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Profiles of conformity to gender role norms and depression among adult Korean men

  • Joon-Yong Yang1,*,

1Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, 08826 Seoul, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2023.100 Vol.19,Issue 10,October 2023 pp.64-77

Submitted: 03 April 2023 Accepted: 20 July 2023

Published: 30 October 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Joon-Yong Yang E-mail:


Socioeconomic polarization have consequences for men seeking a traditional male image; consequently, the pattern of conformity to gender role norms is changing. Taking into account an actor-oriented perspective, this study hypothesized that adherence to gender role norms would vary among male groups and would be associated with differences in mental health, specifically in terms of depressive symptoms. For verification, a Gender Roles and Health Survey was conducted with 897 Korean men aged 19–69 years between January and February 2022 to assess male gender roles, traditional gender role attitudes, and descriptive masculine norms, and to measure participants’ level of depressive symptoms using the 8-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. Four latent profiles—“high conformity”, “medium conformity”, “non-conformity to gender stereotypes” and “non-conformity to male gender roles”—were identified. The non-conformity to male gender roles profile, which entails accepting traditional gender stereotypes, was associated with a significantly higher depression score. This profile also exhibited the characteristics of lower age, lower household income and being unmarried or not living with a partner. The non-conformity to gender stereotypes profile showed the lowest depression score. Based on the study findings, individuals who deviate from gender role norms, particularly in terms of self-ascribed masculinity, are more likely to experience depression. This suggests that the relationship between adherence to gender role norms and men’s mental health is complex and varied.


Gender norm conformity; Korean men; Depression; Anomie

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Joon-Yong Yang. Profiles of conformity to gender role norms and depression among adult Korean men. Journal of Men's Health. 2023. 19(10);64-77.


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