Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the Encyclopedia of Social Work, accessed online. (c) National Association of Social Workers and Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the applicable license agreement governing use of the Encyclopedia of Social Work accessed online, an authorized individual user may print out a PDF of a single article for personal use, only (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 September 2020

Men: Overview

Abstract and Keywords

Growing up a male comes with challenges that can influence the quality and length of one's life. Attention is directed to gender role socialization that can result in gender-related physical, social, and mental health problems that can be exacerbated by poverty, ethnicity, advanced age, and minority group background. Understanding how men can cope with their problems, as well as reasons for their failure to utilize community resources, should be of concern to social workers. A balanced approach in the portrayal of men, and the creation of effective interventions that reach and assist men, seem consistent with social work values.

Keywords: intimate violence, minority group males, male coping strategies, fathers

Masculinity

Gender Role Identity

Levant et al. (2003) suggest that a gender role identity paradigm, whereby gender roles are seen to develop as a result of the psychological need to have a sex-appropriate gender role identity, fails to account for the formation of gender roles. Rather, there is a newer psychological approach that emphasizes a gender role strain paradigm—a social constructionist perspective—to explain gender role formation. In this view, “prevailing gender ideologies, which vary according to psychological, historical, and political contexts, serve to influence parents, teachers, and peers, who, in turn, socialize children according to the prevailing gender role ideologies” (Levant et al., p. 91). Generally, traditional gender role socialization emphasizes patriarchal norms requiring males to adopt dominant and aggressive behaviors and to function in the public sphere (Levant, 1996). Given a social constructionist perspective, there is no constant standard for masculinity; rather, “there are ‘masculinities' that vary according to the social context” (Levant et al., p. 92).

Burns and Ward (2005), discussing men's conformity to traditional masculinity, indicate that male gender norms are learned via socialization. Three such sets of norms, according to Thompson and Pleck (1986), include toughness, success-status, and antifeminity. Mahalik, Good, and Carlson (2003) have discussed different forms of culturally derived “masculine scripts” that are instilled in early ages and carried out over the majority of a lifetime. Each ideology has adverse physical, psychological, and social consequences that present particular challenges for social workers. Pleck, Sonenstein, and Ku (1993) found that the endorsement of traditional masculinity was characteristic of those who were younger, single, African American, and with lower levels of educational expectations, greater church participation, and living in the South. Thus, the development of traditional masculinities includes considerations of age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic background, among others.

Should men violate gender role norms: a “discrepancy strain” may result in problematic or risky behaviors and/or health problems. Levant (1996) has suggested that males conforming to traditional male norms have difficulties with emotional self-awareness, empathy, and expressivity, adversely affecting emotional functioning and resulting in alexithymia (the inability to verbalize feelings). Levant et al. (2003) reviewed studies supporting a conclusion that differences in the ability to express emotions and feelings between males and females evolve from young age as a result of the socialization process. From an applied perspective, traditional gender role socialization “embedded in a culture's child rearing practices and prevailing norms concerning gendered behavior” (Cochran, 2005, p. 649) can lead to a reluctance to seek help from health and social service professionals. The socialization of males also leads to difficulties in the self-identification of problems and the communication of emotional feelings to others (including those from informal or formal support systems).

Early Challenges Facing Males

Becoming and being a man is not as easy today as it had been in the past when traditional gender role norms and expectations were less complex. In the past, males were raised to be self-reliant, tough, aggressive, and stoic. The norm was that “big boys don't cry,” and in certain cultures and social classes, such norms were strongly supported by family members and the community. Pollack (2001) has written about pressures on boys to conform to masculine expectations, despite confusion and fears, so as to prevent their shame, embarrassment, and ostracism. This may be especially true for young minority group males (often from impoverished backgrounds) who have higher school dropout rates and are overrepresented in prisons, detention centers, in probation and parole systems, and are more likely to face violent death (Cose, 1995). The remnants of early gender role socialization can adversely affect male college students as well. Kimmel (2004) suggests that there is a “crisis” concerning men in higher education. “A dramatic decline in enrollments relative to women; an equally dramatic convergence in test scores, especially in the sciences; and the daily barrage of accounts of sexual assault, harassment, violence, and other behavioral problems add to an apparently serious social problem” (p. 97) for younger men in particular.

Problems and Issues

Health

Courtenay (2003) pointed out that for all 15 leading causes of death (except Alzheimer's disease), in every age group, men and boys have higher death rates than women and girls. Men are more likely than women to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, 7 of the top 10 infectious diseases, and death from cancer. Men, more so than women, meet the criteria for psychiatric diagnoses. Men also have higher rates of substance-related disorders, sexual disorders, and are at greater risk for schizophrenia, and their suicide rate is 4–12 times higher than for females (Courtenay, 2003). So, too, men have been found to have memory loss, sexually transmitted diseases, and physiological challenges to their immune functioning (Adler, Patterson, & Grant 2002).

Being male results in particular health concerns and problems due to aging. Prostate and testicular cancers, as well as nongender specific types, have reached epidemic proportions for males. One of five men develops prostate cancer and, at age 75, men are dying at twice the rate as that of women. The cancer death rate for African American men is twice that for Caucasian men (Men's Health Network, 2000). In facing nongender specific problems, there are differences in men's responses to the problem as well as in their help-seeking behavior. For example, Lund (2001) has edited a book, Men Coping with Grief, which discusses social losses, past abuse, and aging, as well as interventions for grieving men.

