247604 Depression and Masculinity in nonresident African American fathers

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:00 PM

Jamine Darrington Ward, MPH , Human Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Marietta, GA
Cleopatra Caldwell, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Chloe Gurin-Sands , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Kathryn Blake , Christian Methodist Episcopal, Christian Methodist Episcopal, Flint, MI
Using the African American masculinity framework proposed by Hammond and Mattis (2005), this presentation explores the relationship between African American non-resident fathers' perceptions of masculinity and levels of depressive symptomatology as measured by the CES-D. This concept of masculinity puts positive family and community interactions at the center of what it means to be a man, while acknowledging that "traditional" definitions of manhood exist. This framework is a reflection of the double consciousness experienced by African American non-resident fathers about what it means to be a man. This re-framing of masculinity is used by some African American non-resident fathers to cope with societal, economic, educational, and structural barriers that impede their achievement of traditional masculinity. Such structural barriers may lead to poor mental health outcomes for African American men generally, and especially fathers who do not live with their children. Depression among non-resident African American fathers may be related to dimensions of masculinity in different ways. We examined these issues with pretest data from 296 Midwestern African American non-resident fathers from the Fathers and Sons Project. Preliminary findings based on multiple regression analyses controlling for demographic factors suggest that traditional masculinity beliefs were associated with increased levels of depressive symptomatology (β = .219, p = .004), while more expressive, family-centered beliefs were associated fewer depressive symptoms (β = -.252, p = .034). Concepts of masculinity explained more variance in depressive symptoms than perceptions of financial strain. These and other findings will be discussed from a mental health perspective.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Participants will: 1)Discuss how different elements of masculinity as defined by African American men can influence depression nonresident African American fathers and their sons. 2)Assess a new understanding of masculinity.

Keywords: African American, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I'm the program manager and a PhD student in Health Behavior/Health Promotion.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.