Men With Serious Injuries: Relations Among Masculinity, Age, and Alcohol Use

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ObjectiveTo increase understanding of masculine role attitudes and conflicts associated with alcohol use among men with serious injuries.Participants and MeasuresFifty-two Midwestern adult men with spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury completed masculine role attitudes and conflicts and alcohol consumption instruments. Age and blood alcohol content at injury were obtained from records.ResultsYounger men reported greater pursuit of status, drive for dominance, and risk taking but less self-reliance and overall masculine role conflict. Earlier age of injury was associated with greater pursuit of status and drive for dominance but less self-reliance, restrictive emotionality, and overall masculine role conflict. Endorsement of dominance correlated positively with number of alcoholic drinks per drinking episode (rs = .43) and binge drinking (rs = .47). Masculine role conflict associated with success, power, and competition correlated with number of drinks per drinking episode (rs = .46).ImplicationsGreater awareness and sensitivity to masculinity-related attitudes and conflicts may (a) reduce psychological barriers to accepting assistance, (b) promote active engagement in rehabilitation activities, (c) avoid counterproductive ambivalence and resistance, and (d) improve the therapeutic working alliance associated with favorable outcomes among men with serious injuries.

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