The results of some of men's problems do not surface for many years. Military combat veterans may become victims of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) decades after the event (Aging Today, 1991–1992). There has been attention given to men who have been victims of early forms of violence either experienced or observed. Lisak (2001) has identified such “trauma” to include not only combat, but also having been sexually abused in childhood, witnessing parental violence, or having been exposed to physical aggression and abuse. Events associated with the aging process (for example, retirement, bereavement) can lead to delayed PTSD.

Losses and Vulnerability

Whether related to coping or life style, males have been found more likely than females to be victimized and murdered, to complete suicide attempts, to become substance abusers, to be homeless, to be victims of work-related injuries and illness, to suffer heart attacks, and to have fatal car accidents (Farrell, 1993). While males are commonly discussed as family abusers, they can also be the victims of domestic abuse. Dutton and Nicholls (2005) have explored abuse of men by women in intimate relations. Langhinrichsen-Rohling and Vivian (1994) found that 61% of the husbands and 64% of the wives were classified as aggressive; 36% of husbands and 53% of the wives were classified as severely aggressive. O'Leary et al. (1989) found that, of 272 couples planning to marry, 44% of women compared with 31% of men had been physically violent toward their partners. After assessing several large-scale studies, Kessler, Molnar, Feurer, and Appelbaum (2001) concluded that female violence rates are as high as, or higher, than male violence rates in intimate relationships. Decades ago, Steinmetz (1977–1978) wrote of the “The Battered Husband Syndrome” and, more recently, Pritchard (2001) has written about the abuse of husbands and Nicolls and Dutton (2001) have discussed the abuse of male intimates by women. Similar to heterosexual violence, violence against homosexuals can be perpetuated by domestic partners, as well as others. In seeking companionship, lonely men may become high risk for physical or financial victimization (Kosberg, 1998).

Men who face major disruptions to their lives from the loss of a wife or a significant other (that is, divorce, institutionalization, death) can be especially vulnerable. Some men are without necessary skills to manage their own domestic affairs (that is, cooking, shopping) or to continue social relationships. For many men, the spouse had also been a “confidant,” or best friend, compounding the loss. There can be many consequences of such losses for men that include problematic bereavement, physical and mental health problems, and premature death (McIntosh, Pearson, & Lebowitz 1997). For men socialized to be self-sufficient and strong, some life changes adversely affect their self-concepts. These changes can include losses of physical functioning, employment, or independence that lead to loss of role and status. For example, the aging process can adversely affect some men's sexual performance that impacts their self-concepts (and possibly also their spouses or partners).

Caregiving

Although traditionally a female role, increasing attention has been given to males as family caregivers and increasingly males are taking on responsibilities for spouses, children, challenged relatives, or dependent elderly parents (Kramer & Thompson 2002). It is no longer uncommon to hear of men staying at home to raise their children, especially if the wife is the major wage earner for the family. Some husbands provide care to ill wives or children. Older husbands provide long-term care to their wives, and sons provide care to their siblings or mothers who suffer from physical, mental health, or cognitive problems (Harris, 2002). In addition, some grandfathers are actively involved in assisting their wives in raising grandchildren (Bullock, 2005). There is evidence that male caregivers (that is, husbands, sons) experience similar levels of burden and depression as found for females; yet, these males are less likely to admit their problems and seek assistance (Yee & Schulz 2000). Older fathers who take on new or additional caregiving responsibilities for specially challenged adult children, when wives become incapacitated or die, have been found to have similar low levels of morale, depressive symptoms, and subjective burdens as caregiving mothers (Essex, Seltzer, & Krauss 2002).

Men of Color

Length and Quality of Life

There are special problems facing minority group males, both native and foreign born. Such groups of men are often raised in traditional cultures where male dominance in the family is normative (for example, Hispanic, African American, Native American). The nature of one's upbringing has profound implications on the quality and length of one's life. Consider the fact that most of those in prisons, detention centers, and in probation and parole systems are male, poor, illiterate, and people of color; about 50% are African Americans, 15–20% are Latino, and 1% (a disproportionate percentage) are Native Americans (Kupers, 2001). Minority group males may be high risk for other adversities such as prostate cancer, diabetes, violence, and homelessness (Davis, 1999). The introductory chapter of the book Social Work Practice with African American Males, by Rasheed and Rasheed (1999), presents a summary of social statistics that begs for professional and societal concern and action, and Allen-Meares and Burman (1995) have appealed for widespread social work action on behalf of “endangered” African American men. Yet, Kosberg (2005) has suggested that problems faced by males from minority group backgrounds “are not necessarily a result of one's race or ethnicity, but rather are due to poverty, discrimination, and societal inequalities in educational, social, and health care systems” (pp. 17–18).

There are differences in health and longevity between and within racial and ethnic groups of men and women. For example, African American men die seven years younger than European American men (DHHS, 2000). Unintentional injuries are the second cause of death for Native American men, surpassing cancer, which is the second leading cause of death among non-Native American men (Collins, Hall, & Neuhaus 1999). The death rate for HIV is highest for African Americans and Latinos—it is the third and fourth leading killer, respectively, of these men. African American men are nearly six times more likely than European American men to die from AIDS. Similarly, homicide ranks among the five leading causes of death only for Latino and African American men—not for men of other ethnic groups. Compared to European American men, African American men experience earlier onset of heart disease, more severe heart disease, and higher rates of complications due to heart disease—which is the leading cause of death for men (Barnett et al., 2001).

