Exploring Machista Gender Roles and Psychosocial Well-being: An Exploratory Analysis in Camasca, Honduras

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There is a severe lack of mental health research in rural regions of Latin America like Camasca, Honduras, where typically there exists a societal construct of hypermasculinity and patriarchal authority termed machismo. Much of the current literature on psychosocial factors of mental health in settings with machismo report gender disparities with women experiencing worse outcomes. This study sought to characterize indicators of machismo through division of labor and perceived parental roles, and to then use these data to explore their interactions with psychosocial aspects of mental health. This study recruited 53 participants (41 female) from Camasca, Honduras to participate in orally-administered interviews. Three scales for resilience, general stress, and parental stress were administered in addition to open-ended questions to gauge satisfaction with and comfort discussing parental responsibilities across gender. Overall, the majority of participants reported there are gender differences in parental responsibilities with most explanations mentioning men working as a family’s economic provider and women taking on childcare responsibilities. There were trends towards men experiencing worse levels of general stress and parental stress, although there were no gender differences in resilience. These measurements did not vary by differences in perceived parental responsibilities. Most women reported being more comfortable discussing parental responsibilities with other women, while men typically reported no preference. In light of these results, machista societal organization creates a unique context in which to study psychosocial well-being and provides a useful lens for understanding health disparities in similar gender-rigid contexts. These results suggest that perhaps there is an internalization of traditional gender norms, such that men and women report stressors according to what is deemed stressful in their society, and that furthermore gender-disparate workforces may contribute to gender-specific experiences. Gender-specific differences may also emerge from the importance of agricultural industry, suggesting a possible factor perpetuating machista norms.





Malo, Vincenzo (2019). Exploring Machista Gender Roles and Psychosocial Well-being: An Exploratory Analysis in Camasca, Honduras. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18353.

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