Date of Award

5-13-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Andrea L. Dixon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Catherine Y. Chang, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gregory L. Brack, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Brian J. Dew, Ph.D.

Abstract

Normative Male Alexithymia (NMA; Levant 1992) and Gender Role Conflict (GRC; O’Neil, 2008) have emerged in the literature as empirically supported masculinity-based constructs that could be possible predictors of men’s psychological well-being. Moreover, several researchers examined the impact of masculinity in the contexts of men’s romantic relationships. Yet, there exists a paucity of research that investigates the intersection of the GRC, NMA, and men’s friendships, and psychological well-being of men. The purpose of this study was to examine the triadic relationship of GRC, NMA, and men’s friendships with other men; and the impact of this triadic relationship on men’s psychological well-being. The researcher collected survey data from 216 participants who identified as male. Data collection included responses to demographic questionnaires, Normative Male Alexithymia Scale (NMAS; Levant et al., 2006), Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS; O'Neil et al, 1986), Network of Relationships Questionnaire- Relationship Qualities Version (NRI-RQV; Buhrmester, 1992; Buhrmester & Furman, 2008), and the scales of Psychological Well-Being (SPWB; Ryff, 1989). Bivariate correlations revealed significant correlations among all four variables. NMAS scores yielded a small positive correlation (Cohen, 1988) with the NRI-RQV discordant scales scores (r = .202, p < .01), and a moderate negative correlation (Cohen, 1988) with the total full scale scores of PWB (r = -.427, p < .01). NRI-RQV discordant had a strong negative correlation (Cohen, 1988) with total scores of PWB (r = -.517, n = 216, p < .01). GRCS had a small negative correlation (Cohen, 1988) with the total scores of PWB full scales (r = -.166, n = 216, p < .05). The moderation analysis indicated that GRC significantly moderated the effect of NMA on men’s PWB scores (∆R² = .073, F (1,212) = 20.795, p < .001). High levels of NMA and friendship discords factored in as the best predictor of men’s PWB, and accounted for the 37% variation in overall PWB scores with an effect size of f² = .60. Clinical implications for mental health counselors are discussed based on the study’s results; limitations of the study and future directions are provided.

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