Psychology Faculty Research


Masculine Gender Role Discrepancy Strain and Self-esteem

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-2014


The gender role strain paradigm (Pleck, 1981, 1995) hypothesized that masculine gender role discrepancy strain (GRDS) has a negative relationship with self-esteem. However, testing this relationship has been hampered by the lack of a psychometrically sound measure of GRDS. Two studies with college men examined this relationship, assessing GRDS differently. Study 1 (N = 265) operationalized GRDS as the standardized difference scores between measures of ideal (Male Role Norms Inventory—Revised) and actual (Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory) masculine norms. As hypothesized, the type of GRDS was found mostly to be norm favoring; however, the hypothesis that GRDS would have a negative relationship with self-esteem was not supported. Study 2 (N = 173) implemented 3 of Pleck’s (1995) recommendations and developed a new measure of GRDS. The hypotheses that GRDS would have a negative relationship with self-esteem and that this relationship would be moderated by salience were not supported. Results are discussed in terms of contributions to the GRDS literature, limitations of the present studies, and how these results might be contextualized using self-enhancement theory.

Publication Title

Psychology of Men & Masculinity





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