Utilization of Physical and Mental Health Services

Health care usage is also related to ethnicity, and Courtenay (2002) points out that Latino and African American men are significantly less likely than European American men to see a physician regularly. Ethnicity is also associated with a patient's treatment, patient satisfaction, and use of health care resources. For example, Borowsky et al. (2000) found that mental health clinicians are less likely to correctly diagnose mental health problems of African Americans and Latinos. Blendon, Aiken, Freeman, and Corey (1989) found African Americans to be more dissatisfied with their care by doctors and in hospitals than were European Americans. Williams (2003) concluded that minority men and women, compared with Whites, receive less intensive and poorer-quality medical care for a broad range of medical conditions. Within ethnic groups, Courtenay (2002) suggests that males utilize services significantly less often than do females. Indeed, Solis, Marks, Garcia, and Shelton (1990) found that twice as many Mexican American men as Mexican American women report having no regular place to get health care and 1.5 times more women than men report having had a routine physical examination within the previous two years.

Heterogeneity of Minority Group Males

Writing about interventions with males from minority groups, Brooks and Good (2001) have emphasized the need for sensitivity to their special backgrounds that have influenced their socialization process; such things as racism, poverty, and social pressures. Caldwell and White (2001) caution against generalizations that fail to acknowledge differences in the backgrounds and experiences of African American men by socioeconomic status and geographic locations. In a study of the meaning of manhood to African America men, Hammond and Mattis (2005) found that these men perceived responsibility-accountability to be the most endorsed category; yet, they emphasized that their participants came from relatively affluent backgrounds. In discussing Hispanic males, Casas, Turner, and Ruiz de Esparza (2001) refer to the machismo upbringing of these males and the need to provide them with both culturally and gender-sensitive attention that takes into account their heterogeneity. Sue (2001) believes that Asian American males conform to different male standards (such as deference and respect); yet, it is necessary to also consider the specific cultural backgrounds of these men and their degree of acculturation. As heterogeneity exists within all ethnic and racial groups, the need for cultural sensitivity includes the consideration of gender as well as cultural background.

Coping Mechanisms

Strategies

Men are more likely to utilize stress-reducing strategies, whereas women are more likely to have psychological attributes that help them reduce their life stresses. Faced with normal life span and gender-specific challenges, men can respond in both constructive and destructive ways. Some will seek to understand the problem and engage in problem solving leading to constructive and realistic changes in personal expectations and behavior. Personal strategies will be facilitated by the existence, and use, of supportive informal support systems (Hatch, 2000). In a study of university students, Day and Livingstone (2003) found men were less likely to interpret scenarios to be stressful than did women, but also they were less likely to turn to their partner or friends to seek emotional support. Courtenay (2003) indicates that “Men and boys … have fewer, less intimate friendships, and they are less likely to have a close confidant, particularly someone other than a spouse” (p. 5).

Maladaptive Coping

Faced with problems, some men either engage in dangerous efforts to deny problems or engage in coping mechanisms that exacerbate their situations. Men are more likely than women to use avoidant coping strategies such as denial, distraction, and increased alcohol consumption, and are less likely to acknowledge their need for assistance (Courtenay, 2003). In addition, Courtenay concludes from his review of research and practice findings that faced with stress, men have greater cardiovascular reactivity, and higher levels of anxiety, depression, psychological stress, and maladaptive coping patterns. While excessive substance use might be normal for some men, others might increase, or begin, the use of such substances to deal with their problems. Some men might turn to violence as the way by which they deal with their problems or as a way by which to reassert their masculinity to themselves and others. It is possible that such violence might be targeted on those who are perceived to be the cause of their problems or those who are vulnerable to be treated as a scapegoat (that is, a wife, child, or elderly parent).

Although it is popularly believed that men are less likely to experience mental health problems, there is reason to question such assumptions. For example, it is possible that a portion of men who are seen in substance abuse treatment settings have received a “substance abuse” primary diagnosis when, in fact, they turned to substances as a coping mechanism for emotional problems. Depression might result in a man's suicide (McIntosh, Pearson, & Lebowitz 1997), and surveys that seek mental health differences between men and women will obviously exclude men who have committed suicide. Also, the fact that men are likely to deny the existence of emotional problems, or fail to seek and use available mental health resources, leads to the underreporting of their mental health problems. The U.S. government, realizing that some men believe that “real men do not admit problems or seek help,” has published literature (NIMH, 2003) that describes depression for men, provides hotline phone numbers and information on available resources, and includes statements from men in different walks of life who were depressed and successfully sought needed interventions.

