Guardian, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, and The Times, yielding a sample size of 32. Five criteria were established to score the articles on a Yes (1) or No (0) scale. An ANOVA and a t-test were used to determine the statistical significance of the results. The analyses showed significantly higher scores for progressive news media than conservative news media, whereby The Guardian had the highest percentage of articles that included criteria 1 through 4. The findings revealed a significant difference between how men’s mental health is portrayed in progressive versus conservative news media. Specifically, there was a better representation of men’s mental health in progressive news outlets. Since a limited number of papers were analysed, further research should be conducted to better understand the portrayal of men’s mental health in the media.
... This could have resulted from a lack of a strong sense of identity or from masculine norms of identity that posed a risk factor rather than a protective factor. A burgeoning body of research explores masculinity and gender roles as risk factors for suicidal ideation and suicide [30]. Some evidence shows males may be at increased risk of death by suicide as they are socialized to conform to certain masculine norms. ...
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Suicide is a global problem, ranking among the leading causes of death in many countries across the world. Most people who die by suicide are “under the radar”, having never seen a mental health professional or been diagnosed with a mental illness. This article describes the protective factors for men experiencing suicidal thoughts, plans, and/or attempts who are “under the radar”. Using in-depth qualitative interviews, we aimed to understand stakeholder perspectives on the protective factors that influence men’s wellbeing. The pervasiveness of relational connectedness in men’s narratives was identified as a central protective factor. Other key protective factors included meaningful activity, empowerment, and hope. These results have the potential to facilitate the development of focused community initiatives. More generally, the current research offers an example of a qualitative inquiry into men’s wellbeing that focuses on strengths and positive factors in their lives and may provide a guide for future community-based suicide prevention research.
... Despite this, stress research is typically measured across the lifespan in four stages: in utero, childhood, adulthood, and lifespan, and often demonstrates a focus on differentiating stress during childhood from stress during adulthood [14]. The literature on stress mostly represents populations with chronic illnesses or diagnosed disorders in health settings [16], suggesting that male experience of distress without formal diagnosis across a range of settings and social contexts may be lacking. This has somewhat contributed to the lack of scope in recognition of young people's experiences during the transition from childhood to adulthood specifically and possibly devaluing adolescence as a critical period in the lifespan for mental health intervention. ...
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Aim Stress measurement in adolescent males is in its relative infancy, which is likely to influence the effectiveness of mental health services for this heterogeneous population. Although evidence suggests the prevalence of mental health difficulties increases during adolescence, the relationship between gender and stress measurement is less explored or understood. This review summarizes findings on gender operationalisation and stress measurement in research with adolescent males. Methods For this scoping review, six electronic databases across social and life sciences were searched using terms linked to adolescence, male, stress and research design. Articles were screened, data were extracted, and a narrative synthesis used to characterise studies by research design, adaptation of method for participants’ cultural context, operationalisation of gender, and measurement of stress. Results Searches identified 3259 citations, 95 met inclusion criteria and were reviewed. Findings suggest that research on psychological stress in adolescence is a developing field, but one that is currently dominated by Western studies. Furthermore, the results indicate that stress measurement research with adolescent males tends not to make adaptations relative to participants' gender, age, or context. Conclusions Stress research with adolescent males is lacking in scope. This review highlights the need for researchers to consider stress responses as more than a biological response, as it has been conceptualised historically. Recommendations for researchers to report research design and protocol more clearly are made to support readers to understand how stress and gender have been operationalised and measured and how this may influence research methodology. Future research should avoid conflating biological differences with gendered experience and demonstrate greater sensitivity to how gender identity may intersect with age and location to perpetuate gendered inequalities.
Objective: In most countries, men are at higher risk than women for suicide death. Research focused on masculinity and men's mental health increasingly demonstrates that relationships between gender and various health outcomes, including suicidality, is complex as these relationships can be further explained by certain psychological processes or health behaviors. The objective of this study was to extend this area of research in a national sample of US men (n = 785) by investigating if their adherence to certain hegemonic masculine gender role norms (toughness and self-reliance through mechanical skills) is associated with the suppression of distressing thoughts and if thought suppression then increases their risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Methods: Men in the US who have recently experienced a stressful life event completed an anonymous online survey. Structural Equational Modeling (SEM) was used to test for direct and indirect effects (i.e., mediation) between variables. Results: Men's engagement in thought suppression mediated the relationship between self-reliance and suicidality. The norm of toughness was both directly related to suicidality and mediated by thought suppression. Conclusions: Thought suppression appears to be a process that provides some explanation for the relationships between hegemonic masculine norms and suicidality in men, though this study indicated it may play only a small role. Research continues to build that certain masculine norms, such as self-reliance and toughness, are particularly concerning for men's health.HIGHLIGHTSMen's thought suppression mediates the relationship between self-reliance and suicidalityMen's toughness impacts suicidality both directly and via engagement in thought suppressionThese findings have implications for interventions that help men manage distressing thoughts.
