The Role of Observed Hostility and Observed Dominance as Mediators of Husbands' Gender Role Conflict and Outcomes for Wives

Doctoral Dissertation


Prior research has demonstrated that when men are conflicted about their own gender roles there is an association between such conflict and negative individual outcomes, such as increased symptoms of anxiety and depression. Despite this body of research, little empirical work has been done on male gender role conflict and it’s effect upon others. This is especially striking given that current male sex role theories predict that dysfunctional aspects of the male role, including conflict resulting from both conformance to and deviation from the male role, are likely to cause problems for those in contact with men. Sixty married couples participated in a study examining the effects of husbands’ gender role conflict upon outcomes for wives. Each couple completed measures of gender role conflict, marital adjustment, and depressive symptomatology. Further, each couple engaged in a 10-minute marital interaction. Hypothesized relationships between husbands’ gender role conflict and both wives’ lowered marital adjustment and increased depressive symptoms were found. Husbands who evidenced gender role conflict were more likely to engage in hostile behaviors during a marital interaction, and were also rated as being more critical in general. Support was found for the role of husbands’ observed hostility as a mediator of the relationship between husbands’ gender role conflict and wives’ marital adjustment. A measure combining husband and wife reports of the husbands’ criticism was also found to mediate the relationship between husbands’ gender role conflict and wives’ marital adjustment.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-11052003-133646

Author Matthew Joseph Breiding
Advisor David Smith
Contributor Alexandra Corning, Committee Member
Contributor Dawn Gondoli, Committee Member
Contributor Tom Merluzzi, Committee Member
Contributor David Smith, Committee Chair
Contributor Anre Venter, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2003-09-30

Submission Date 2003-11-05
  • United States of America

  • men’s issues

  • masculinity

  • depression

  • marriage

  • marital adjustment

  • gender role conflict

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility and Access Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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