While Black men are more likely than men of other groups to endorse traditional attitudes about masculinity, research suggests that traditionally masculine norms (e.g., being the primary breadwinner, men dominating over woman, etc) are often unattainable for Black men due to the material constraints of race.

Clyde W. Franklin (1986) presented three roles that Black men endorse to measure their success in larger society and the smaller Black subculture. While the expectations for Black men to assume these masculine roles may promote success, it may also aggravate identity conflicts and increase their susceptibility to violence, sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, and depression.


Socio-cultural constructions of masculinity contribute to gender-related health concepts as well as to subjective experience and presentation of somatic and depressive symptoms. Recent studies highlight inconsistencies among the appropriate and most accurate measurements for identifying symptoms and achieving diagnosis, particularly for minorities and men. Therefore, theoretical perspectives of ‘black masculinities’ guide my research in examining the manifestation of mental health among Black men across self-reports, structured diagnostic interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic interviews.