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Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in the United States (1). Suicide is a major contributor to premature mortality as it ranks as the second leading cause of death for ages 10-34 and the fourth leading cause for ages 35-54 (1). Despite national goals to lower the suicide rate (2), several recent reports have documented a steady increase in suicide rates in recent years (3-6). This data brief uses final mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to update trends in suicide rates from 1999 through 2018 and to describe differences by sex, age group, and urbanicity of county of residence.
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PurposeMales feature prominently in suicide statistics, but relatively little work has been done to date to explore whether endorsement of dominant masculinity norms heightens the risk of or is protective against suicidal thinking. This paper aimed to further knowledge in this area. Methods We used baseline data from 13,884 men (aged 18–55) in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men) cohort. These men filled in self-complete questionnaires in 2013/14 which covered a range of topics, including conformity to dominant masculinity norms and suicidal thinking. We conducted logistic regression analyses to estimate the strength of association between these two variables. ResultsAfter controlling for other key predictors of suicidal thinking, one characteristic of dominant masculinity—self-reliance—stood out as a risk factor for suicidal thinking (AOR 1.34; 95% CI 1.26–1.43). Conclusions It suggests that one particular element of dominant masculinity—being self-reliant—may place men at increased risk of suicidal thinking. This finding resonates with current theories of how suicidal thinking develops and leads to action. It also has implications for the full gamut of suicide prevention approaches that target males in clinical settings and in the general population, and for our broader society. Further work is needed, however, to confirm the direction of the relationship between self-reliance and suicidality, and to unpack the means through which self-reliance may exert an influence.
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This study was based on a sample of male high school students who completed National Longitudinal Adolescent Health Surveys in 1994, 1995, and 2001. We studied these students prospectively, comparing those who later died by suicide (n = 21) with those who were still living (n = 10,101). We employed chi-square and analysis of variance tests for statistical significance between suicide decedents and living respondents. Results showed suicide decedents were more likely to have experienced the suicide loss of another family member, to have been expelled from school, to have engaged in more delinquent actions including fighting, and to have greater involvement with the criminal justice system. Although one might have expected suicide casualties to have exhibited a greater amount of suicidal thoughts, attempts, and higher incidences of suicidality among their friends, our analyses did not find that these factors were associated with actual suicides. Should these findings be replicated, this would point to a need to refine youth suicide risk assessments. Collecting life histories, as well as identifying patterns of delinquency and fighting, may serve as more potentially fruitful means for assessing genuine suicide risk than some traditional risk assessment methods.z. © 2015 The American Association of Suicidology.
This article argues that the concept of “hegemonic masculinity” remains highly salient to critical masculinities studies. The author outlines Raewyn Connell's initial formulation of the concept, how that initial model of hegemonic masculinity has been historically misinterpreted, the reformulation of the concept by Connell and Messerschmidt, and the recent scholarly amplification of the concept. The author concludes that Connell’s original emphasis on the legitimation of unequal gender relations remains essential to both the concept and to the field of critical masculinities studies.
Objectives: Traditional masculinity is hypothesized to be associated with suicidal ideation, and traditional masculinity is predicted to interact with stressors, intensifying suicidal ideation. Methods: Cross-sectional and prospective data from a study of 2431 young adults was analyzed using hierarchical regression main effects and interaction models. Results: Traditional masculinity was associated with suicidal ideation, second only in strength to depression, including when controlling for other risk factors. Prospective effects were substantially weaker. There was mixed evidence for traditional masculinity by stress interactions. Conclusion: The results provide preliminary support for the role of traditional masculinity in suicidal ideation, but the relationship should be tested in studies of suicide attempts and mortality. Implications for prevention and intervention are explored.