The development and validation of a measure assessing gender role conflict in male adolescents
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The purpose of these studies was to develop a psychometrically sound questionnaire that addresses outstanding empirical issues in adolescent gender role conflict and, in so doing, enhance understanding of the negative consequences of Irish adolescent males' internalisation of societally enforced masculine expectations. To ensure that a nuanced understanding of gender role conflict informed the scale development process, the combined use of qualitative and quantitative research methods was employed. Four factors relating gender role conflict, namely Expectations, Restrictions, Discontinuity and Penalty were assessed through interviews and focus group discussions. Based on a review of the literature and feedback from both participants and content experts, scale items were iteratively analysed. Four studies using exploratory factor analyses, confirmatory factor analyses, multiple regression, reliability analyses, and tests of validity (i.e., convergent) were conducted, offering support for the psychometric soundness of the new scale entitled, the Irish Gender Role Conflict Scale for adolescents (I-GRCS-A). The resultant 9-item scale significantly correlated with measures of self-esteem (rs ranged from -.28 to -.49 in four independent samples), anxiety (r=.41) and depression (i.e., rs = .43 and .46 in two independent samples) providing evidence of the scale's convergent validity. In the final study, the I-GRCS-A correlated significantly with positive/negative suicide ideation, however, analysis revealed that gender role conflict did not account for a statistically significant proportion of variance in suicide ideation above and beyond the proportions accounted for by depression and self-esteem. Finally, limitations of the research and directions for future research were outlined.
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