Men’s Depression: Endorsed Experiences and Expressions

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The current study investigated the subjective expressions of a hypothetical depression experience in a community-based sample of 268 men. Participants were asked to imagine undergoing 1 of 5 difficult life events while completing measures of traditional depression, masculine depression, and conformity to hegemonic masculinity norms. More than 20% of men who would describe themselves as depressed as a result of the potential event failed to meet traditional diagnostic criteria. Of those who denied the possibility of experiencing depression, approximately 70% met traditional criteria for the disorder. In addition, a significant number of men endorsed a unique profile of symptoms not captured by traditional notions of depression (e.g., feeling that one needs to handle problems on one’s own and feeling under constant pressure). Finally, men who adhered to hegemonic masculinity norms were more likely than other men to endorse anger and aggression as aspects of depression. Considerations and implications for future research are discussed.

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