October 28, 2009 – Portland State University, Portland, OR

Males, Masculinity, and Suicide

John T. Casey, Ph.D., LCSW, Kaiser Permanente Department of Mental Health, Portland, OR

ABSTRACT – Suicide completion in the United States is a public health problem that claims over 30,000 lives annually. Most of these suicide victims are white males who die by firearm, and who typically are not taking antidepressant medication and are not involved in mental health treatment at the time of death. Depression is closely linked to suicide death, and treatment for depression is provided mainly within primary health care settings. A grounded theory approach explored the contradiction that males in the U.S. complete suicide four times as often as females, yet females are diagnosed with depression twice as often as males. This study is guided by the proposition that gender roles are socially constructed, and it is shown that common masculine gender-role stereotypes influence males’ sense of self in ways that can limit their ability to engage with others in times of need, and consequently increase their risk for depression and suicide. The influence of shame and violence on suicide completion involving males is also reviewed.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 primary care providers to elucidate their subjective experience of treating patients who present with complaints of depression and suicidal risk. Participants described two alternative ways of treating depression, one that adhered to the medical model review of systems, and one that focused on the patient-provider relationship. There is also within this study an outline of an approach to the treatment of depression and suicidal risk that involves more collaboration between primary care and mental health providers.

Promoting Positive Partnering and Parenting During Pregnancy

Richard M. Tolman, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

ABSTRACT – This presentation examines the potential for preventive interventions directed towards fathers-to-be during pregnancy. Men’s abusive behavior during pregnancy and just after childbirth pregnancy may have profound
effects on their partners and children. Pregnancy may also be a time that men are more motivated for positive change. This makes pregnancy a key time for prevention and intervention efforts. We will look at the latest research
on domestic violence during pregnancy, its impact on the pregnancy and on the well-being of pregnant women. We will then review what we know about preventive interventions with men during pregnancy. Our review includes interventions that have been used to help men adopt pro-social and supportive behaviors during pregnancy and to support men’s positive fathering after the birth of their children. We will then examine the intervention strategies for identifying and preventing men’s abusive
behavior during pregnancy, ranging from large scale universal campaigns to targeted interventions for men who have already developed a pattern of abusive behavior. The research and practice examples in the presentation are drawn from global sources and diverse communities.

A Review of This Year’s Research in Men’s Studies II: What Can the Abstracts Tell Us?

David Greene, Ph.D., Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ

ABSTRACT – A look at trends, issues and interesting tidbits gleaned from a review of research published in three leading men’s studies journals—The Journal of Men’s Studies, Men & Masculinities and Psychology of Men and Masculinity. Findings are compared and contrasted with the results of a similar review of last year’s research.