To be [healthy] or not to be: Moderated moderation of the relationships between masculinity, future orientation, SES, and men’s health
Bradstreet, Tyler C.
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Research suggests a gender paradox in health; men tend to have higher SES than women, which has a robust influence on health, but engage in less healthful behaviors. Research posits that countervailing mechanisms, such as masculinity, lead men to not use health resources to maintain or enhance social status. Masculinity, a commodity that must constantly be earned, is often implicated in men’s lower rates of health behaviors. Yet, some men continue to engage in healthful behaviors, despite potential violation of masculine norms. An additional countervailing mechanism may be future orientation, which is the ability to consider potential distal outcomes of immediate behaviors, and the extent to which immediate behaviors are driven by potential outcomes. The present study explored the direct and interactive associations of masculinity, future orientation, and SES, on men’s health behaviors. Data were obtained from 245 college men. Results indicated that masculinity did not moderate the relationship between SES and health behaviors, and further, future orientation did not moderate masculinity’s association on the relationship between SES and health behaviors. However, follow-up analyses indicated that future orientation mediated the relationship between masculinity and health behaviors, and further, income moderated the relationship between future orientation and health behaviors. This suggests that masculinity had a direct negative association with men’s health behaviors, and future orientation had a positive indirect association with that relationship. Income positively interacted then with future orientation and health behaviors. Clinical and theoretical implications were addressed, and future research directions were discussed.