Social Work Perspectives

Portrayal of Men

Given the fact that most of the social work professionals are women and more women than men use social services, it is not surprising that attention to the needs of males in the field of social work can be characterized as either “limited” or “biased” (Kosberg, 2002), with the exception of attention to veterans or gays. Generally, the majority of attention to males has been limited to those who are delinquent, deviant, absent fathers, or abusers. Such a biased portrayal of men precludes a more balanced perspective that is commonly used for other groups. Further, there appears to be a propensity in social work literature and curriculum to use gender as a euphemism for “female issues,” rather than to provide a discussion of both males and females. Limiting attention to a biased sample of males sends a distorted message to social work students and to social work practitioners. There seems too little attention is being given to males who are undergoing personal or interpersonal challenges that result from life course transitions, such as marriage or divorce, parenthood, employment or unemployment, aging and retirement, illness and disability, caregiving and dependency, and losses and deaths, among other life events.

The inclusion of men in social work literature seems reserved for those who are in treatment programs and those incarcerated, hospitalized, or institutionalized. Books that have been written or edited by social workers that provide a balanced treatment of men generally come from countries other than the United States. Examples include Working with Men in the Human Services (Pease & Camilleri 2001), Understanding Gender and Culture in the Helping Process (Rabin, 2005), and Men and Social Work: Theories and Practices (Christie, 2001). In the United States, Glicken (2005), a social worker, has recently published Working with Troubled Men, and Moore and Stratton (the latter being a social worker) authored a book on Resilient Widowers in 2002.

Taking fatherhood as an example, Strug and Wilmore-Schaeffer (2003) have written about the lack of attention to fathers in social work literature and that professionals need more information on fathers so as to better assist them. Greif and Greif (1997) ask “Where are the fathers in social work literature?” and yet found, from their comparison of discussions of fathers in professional literature seven years apart, that they were less likely to be discussed as perpetrators of abuse, missing from the family, and embattled single fathers raising their children alone. However, the authors do conclude that fathers who are gay or who are married continue to be ignored in the literature.

A growing literature focuses on the rights and responsibilities of unwed fathers (Laakso & Adams 2006; Carlson & McLanahan, 2004). British social worker Brid Featherstone (2003) writes that fathers are still often depicted in child welfare as potential threats rather than resources for their children. The biased or limited attention to normative life cycle challenges for men—such as fatherhood—can lead to a false conclusion that they and their problems are not worthy of professional attention or that they are always the source of problems for others.

Help-Seeking Behavior

Social workers should be aware of the reasons why men underutilize community resources (Cochran, 2005). They are less likely to admit having problems, engage in help-seeking behavior, participate in certain forms of therapies, and remain in treatment as a result of their self-perceptions, how they believe others see them, and the characteristics of community resources that include female staff and clients or patients in such settings (Addis & Mahalik 2003). In a study of men in Florida, Berger, Levant, McMillan, Kelleher, and Sellers (2005) found that the desire to seek needed help was inversely related to their adherence to traditional masculine ideology. Addis and Mahalik explain that the differences in professional help seeking between men and women results from men's gender-role socialization and the masculine ideology emphasizing self-reliance, toughness, and emotional control. The authors identify different methods by which innovative interventions can be developed to encourage help-seeking behavior by men.

Barriers to Service Use

A number of organizational barriers to the use of needed community resources by men have been identified. Tudiver and Talbot (1999) have discussed barriers for men in medical settings to include long waiting periods, limited hours of operation, and the need to publicly disclose the reason for the visit to a receptionist or assistant. Xu and Borders (2003) found that “waiting times of 30 minutes or longer in a physician's office sharply reduced the likelihood of a man's having visited a doctor” (p. 1077), causing Kosberg (2005) to reply: “There is no reason to believe that this would not be true in an office of a psychologist, social worker, or nurse” (p. 23). A report published by the International Longevity Center (2004) indicated that the accoutrements in clinical settings (such as magazines, artwork, and furniture) make a man feel welcome or not.

Men's under-utilization of community resources, especially in the mental health field, has led to efforts to better understand why this occurs. Cochran (2005) has discussed the need for evidence-based assessments of men that include attention to their gender role socialization that influences their help-seeking behavior and their reactions to therapeutic interventions that conflict with their values and preferences. Focusing on the under-utilization of needed community resources by men, Rochlen and Hoyer (2005) have discussed the need for “social marketing” of mental health resources that is based upon attention to the congruity between the characteristics of resources and male perceptions of normative roles and values. Thus, there is a need to consider the “goodness of fit” between characteristics of community resources and the needs and expectations of men. Rochlen and Hoyer point out that researchers must accurately measure and communicate the unique perspectives of men, but “it will be equally critical that mental health providers monitor their own biases toward and preconceptions about men” (2005, p. 682).

Professional Discrimination

Indeed, there may be biases against male clients and patients by those in helping professions, including medicine, social work, and psychology. Such possible sexism (against males) can well be exacerbated by the existence of ageism (against older men) or racism (against minority group men). Elderkin-Thompson and Waitzkin (1999) have identified gender biases in medical care that adversely impact both men and women. Focusing upon male patients, Williams (2003) reports that men coming to emergency rooms with depressive symptoms (seen to be inconsistent with gender norms) are more likely to be hospitalized and that men with antisocial behavior or substance abuse problems are less likely to be hospitalized. Williams also found that health care providers spend less time with men, provide them with fewer services and less health information, less advice, and are less likely to talk about the need to change behaviors to improve health. Unknown is whether or not such gender-associated discrepancies also exist within the social service sector.

