An intersectional approach to social determinants of stress for African American men: men's and women's perspectives.

Griffith DM, Ellis KR, Allen JO
Am J Mens Health. 2013 7 (4 Suppl): 19S-30S

PMID: 23462019 · PMCID: PMC6697096 · DOI:10.1177/1557988313480227

Stress is a key factor that helps explain racial and gender differences in health, but few studies have examined gendered stressors that affect men. This study uses an intersectional approach to examine the sources of stress in African American men's lives from the perspectives of African American men and important women in their lives. Phenomenological analysis was used to examine data from 18 exploratory focus groups with 150 African American men, ages 30 years and older, and eight groups with 77 African American women. The two primary sources of stress identified were seeking to fulfill socially and culturally important gender roles and being an African American man in a racially stratified society. A central focus of African American men's daily lives was trying to navigate chronic stressors at home and at work and a lack of time to fulfill roles and responsibilities in different life domains that are traditionally the responsibility of men. Health was rarely mentioned by men as a source of stress, though women noted that men's aging and weathering bodies were a source of stress for men. Because of the intersection of racism and economic and social stressors, men and women reported that the stress that African American men experienced was shaped by the intersection of race, ethnicity, age, marital status, and other factors that combined in unique ways. The intersection of these identities and characteristics led to stressors that were perceived to be of greater quantity and qualitatively different than the stress experienced by men of other races.

MeSH Terms (17)

Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Female Focus Groups Gender Identity Health Status Humans Interpersonal Relations Male Men's Health Middle Aged Perception Socioeconomic Factors Stress, Psychological United States Workplace

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