Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0002-1782-3391

Date of Award

5-15-2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Jeff Ashby, PhD

Second Advisor

Kenneth Rice, PhD

Third Advisor

Catherine Perkins, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Brian Dew, PhD

Abstract

Empirical studies of the well-documented deleterious psychological effects of rigid conformity to traditional masculine norms suggest that many men experience, express and respond to negative affect through a syndrome that combines internalizing depression with externalizing symptoms such as substance use, impulsivity, anger/irritation and risk-taking. These symptoms are not captured by the largely internalizing criteria (e.g. low mood, anhedonia, fatigue) indexed in current depression criteria. Researchers examining men’s externalizing depression have used the Male Depression Risk Scale (MDRS-22; Rice, Fallon, Aucote, & Möller-Leimkühler, 2013), a brief, psychometrically sound self-report instrument, with largely homogeneous Canadian and Australian samples. The current study extends research on men’s externalizing depression to more diverse US populations by evaluating the measurement invariance of the MDRS-22 across Black/African American men (AA) and White/European American men (EA), and applying latent profile similarity analysis (Morin, Meyer, Creusier, & Biétry, 2016) to identify MDRS-22 subpopulations in each sample. Participants were US adult men (AA n = 324, EA n = 319) recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk. Results supported scalar invariance for the MDRS-22 and indicated the existence of three latent MDRS-22 profiles. While most men were characterized as asymptomatic, two additional profiles, an elevated mixed internalizing/externalizing pattern and a high externalizing pattern were also noted in both groups. EA men were differentiated only by high drug use scores, with the remainder of their externalizing symptoms following a pattern that more resembled the mixed elevated subgroup. High-profile AA men exhibited a range of heightened externalizing symptoms. Results suggest that AA and EA men experience, express and respond to elevated levels of depression in heterogenous ways.

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