Wisch and Mahalik (1999) discuss the possibility of bias against male clients and patients by male professionals, and suggest that a male therapist's diagnosis and prognosis are related to his empathy and comfort with a male client. This, in turn, is related to the client's sexual orientation and emotional expressiveness and the therapist's own gender role conflict. Brooks (1998) has discussed the nuances of both female and male therapists with men, concluding that both need empathy and a sense of responsibility and commitment. Johnson (2001) has written about female therapists with male clients; Scher (2001) has discussed male therapists with male clients. It has been found that female physicians give more time to a patient and engage in more positive discussions, partnership-building, question-asking, and information giving (Roter, Lipkin, & Korsgaard 1991). Such “patient-centered” propensities better facilitate a relationship with male patients or clients (especially older ones) who are reluctant to verbalize their health concerns and abide by medical advice. It is believed that social work needs to give more attention to issues raised by those in medicine and psychology.

Contemporary Challenges

Cose (1995) suggests there are reasons for believing that males in contemporary society are “beleaguered” in their efforts to understand their roles in a changing society. Indeed, as a result of the success of the women's movement, American society is moving toward greater gender equity in the home, workplace, political arena, and throughout daily life. While males brought up by “enlightened” parents will embrace gender equity, a culture gap exists between those men with traditional gender role socialization and the values of contemporary society. Such men can include those raised in other countries, where male dominance was the norm; others can include native-born American men raised by traditional male norms. The potential challenges facing such men can be great. In the first instance, traditional men may face “attacks to their masculinity” in ways that challenge their dominance in marriage and the family, their leadership in business and government, and their tendency for “hiding” personal feelings or problems from themselves and others. Wade and Brittan-Powell (2001) found that adherence to a masculine ideology and dependence upon male reference groups related to negative attitudes toward racial diversity and women's equality.

Other challenges facing contemporary men include increases in the average age of marriage for men, the number of divorces, and the number of remarriages, but also the number of men who never marry (Kreider, 2005). Consequences of such trends can lead to potential problems for men and the need for social work interventions. Although the exact numbers are unknown, there would appear to be an increasing number of gay men in heterosexual marriages (Caldwell, 2004; Higgins, 2002). Whether or not they became aware of their homosexuality before or after their marriage, these men (and their wives and children) also can benefit from social work guidance.

Advocacy for the Future

Whereas women have greatly benefited from the successful (and needed) advocacy of feminists (and the “women's movement”), there has not been, until quite recently, such organizational efforts on behalf of men (see Suggested Links). Currently, the majority of such advocacy efforts focus upon men's health, urging men to pay greater attention to unhealthy lifestyles and to seek regular health care check-ups as well as seek professional assistance when a problem occurs. Advocacy efforts are also directed to encourage health care systems to create more responsive and effective services for men.

In nonhealth areas, there are number of men's organizations that champion the rights of fathers and husbands, as well as challenge existing sexism and discriminatory policies. Perhaps the most influential applied organization focusing upon men's issues is the American Psychological Association's Division 51: Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. This 1,000-member division seeks to advance knowledge of the critical issues facing men and improving clinical services for them.

It should be pointed out that the two major social work organizations, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), have been somewhat slow to focus on the problems of males in their organizational structures. NASW does have national committees on women's issues and on lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender issues. The CSWE has commissions on the role and status of women and on sexual orientation and gender expressions (formerly the Commission on Gay Men and Lesbian Women), and CSWE devoted a special section in the Journal of Social Work Education to “The Status of Women in Social Work Education.” There are journals that focus upon women's issues (Affilia, Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, as well as a proposed Journal of Feminist Social Work).

“Social work has been a woman's profession. The vast majority of social workers have been and are women” (Weick, 2000, p. 395). Understandably, NASW effectively advocates for affirmative action for women as a result of past inequalities against them, and current ones as well. Yet, social work efforts to challenge inequalities against women can be accomplished without minimizing attention to men's problems in the classroom, in scholarship, or in professional practice. This would deny those men facing personal problems the benefits of social workers' concern, attention, and skills. Such omission would be unfair and unfortunate. In the name of social justice and professional equity, it is believed that social work attention to the needs of men should be no more, but certainly no less, than for the needs of women.

There are many potential challenges faced by men in contemporary American society and, thus, there is a need for social workers to have the necessary understanding, skills, and commitments for working with and for men in an effective and sympathetic manner. The result should lead to efforts that more effectively reach and serve men. In doing this, the profession will not only better assist men facing challenges in their daily lives, but will also help their spouses, partners, families, and others in society.

References

Addis, M. E., & Mahalik, J. R. (2003). Men, masculinity, and the contexts of help seeking. American Psychologist, 58(1), 5–14.Find this resource:

Adler, K. A., Patterson, T. L., & Grant, I. (2002). Physiological challenges associated with caregiving among men. In B. J. Kramer & E. H. Thompson, Jr. (Eds.), Men as caregivers: Theory, research, & service implications (pp. 127–150). New York: Springer Publishing Company.Find this resource:

Aging Today. (1991/1992, 8 December/January). Research highlights: Older men.Find this resource:

Allen-Meares, P., & Burman, S. (1995). The endangerment of African American men: An appeal for social work action. Social Work, 40(2), 268–274.Find this resource:

