Online Program

Masculine roles of family provider and protector may interact with work, stress, and coping among immigrant Latino men

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jason D. Daniel-Ulloa, PhD, MPH, College of Public Health, Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Christina J. Sun, PhD, MS, School of Community Health, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Mario Downs, Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Over the past 20 years, the southern US has experienced a rapid influx of immigrant Latinos. These areas, known as new destination communities, are more likely to be rural and lack established Latino networks. Little is known about how living and working in these communities influence Latino men's mental health. We explored immigrant Latino men’s perceptions and experiences related to family, immigration, and work.

We conducted semi-structured, individual in-depth interviews with 20 immigrant Latino men in North Carolina, a state with one of the fastest-growing Latino communities in the US. The interviews explored perceived health, concerns about family-, immigration-, and work-related stressors, and coping strategies. Two independent raters coded each interview using constant comparison, an approach to grounded theory development. Consensus was reached on codes and themes.

Average age of participants was 32.4 years, and all immigrated to the US from Mexico between 15-25 years old. Common stresses identified included those related to threats to their ability to engage in gender-specific role behaviors related to providing food, housing, and safety for their families. Positive coping strategies included family interactions, music, and exercise. However, participants reported that some immigrant Latino men use alcohol to cope, sometimes resulting in job loss, injury, and/or economic failure.

Much of the literature related to masculinity focuses on traditional masculinity as increasing risk; however, this study explored positive masculine roles (caballerismo vs. machismo). Participants emphasized the roles of family provider and protector and their interaction with health behaviors. More in-depth research needs to be conducted; however, mental health providers, other providers, and researchers should consider the role of positive coping techniques and leverage prosocial aspects of masculinity to promote healthy behaviors among men.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss differences between machismo and caballerismo Discuss how some positive masculine roles could be impacting health decisions for Latino men

Keyword(s): Men’s Health, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I originally designed and analyzed this data. I have an MPH and PhD in Health, have published in men's health research and reviewed numoerous articles related to men's health
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.