Masculinity and Masculine Gender Role Stress as Predictors of Trauma Disclosure and PostTraumatic Stress Disorder

Hite, Fran
In order to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, one must experience a potentially traumatic event. However, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. One factor that acts as a buffer to the development of PTSD is discussing the experience with others (family, friends, etc.) This being said, a person who has experienced a trauma may avoid disclosure because of negative expectations. Hypermasculinity is factor that may contribute to a hesitance to disclose. Masculine Gender Role Stress (MGRS) results from the violation of masculine gender norms and is associated with symptom severity as well as maladaptive coping strategies such as avoidance. This study aimed to understand the correlation between masculine gender norms and disclosure expectations following a traumatic event. Specifically, I hypothesized that MGRS would predict hesitance to disclose information pertaining to trauma. Participants were male and female college students who had experienced a potentially traumatic event. These students were offered the opportunity to answer several questionnaires anonymously in an online survey format. These questionnaires assessed for gender roles, MGRS and disclosure expectations as well as PTSD. Preliminary analyses indicated that masculine gender role stress does predict reticence to disclose information about one's traumatic event history.
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