Barnett, E., Casper, M. L., Halverson, J. A., Elmes, G. A., Braham, V. E., Majeed, Z. A., et al. (2001). Men and heart disease: An atlas of racial and ethnic disparities in mortality (1st ed.). Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, Office for Social Environment and Health Research.Find this resource:

Berger, J. M., Levant, R., McMillan, K. K., Kelleher, W., & Sellers, A. (2005). Impact of gender role conflict, traditional masculinity ideology, Alexithymia, and age on men's attitudes toward psychological help seeking. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 6(1), 73–78.Find this resource:

Blendon, R. J., Aiken, L. H., Freeman, H. E., & Corey, C. R. (1989). Access to medical care for Black and White Americans: A matter of continuing concern. Journal of the American Medical Association, 261(2), 278–281.Find this resource:

Borowsky, S. J., Rubenstein, L. V., Meredith, L. S., Camp, P., Jackson-Triche, M., & Wells, K. B. (2000). Who is at risk of non-detection of mental health problems in primary care? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 15(6), 381–388.Find this resource:

Brooks, G. R. (1998). A new psychotherapy for traditional men. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Brooks, G. R., & Good, G. E. (Eds.). (2001). The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men: A comprehensive guide to settings, problems, and treatment approaches, Vols. I & II. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Bullock, K. (2005). Grandfathers and the impact of raising grandchildren. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 32(1), 43–59.Find this resource:

Burns, S. M., & Ward, A. Z. (2005). Men's conformity to traditional masculinity and relationship satisfaction. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 6(4), 254–263.Find this resource:

Caldwell, J. (2004). Gay men: Straight lives. Advocate, 924, 55–57.Find this resource:

Caldwell, L. D., & White, J. L. (2001). African-centered therapeutic and counseling interventions for African American males. In G. R. Brooks & G. E. Good (Eds.), The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men: A comprehensive guide to settings, problems, and treatment approaches (Vol. 2, pp. 737–753). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Carlson, M., & McLanahan, S. (2004). Involvement by young, unmarried fathers before and after their baby's birth. The Prevention Researcher, 11, 14–17.Find this resource:

Casas, J. M., Turner, J. A., & Ruiz de Esparza, C. A. (2001). Machismo revisited in a time of crisis: Implications for understanding and counseling Hispanic men. In G. R. Brooks & G. E. Good (Eds.), The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men: A comprehensive guide to settings, problems, and treatment approaches (Vol. 2, pp. 754–779). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Christie, A. (Ed.). (2001). Men and social work: Theories and practices. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave.Find this resource:

Cochran, S. V. (2005). Evidence-based assessment with men. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(6), 649–660.Find this resource:

Collins, K. S., Hall, A., & Neuhaus, C. (1999). U.S. minority health: A chartbook. New York: The Commonwealth Fund.Find this resource:

Cose, E. (1995). A man's world: How real is male privilege—How high is the price? New York: HarperCollins.Find this resource:

Courtenay, W. H. (2002). A global perspective on the field of men's health. International Journal of Men's Health, 1, 1–13.Find this resource:

Courtenay, W. H. (2003). Key determinants of the health and well-being of men and boys. International Journal of Men's Health, 2(1), 1–30.Find this resource:

Davis, L. E. (Ed.). (1999). Working with African American males. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Find this resource:

Day, A. L., & Livingstone, H. A. (2003). Gender differences in perceptions of stressors and utilization of social support among university students. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 35(2), 73–83.Find this resource:

Department of Health and Human Services. (2000). Deaths: Final data for 1998 (DHHS Publication No. [PHS] 2000–1120). National Vital Statistics Reports, 48(11). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Find this resource:

Dutton, D. G., & Nicholls, T. L. (2005). The gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part 1—The conflict of theory and data. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 10, 680–714.Find this resource:

Elderkin-Thompson, V., & Waitzkin, H. (1999). Differences in clinical communication by gender. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 14, 112–121.Find this resource:

Essex, E. L., Seltzer, M. M., & Krauss, M. W. (2002). Fathers as caregivers for adult children with mental retardation. In B. J. Kramer & E. H. Thompson, Jr. (Eds.), Men as caregivers: Theory, research, and service implications (pp. 250–268). New York: Springer Publishing Company.Find this resource:

Farrell, W. (1993). The myth of male power. New York: Berkley Books.Find this resource:

Featherstone, B. (2003). Taking fathers seriously. British Journal of Social Work, 33, 239–254.Find this resource:

Glicken, M. D. (2005). Working with troubled men: A contemporary practitioner's guide. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.Find this resource:

Greif, G. L., & J. L. Greif (1997). Where are the fathers in social work literature? Revisiting the question. Families in Society, 78(4), 433–435.Find this resource:

Hammond, W. P., & Mattis, J. S. (2005). Being a man about it: Manhood meaning among African American men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 6(2), 114–126.Find this resource:

Harris, P. B. (2002). The voices of husbands and sons caring for a family member with dementia. In B. J. Kramer & E. H. Thompson Jr. (Eds.), Men as caregivers: Theory, research, and service implications (pp. 213–233). New York: Springer Publishing Company.Find this resource:

Hatch, L. R. (2000). Beyond gender differences: Adaptation to aging in life course perspective. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.Find this resource:

