Future GRC Hypotheses and Contextual Research Models

This part of the web page guides future researchers in conceptualizing their research studies using a contextual perspective, specific GRC research questions, and two new research models that depict moderator ad mediator studies.

Seven Contextual Domains and 18 Research Questions on Men’s Gender Role Conflict

The seven contextual domains of men’s GRC are based on the research reviewed in O’Neil (2008) and the previous research and theory in the psychology of men. The domains include: (a) Age, developmental stage, resolving developmental tasks, and gender role transitions; (b) Family interaction patterns, interpersonal situations, and peer relationships; (c) Masculinity ideology, norms, and conformity; (d) Psychological and physical health variables; (e) Men’s diversity – race, ethnicity, culture, class, religious, and sexual orientation as well as identity issues related to these categories; (f) Vulnerability variables related to violence, oppression, and abuse; and (g) Methods to help men resolve GRC through therapy and psychoeducational and preventive interventions. The seven domains provide an expanded theoretical basis for understanding the potential moderators and mediators of men’s GRC. To operationalize the seven contextual domains, 18 moderator and mediator research questions are enumerated in Table1. These research questions can be pursued in the future researchers.

Table 1

Predictor, Moderator, and Mediator Hypotheses for Seven Contextual Domain for Expanded GRC Research Paradigm


Domain 1: Age, Developmental Stage, and Gender Role Transition

  • Does age, developmental stage, or gender role transitions predict or moderate men and boy’s GRC?
  • Does age, developmental stage, or gender role transitions mediate GRC in terms of problems outcomes for boys and men?
  • Do developmental tasks or failure to complete them predict, moderate, or mediate problems for men?
  • What developmental experiences influence men to conform to or violate masculinity ideology/norms that predict, moderate, or mediate GRC?

Domain 2: Family Interaction Patterns , Interpersonal, and Peer Relationships

  • How do family interaction patterns, interpersonal situations, and peer relationships predict and moderate men’s GRC?
  • How do family interaction patterns, interpersonal situations, and peer relationships mediate men’s GRC in terms of negative problem outcomes for men and others.
  • Do families’ racial, ethnic, class, religious, and cultural backgrounds mediate men’s GRC in terms of negative problems outcomes for men and others? Is there intergenerational transfer of GRC?
  • Does GRC predict or moderate intimacy, friendships, marital conflicts, parenting, and sexual functioning and dysfunctioning?
  • Does intimacy, friendship, marital conflict, parenting and sexual functioning and dysfunctioning mediate men’s GRC in terms of negative problems outcomes for men and others?

Domain 3: Masculine Ideology, Norms, Conformity, Discrepancy

  • Does masculinity ideology/norms predict and moderate GRC?
  • Does masculinity ideology/norms mediate GRC in terms of negative problems outcomes for men and others?
  • Does conformity to masculine ideology/norms or violation of them predict or moderate GRC?
  • Does conformity to or violation of masculine ideology/norms mediate GRC in terms of negative problem outcomes for men and others?
  • Does the discrepancy between real and ideal masculine ideology/norms within the man (discrepancy strain) predict or moderate GRC
  • Does discrepancy strain mediate GRC in terms of negative problem outcomes for men and others?

Domain 4: Psychological and Health Variables

  • Does GRC predict and moderate psychological and physical health problems for men and others?
  • Does psychological and physical health problems mediate GRC in terms of negative outcomes for men and others?

Domain 5: Men’s Diversity: Racial, Cultural, Class, and Sexual Orientation

  • Does racial, class, ethnic, religious, cultural, and sexual orientation variables predict and moderate GRC?
  • Does racial, class, ethnic, religious, cultural, and sexual orientation variables mediate GRC in terms of problem outcomes for men and others?
  • How do internally versus externally defined racial, class, ethnic, religious, cultural, and sexual identities predict, moderate, or mediate GRC in terms of problem outcomes for men and others? How do within group differences vary on these negative psychological outcomes?
  • How does acculturation to status quo norms (white, middle class, heterosexual, capitalist) predict, moderate, or mediate problems outcomes for men. and others?

Domain 6: Vulnerability Variables Related to Violence, Oppression, and Abuse

  • Does GRC predict or moderate men’s vulnerability to violence, abuse or discrimination of others?
  • Is men’s vulnerability to violence, abuse and discrimination against others mediated by GRC in terms of problems outcome for men and others?
  • Does GRC predict or moderate being a victim of oppression (racism, classism, ageism, sexism, ethnocentrism, heterosexism)?
  • Is being a victim of oppression mediated by GRC in terms of problem outcomes for men and others?
  • Does GRC predict or moderate the chances of a man becoming a victim of violence?
  • Does being a victim of violence mediate GRC in terms of problems outcomes for men and others?

Domain 7: Methods To Help Men Resolve GRC: Therapy and Psychoeducational and Preventive Interventions

  • Does GRC predict or moderate positive outcomes for men in therapy or other psychoeducational programs?
  • Do different methods of help (techniques, theoretical approaches) mediate GRC in terms of positive outcomes for men in therapy?
  • What client and therapists’ qualities, attitudes, and behaviors predict or moderate men’s GRC in terms of positive outcomes with men in therapy?
  • What client or therapist qualities, attitudes, and behaviors mediate GRC in terms of positive outcomes with men in therapy?
  • Do different ways of marketing men’s services predict or moderate whether men use the services?
  • How do different ways to market men’s services mediate the way men use the services?

