Psychosocial Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic The Role of Men’s Gender-Related Attitudes, Employment and Housework, and Demographic Characteristics

Main Article Content

Erin Casey
Jill C. Hoxmeier
Claire Willey-Sthapit
Juliana Carlson


Background and objective: Globally, men are at greater risk of mortality and serious physical consequences from COVID-19 infection than women, but are less impacted by the pandemic’s impact on labor force participation and increased childcare responsibilities. Outside of gender identity, however, it is unclear whether men’s beliefs about gender may be related to the kinds of COVID-19-related impacts they report. This study sought to describe the employment, income, and household responsibility-related impacts of the pandemic on a sample of young men in the U.S. and to examine relationships between the men’s gender ideologies and
attitudes toward gender equity with self-reported stress impacts of the pandemic.

Methods: The data are from an online survey of 481 young men from across the U.S. Measures included scales assessing masculinity ideology, modern sexism, support for traditional divisions of labor by gender, and attitudes toward gender equity. New items developed for this study assessed COVID-19-related changes in employment, household responsibilities, and childcare duties as well as levels of stress. Hierarchical regression examined the relative roles of demographic characteristics, changes in employment and household work, and gender-related attitudes on COVID-related stress.

Results: Descriptive findings showed that under 50% of the men in the sample experienced negative COVID-related impacts on employment, but that a majority of the men reported at least some COVID-related stress. Results of the hierarchical regression suggest that higher levels of stress were predicted by having a minori-tized sexual identity, less religiosity, experiencing employment or household responsibility-related changes, and not endorsing modern sexism or a traditional, gendered division of labor.

Conclusions: Experiencing COVID-19-related stress was normative in this sample of young men. However, endorsing traditional notions of a gendered division of labor was slightly protective against higher levels of COVID-related stress. These findings add to existing evidence that gender analysis must be a central compo-nent of ongoing COVID-related policy and programming development.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Casey, E., Hoxmeier, J. C., Willey-Sthapit, C., & Carlson, J. (2022). Psychosocial Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Men’s Gender-Related Attitudes, Employment and Housework, and Demographic Characteristics. International Journal of Mens Social and Community Health, 5(2), e5-e17.
Author Biographies

Erin Casey, University of Washington, Tacoma, WA, United States

School of Social Work and Criminal Justice, University of Washington, Tacoma, WA, United States

Jill C. Hoxmeier, Central Washington University, Seattle, WA, United States

Department of Health Sciences, Central Washington University, Seattle, WA, United States

Claire Willey-Sthapit, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States

School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States

Juliana Carlson, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States

School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States


1. Global Health 50/50. The COVID-19 disaggregated data tracker: August update report. Accessed September 21, 2021
2. Frackowiak-Sochanska M. Men and social trauma of COVID-19 pandemic. The maladaptiveness of toxic masculinity. Society Register. 2021;5(1): 73–94.
3. Ruxton S, Burrell, SR. Masculinities and COVID-19: Making the connections. Washington, DC: Promundo-US. 2020.
4. Bridges T, Barber K, Nelson JD, Chatillo, A. Masculinity and COVID-19: symposium introduction. Men Masc. 2021;24(1):163–7.
5. Browning MHEM, Larson LR, Sharaievska I, Rigolon A et al. Psychological impacts from COVID-19 among university students: risk factors across seven states in the United States. PLoS One. 2021;16(1):e0245327.
6. Tibubos AN, Otten D, Ernst M, Beutel, ME. A systematic review on sex- and gender-sensitive research in public mental health during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis. Front Psychiatry. 2021;12:1–17.
7. CDC. Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Accessed October 5, 2021.
8. Baker P, White A, Morgan R. Men’s health: Covid-19 pandemic highlights need for overdue policy action. Lancet. 2020;396:1996–8.
9. Hearne BN, Nino MD. Understanding how race, ethnicity, and gender shape mask-wearing adherence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from the COVID impact survey. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021:9(1):176–83.
10. Pederson MJ, Favero N. Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Who are the present and future non-compliers? Public Administration Rev. 2021;80(5):805–14.
11. Hawkins J, Gilcher K, Schwenzer C, Lutz M. Investigating racial differences among men in COVID-19 diagnosis, and related psychosocial and behavioral factors: data from the Michigan Men's Health
12. Proto E, Quintana-Domeque C. COVID-19 and mental health deterioration by ethnicity and gender in the UK. PLoS One. 2021;16(1): e0244419.
13. Drabble LA, Eliason, MJ. Introduction to Special Issue: Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on LGBTQ+ Health and Well-Being. J Homosex. 2021;68(4):545–59,
14. Kamal K, Li JJ, Hahm HC, Liu, CH. Psychiatric impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic on U.S. sexual and gender minority young adults. Psychiatry Res. 2021;299(2021)
15. Hahm HC, Ha Y, Scott J, Wongchai V, et al. Perceived COVID-19-related anti-Asian discrimination predicts post traumatic stress disorder symptoms among Asian and Asian American young adults. Psychiatry Res. 2021;303.
16. Courtenay WH. Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men's well-being: A theory of gender and health. Soc Sci Med. 2000;50(10):1385–401.
17. Kapsaridi A, Charvoz L. Men’s stress expression and perception of partner’s support within the romantic relationships: a systematic review. Psychol Men Masc. 2021;22(2):375–90.
18. Ridge D, Emslie C, White, A. Understanding how men experience, express and cope with mental distress: Where next? Socil Health Illn. 2011;33(1):145–59.
19. Mahalik JR, Burns SM, Syzdek M. Masculinity and perceived normative behaviors as predictors of men’s health behaviors. Soc Sci Med. 2007;64(11):2201–9.
20. Yousaf O, Popat A, Hunter MS. An investigation of masculinity attitudes, gender, and attitudes toward psychological help-seeking. Psych Men Masc. 2015;16 (2):234 –7.
21. Cassino D, Besen-Cassino Y. Of masks and men? Gender, sex, and protective measures during COVID-19. Pol Gen. 2020;16(4):1052–62.
22. Reny TT. Masculine norms and infectious disease: the case of COVID-19. Pol Gen. 2020;16(4):1028–35.
23. Reichelt M, Makovi K, Sargsyan A. The impact of COVID-19 on gender inequality in the labor market and gender-role attitudes, Eur Soc. 2021;23(sup1):S228–45,
24. Baber KM, Tucker CJ. The Social Roles Questionnaire: a new approach to measuring attitudes toward gender. Sex Roles. 2006;54:459–67.
25. Sani GMD, Quaranta M. The best is yet to come? Attitudes toward gender roles among adolescents in 36 countries. Sex Roles. 2017;77(1-2):30–45.
26. Pleck J, Sonenstein F, Ku L. Attitudes toward male roles among adolescent males: a discriminant validity analysis. Sex Roles. 1994;30(7):481–501.
27. Swim JK, Aikin KJ, Hall WS, Hunter BA. Sexism and racism: Old fashioned and modem prejudices. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1995;68:199– 214.
28. Okafor CN, Bautista KJ, Asare M, Opara I. Coping in the time of COVID-19: buffering stressors with coping strategies. J Loss Trauma. 2022;27(1):83–91.
29. Rigoli F. The link between COVID-19, anxiety, and religious beliefs in the United States and the United Kingdom. J Relig Health. 2021;60 (4):2196–208.