Higgins, D. J. (2002). Gay men from heterosexual marriages: Attitudes, behaviors, childhood experiences, and reasons for marriage. Journal of Homosexuality, 42(4), 15–34.Find this resource:

International Longevity Center-USA. (2004). Promoting men's health: Addressing barriers to healthy lifestyle & preventive health care. New York: ILC-USA.Find this resource:

Johnson, N. G. (2001). Women helping men: Strengths of and barriers to women therapists working with men clients. In G. R. Brooks & G. E. Good (Eds.), The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men: A comprehensive guide to settings, problems, and treatment approaches (Vol. 2, pp. 696–718). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Kessler, R. C., Molnar, I. E., Feurer, I. D., & Appelbaum, M. (2001). Patterns and mental health predictors of domestic violence in the United States: Results from the National comorbidity survey. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 24, 487–508.Find this resource:

Kimmel, M. (2004). Afterword. In G. E. Kellom (Ed.), Developing effective programs and services for college men (pp. 97–100). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Kosberg, J. I. (1998). The abuse of elderly men. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 9(3), 69–88.Find this resource:

Kosberg, J. I. (2002). Heterosexual males: A group forgotten by the profession of social work. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 23(3), 51–70.Find this resource:

Kosberg, J. I. (2005). Meeting the needs of older men: Challenges for those in helping professions. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 32(1), 9–31.Find this resource:

Kramer, B. J., & Thompson, E. H., Jr. (Eds.). (2002). Men as caregivers: Theory, research, & service implications. New York: Springer Publishing Company.Find this resource:

Kreider, R. M. (2005). Number, timing, and duration of marriages and divorces: 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau.Find this resource:

Kupers, T. A. (2001), Psychotherapy with men in prisons. In G. R. Brooks & G. E. Good (Eds.), The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men: A comprehensive guide to settings, problems, and treatment approaches (Vol. 1, pp. 170–184). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Laakso, J., & Adams, S. (2006). Non-custodial fathers' involvement with their children: A right or privilege? Families in Society, 87, 85–93.Find this resource:

Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., & Vivian, D. (1994). The correlated of spouses'incongruent reports of marital aggression. Journal of Family Violence, 9, 265–283.Find this resource:

Levant, R. F. (1996). The new psychology of men. Professional Psychology, 27, 259–265.Find this resource:

Levant, R. F., Richmond, K., Majors, R. G., Enclan, J. E., Rossello, J. M., et al. (2003). A multicultural investigation of masculinity ideology and Alexithymia. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 4(2), 91–99.Find this resource:

Lisak, D. (2001). Male survivors of trauma. In G. R. Brooks & G. E. Good (Eds.), The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men (Vol. 1, pp. 263–277). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Lund, D. A. (Ed.). (2001). Men coping with grief. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.Find this resource:

Mahalik, J. R., Good, G. E., & Carlson, M. (2003). Masculinity, scripts, presenting concerns, and help seeking: Implications for practice and training. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34(2), 123–131.Find this resource:

McIntosh, J. L., Pearson, J. L., & Lebowitz, B. D. (1997). Mental disorders of elderly men. In J. I. Kosberg & L. W. Kaye (Eds.), Elderly men: Special problems & professional responsibilities (pp. 193–215). New York: Springer.Find this resource:

Men's Health Network (Online). (2000). Retrieved June 16, 2006, from http://www.menshealthnetworknet.org.

Moore, A. J., & Stratton, D. C. (2002). Resilient widowers: Older men speak for themselves. New York: Springer.Find this resource:

National Institute of Mental Health. (2003). Men and depression. National Institute of Health Publication No. 03–4972.Find this resource:

Nicolls, T. L., & Dutton, D. G. (2001). Abuse committed by women against male intimates. In B. J. Brothers (Ed.), The abuse of men: Trauma begets trauma (pp. 41–57). New York: The Haworth Press.Find this resource:

O'Leary, K. D., Barling, J., Arias, I., Rosenbaum, A., Malone, J., & Tyree, A. (1989). Prevalence and stability of physical aggression between spouses: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 57, 263–268.Find this resource:

Pease, B., & Camilleri, P. (Ed.). (2001). Working with men in the human services. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.Find this resource:

Pleck, J. H., Sonenstein, F. L., & Ku, L. C. (1993). Masculinity ideology and its correlates. In S. Oskamp & M. Costanzo (Eds.), Gender issues in social psychology (pp. 85–110). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Find this resource:

Pollack, W. (2001). Inside the world of boys: Behind the mask of masculinity. In T. F. Cohen (Ed.), Men and masculinity (pp. 70–77). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Find this resource:

Pritchard, J. (2001). Male victims of elder abuse: Their experiences and needs. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Find this resource:

Rabin, C. L. (Ed.). (2005). Understanding gender and culture in the helping process: Practitioners' narratives from global perspectives. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Find this resource:

Rasheed, J. M., & Rasheed, M. N. (1999). Social work practice with African American men. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Find this resource:

Rochlen, A. B., & Hoyer, W. D. (2005). Marketing mental health to men: Theoretical and practical considerations. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(6), 675–684.Find this resource:

Roter, D., Lipkin, M., & Korsgaard, A. (1991). Sex differences in patients' and physicians' communication during primary care medical visits. Medical Care, 29(11), 1083–1093.Find this resource:

