This study discusses everyday racial discrimination and its association with depressive symptoms among African American men and how masculine role norms, such as “boys don’t cry,” factor in this association.
African American men, ages 18 and older participated in the survey from four U.S. regions gathered from barbershops and academic institutions over a seven-year period (n = 674). Two dimensions of masculine role norms, restrictive emotionality and self-reliance were examined using subscales of the Male Role Norms Inventory and the Masculinity Norms Salience scale. A self-report scale of depressive symptoms and sociodemographic and control variables were also analyzed.
Some limitations to this are notable in that it is plausible “for more depressed individuals to report more discrimination.” Also, this data was not nationally representative and the use of self-reported data may have introduced some bias. Yet this study introduces a unique perspective on depression instigated by racism and masculine role norms encouraging emotional restriction.