 

Predictive and Moderation Studies

Figure 2 shows the predictive, moderating, and outcome variables related to men’s GRC. The purpose of Figure 2 is to help researchers generate prediction and moderator studies using the past research and theory. The top left arrow in Figure 2 shows the GRC predictors (SPC, RE, RABBM, CBWFR) relating to outcomes in the three GRC contexts shown in the top rectangles. These GRC contexts are the same research areas reviewed throughout this paper and include: (a) GRC in an intrapersonal context; (b) GRC in an interpersonal context; and (c) GRC in a therapeutic context.

Figure 2. Gender Role Conflict (GRC) Predictor Variables, Outcome Variables in Three Contexts, and Seven Moderators [click image for a larger version]

Gender Role Conflict (GRC) Predictor Variables

Prediction studies assess the variables to which GRC is significantly related. As shown in Figure 2, GRC patterns (SPC, RE, RABBM, and CBWFR) have predicted 88 outcome variables shown in the three contextual rectangles. The overall prediction question is: what demographic, psychological, physiological, racial, cultural, social, familial, interpersonal, or situational variables significantly predict men’s GRC? Prediction studies are needed with contextual variables as part of the overall process of explaining what moderates and mediates GRC.

Moderators assess when or for whom a variable most strongly predicts or causes an outcome variable (Frazier, Tix, & Barron, 2004). Moderation variables affect the direction and/or the strength of a relation between independent variables (predictors) and a dependent or criterion variable (outcome) (Baron & Kenny, 1986). Moderation effects explain interaction effects or how one variable depends on the level of others. Figure 2 depicts how moderator studies can be conceptualized. The longer arrow on the left in Figure 2 shows the seven GRC moderators affecting the relationship between the four GRC predictors (SPC, RE, RABBM, & CBWFR) and the outcome variables in the three GRC contexts (intrapersonal, interpersonal and therapeutic). The seven moderators of men’s GRC are the contextual domains discussed in the previous sections: (a) age, developmental stage, resolving developmental tasks, and gender role transitions; (b) family interaction patterns, interpersonal situations, and peer relationships; (c) masculinity ideology, norms, and conformity; (d) psychological and physical health variables; (e) men’s diversity: race, ethnicity, culture, class, religious and sexual orientation and related identity issues; (f) vulnerability variables related to violence, oppression and abuse; and (g) methods to help men resolve GRC through therapy and preventive/psychoeducational interventions.

Moderator studies assess how variables contribute to fluctuations of high and low GRC. The overall moderator question is: How do demographic, psychological, physiological, racial, religious, cultural, social, familial, interpersonal, or situational variables significantly affect the direction and strength of GRC in predicting psychological outcomes for boys, men, and others. In other words, what contextual factors and situational contingencies differentiate those men who experience negative effects of GRC from those who do not? For moderation studies, theoretical rationales for hypothesized interactions are needed before creating hypotheses (Frazier et al., 2004). The previous elaborations on the seven contextual domains provide an initial theoretical rationale for assessing GRC moderator effects. Furthermore, 23 studies have found GRC to be moderated by different variables. These previous studies and the correlational data reported in this review provide initial empirical justification for testing the moderators of men’s GRC shown in Figure 2.

Mediator Studies

Mediator variables assess how and why one variable predicts or causes an outcome variable. Mediators assess the mechanism whereby a predictor influences an outcome and the underlying change process. Simply, mediators are the mechanisms through which an effect occurs. Figure 3 shows how mediator studies can be conceptualized.

Figure 3. GRC as Predictor, Seven Mediators of GRC, GRC Outcomes Variables in Three Contexts [click image for a larger version]

GRC as Predictor

The overall research question is: How do mediation variables explain relationships between GRC and outcome variables? The figure shows the GRC predictors (SPC, RE, RABBM, and CBWFR) in the upper left, rectangle directly related to the seven mediators (top center rectangle) and also related to the outcome variables in the far right and the large bottom rectangle. The mediators of GRC are the seven contextual domains defined earlier. The question captured by Figure 3 is: How and why does GRC cause men’s psychological problems and what variables mediate the relationship between GRC and those problems? In other words, do demographic, psychological, physiological, racial, religious, cultural, social, familial, social, interpersonal, and situational variables relate to GRC in producing negative outcomes for men and secondly what variables mediate GRC in terms of these outcomes?

There is both empirical and theoretical justification for the mediational research paradigm shown in Figure 3. For mediation analyses, predictors need to be significantly related to outcome variables (Frazier et al., 2004). As this research review has shown, SPC, RE, RABBM, and CBWFR have been significantly correlated with the 88 outcome variables in the large rectangle in Figure 3 (See the longer arrow in the middle of Figure 3 for this relationship). Presumed predictors must also be theoretically related to the mediators (Frazier et al., 2004). Men’s GRC has been empirically or theoretically related to the proposed mediators as shown in Figure 3 (See shorter arrow in the upper left corner).

In summary, researchers can use Table 1 and Figures 2 and 3 to generate predictor, moderating, and mediating hypotheses for their own studies. What is a predictor, moderator, mediator, or outcome variable of GRC can be formulated by researchers using both the empirical and theoretical literature. The seven contextual domains in Figure 2 and 3 represent future programmatic areas of research for men’s GRC.