Scher, M. (2001). Male therapist, male client. In G. R. Brooks & G. E. Good (Eds.), The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men: A comprehensive guide to settings, problems, and treatment approaches (Vol. 2, pp. 719–733). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Solis, J. M., Marks, G., Garcia, M., & Shelton, D. (1990). Acculturation, access to care, and use of preventive services by Hispanics. Findings from HHANES 1982–84. American Journal of Public Health, 80 (Supplement), 11–19.Find this resource:

Steinmetz, S. K. (1977–70). The battered husband syndrome. Victimology, 2, 499.Find this resource:

Strug, D., & Wilmore-Schaeffer (2003). Fathers in the social work literature: Policy and practice implications. Families in Society, 84(4), 503–511.Find this resource:

Sue, D. (2001). Asian American masculinity and therapy: The concept of masculinity in Asian American males. In G. R. Brooks & G. E. Good (Eds.), The new handbook of psychotherapy and counseling with men: A comprehensive guide to settings, problems, and treatment approaches, Vol. 2 (pp. 780–795). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Find this resource:

Thompson, E. H., Jr., & Pleck, J. H. (1986). The structure of male role norms. AmericanBehavioral Scientist, 29, 531–543.Find this resource:

Tudiver, F., & Talbot, Y. (1999). Why don't men seek help? Family physicians' perspectives on help-seeking behavior in men. Journal of Family Practice, 48(1), 47–52.Find this resource:

Wade, J. C., & Brittan-Powell, C. (2001). Men's attitudes toward race and gender equity: The importance of masculinity ideology, gender-related traits, and reference group identify dependence. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 2(1), 42–50.Find this resource:

Weick, A. (2000). Hidden voices. Social Work 45(5), 395–402.Find this resource:

Williams, D. R. (2003). The health of men: Structured inequalities and opportunities. Public Health Matters. American Journal of Public Health, 93(5), 724–731.Find this resource:

Wisch, A. F., & Mahalik, J. R. (1999). Male therapists' clinical bias: Influence of client gender role & therapist gender role conflict. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 46(1), 51–60.Find this resource:

Xu, K. T., & Borders, T. F. (2003). Gender, health, & physician visits among adults in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 93(7), 1076–1078.Find this resource:

Yee. J. L., & Schulz, R. (2000). Gender differences in psychiatric morbidity among family caregivers: A review and analysis. The Gerontologist, 40(2), 147–164.Find this resource:

Further Reading

Abreau, J. M., Goodyear, R. K., Campos, A., & Newcomb, M. D. (2000). Ethnic belonging and traditional masculinity ideology among African Americans, European Americans, and Latinos. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 1, 75–86.Find this resource:

Brothers, B. J. (Ed.). (2001). The abuse of men: Trauma begets trauma. New York: The Haworth Press, Inc.Find this resource:

Curran, L. (2003). Social work and fathers: Child support and fathering programs. Social Work, 48(2), 219–227.Find this resource:

Greif, G. L., & Bailey, C. (1990). Where are the fathers in social work literature? Families in Society, 71, 88–92.Find this resource:

Mansfield, A. K., Addis, M. E., & Courtenay, W. (2005). Measurement of men's help seeking: Development and evaluation of the Barriers to Help Seeking Scale. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 6(2), 95–108.Find this resource:

McCarthy, J., & Holliday, E. L. (2004). Help-seeking and counseling within a traditional male gender role: An examination from a multicultural perspective. Journal of Counseling & Development, 82, 25–30.Find this resource:

Möller-Leimkühler, A. M. (2002). Barriers to help-seeking by men: A review of sociocultural and clinical literature with particular reference to depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 71, 1–9.Find this resource:

Murstein, B. I., & Fontaine, P. A. (1993). The public's knowledge about psychologists and other mental health professionals. American Psychologist, 48, 839–843.Find this resource:

Pleck, J. H. (1981). The myth of masculinity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Find this resource:

Rugel, R. P. (1997). Husband focused marital therapy: An approach to dealing with marital distress. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Find this resource:

Scher, M., Stevens, M., Good, G., & Eichenfield, G. (Eds.). (1987). Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy with men. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Find this resource:

Sommers, C. H. (2000). The war against boys. New York: Touchstone.Find this resource:

American Psychological Association's Division 51: Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. http://www.apa.org/divisions/div51.html

American Men's Studies Association. http://mensstudies.org/

Concerned Black Men's National Organization. http://www.cbmnational.org/

Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Web site on The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.4woman.gov/mens/ devoted to men's health.

Gerontological Society of America's special interest group on “Men's Issues”. ethompson@holycross.edu

International Society for Men's Health & Gender in Vienna, Austria. http://www.ismh.org

Men's Health Initiative, Morehouse University's School of Medicine. http://www.msm.edu/ncpc

Men's Health Network in the U.S. http://www.menshealthnetwork.org

National Institutes of Health, Men's Health Issues section of Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/menshealthissues.html

National Institutes of Health, Men's Health Information. http://health.nih.gov/search.asp/25

National Institute of Mental Health's initiative on men's depression. http://menanddepression.nimh.nih.gov/default.asp

Office of Men's Health. http://www.menshealthoffice.info, which advocates for the creation of such an Office that “mirrors” the existing Office of Women's Health in HHS.

U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census,gov, 2005, American Community Survey.