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      The Interdependence of African American Menʼs Definitions of Manhood and Health :

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="P1">In this paper we explore themes that cut across how 24-77 year old African American men define manhood and health. Utilizing a thematic approach, we analyzed data from nine focus groups (N=73). We found that manhood and health were relational constructs that are interrelated in men's minds and experiences. Manhood and health were defined by the characteristics men embody, the behaviors men engage in and the goals and values men had to positively influence their families and communities. Thus, manhood and health are interdependent constructs and their interrelationship should be considered in efforts to promote African American men's health. </p>

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          Most cited references 43

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          Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men's well-being: a theory of gender and health.

           W H Courtenay (2000)
          Men in the United States suffer more severe chronic conditions, have higher death rates for all 15 leading causes of death, and die nearly 7 yr younger than women. Health-related beliefs and behaviours are important contributors to these differences. Men in the United States are more likely than women to adopt beliefs and behaviours that increase their risks, and are less likely to engage in behaviours that are linked with health and longevity. In an attempt to explain these differences, this paper proposes a relational theory of men's health from a social constructionist and feminist perspective. It suggests that health-related beliefs and behaviours, like other social practices that women and men engage in, are a means for demonstrating femininities and masculinities. In examining constructions of masculinity and health within a relational context, this theory proposes that health behaviours are used in daily interactions in the social structuring of gender and power. It further proposes that the social practices that undermine men's health are often signifiers of masculinity and instruments that men use in the negotiation of social power and status. This paper explores how factors such as ethnicity, economic status, educational level, sexual orientation and social context influence the kind of masculinity that men construct and contribute to differential health risks among men in the United States. It also examines how masculinity and health are constructed in relation to femininities and to institutional structures, such as the health care system. Finally, it explores how social and institutional structures help to sustain and reproduce men's health risks and the social construction of men as the stronger sex.
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            The Structure of Male Role Norms

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              The health of men: structured inequalities and opportunities.

              I have summarized in this article data on the magnitude of health challenges faced by men in the United States. Across a broad range of indicators, men report poorer health than women. Although men in all socioeconomic groups are doing poorly in terms of health, some especially high-risk groups include men of low socioeconomic status (SES) of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, low-SES minority men, and middle-class Black men. Multiple factors contribute to the elevated health risks of men. These include economic marginality, adverse working conditions, and gendered coping responses to stress, each of which can lead to high levels of substance use, other health-damaging behaviors, and an aversion to health-protective behaviors. The forces that adversely affect men's health are interrelated, unfold over the life course, and are amenable to change.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Family & Community Health
                Family & Community Health
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0160-6379
                2015
                2015
                : 38
                : 4
                : 284-296
                Article
                10.1097/FCH.0000000000000079
                4547385
                26291189
                © 2015

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