A common form of treatment for Australian men with prostate cancer is a radical prostatectomy (RP). Although sociodemographic and medical factors have been found to be predictive of psychological distress following RP, the traditional masculine norms of self-reliance and stoicism are also implicated in poor psychological outcomes. The strength of the relationship between these masculine norms and distress may vary according to place of residence-specifically, living in regional/remote versus urban areas. The aim of the current study was to investigate these masculine norms as predictors of psychological distress among a sample of men who had received the same treatment for prostate cancer, in the context of place of residence. Participants were 447 men, aged between 42 and 77 years (M = 63.1, SD = 6.4), all of whom had undergone a RP within the previous 6 months. Participants completed self-report measures of psychological distress, physical functioning, self-reliance, and stoicism. As hypothesized, self-reliance and stoicism were independent and unique predictors of psychological distress, after controlling for sociodemographic and medical factors. Place of residence moderated the relationship between stoicism and distress, whereby the relationship was only significant for urban men. The relationship between self-reliance and distress was significant for all men regardless of place of residence. The current study takes an important step toward identifying potentially modifiable and context-specific factors that can impact the experience of psychological distress among men following RP.
Same-sex friendship can increase an individual's health, happiness, and sense of social connectedness. To date, few studies have explored young men's accounts of their friendships and the communication strategies within close male friendships. The present qualitative study explored the ways in which 7 young, White, heterosexual, working/middle-class men from rural Victoria construct their understanding of their friendships and the discursive strategies used to signify meaning, specifically the role of insults, in close male friendships. Drawing on tools from discursive theory, thematic analysis of the data demonstrated that discursive strategies including insults, silences, and direct interrogation were used to signify closeness, gratefulness, concern, and masculinity and dominance. These discursive strategies are informed by hegemonic representations of masculinity, which the young men negotiate within everyday interactions with close male friends. The findings further support past research that suggests that in the absence of explicit verbal expression of closeness, male friendships can be intimate and psychosocially significant. It is suggested that health promotion in men should focus on informal spaces where men can enjoy each other's company. By exploring the breadth of communication styles and strategies of men, we are better equipped to understand men's needs.