Incorporating Traditional Masculinity Ideology Into Health Promotion Models: Differences for African American/Black and White Men

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This study examined the inclusion of African American/Black and White men’s endorsement of traditional masculinity ideology into health promotion models addressing behaviors of physical activity, stress management, and health responsibility. Participants’ endorsement of traditional masculinity ideology had significant indirect, but not direct, effects on the performance of the three health behaviors. Self-efficacy, and to a lesser extent, outcome expectations, mediated the effect of the endorsement of traditional masculinity ideology on the health behaviors. Multigroup analysis was used to compare the fit of the models for White (n = 194) and African American/Black (n = 158) men. The physical activity model was not invariant for White and African American/Black men. Relationships between self-efficacy and outcome expectations and health behaviors were significant for both groups, but were stronger for White men. There was a significant indirect effect between endorsement of traditional masculinity and physical activity behaviors via outcome expectations (perceived barriers and benefits) for Black/African American men, but not for White men. We discuss implications of the findings for addressing self-efficacies, outcome expectations, and the positive elements of traditional masculinity ideology as they relate to health behaviors of African American/Black and White men.

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