2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Matthew C. Genuchi


Recent empirical evidence has shown that adherence to hegemonic masculine gender role norms is associated with increased shame and reduced self-compassion in men suffering from depression. One particular masculine norm is the primacy of work, in which men place emphasis on financial prosperity. Conformity to this norm may exacerbate some men’s feelings of self-criticism and guilt during financial hardship. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between income, guilty feelings, and self-criticism in a sample of men. It is hypothesized that men who fall into lower income groups will experience higher levels of guilt and self-criticism. The sample consisted of 785 men who reported a stressful life event within the previous three months. All men lived in the United States and were predominately white, married, and heterosexual. An ANOVA revealed that there were no differences in guilty feelings between income groups, but there were significant differences in levels of self-criticism, with the highest group reporting self-criticism being $25,000- $34,999. Due to results indicating that income differences alone probably do not predict levels of self-criticism, other demographic factors should be considered. Further research may be conducted to investigate the factors that contribute to middle-class earners experiencing the highest levels of self-criticism.



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