Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A Definition of Gender Role Conflict among Black Professional Fathers

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A Definition of Gender Role Conflict among Black Professional Fathers

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into how Black professional fathers perceive and experience gender role conflict. This study stems from frustration this researcher experienced at the beginning stages of a literature review on Black grandfathers and their role in raising grandchildren. There is very little literature on the role of grandfathers in general and Black grandfathers specifically. After consulting with my mentor and attending numerous seminars, I narrowed my focus to examine the role of Black fathers. The amount of research about fathers and Black grandfathers is very inadequate. Research about Black fathers is limited by the following conditions: a) most of the articles were generated from a pathological view of inquiry, b) the population sampled was from the lower income bracket, and c) the sampling of the Black population was often compared to a White sample.

This research project, in contrast, examined the contemporary experiences of Black professional fathers. By sampling from a population in a higher income bracket with college educations rather than the population examined in a typical study, this research took a new direction in examining the construction of gender role conflict among Black fathers. For instance, focusing on college educated fathers allowed the research to reflect the extent to which education is a factor in discussions about the lack of participation in the parenting role. This study seeks to identify the positive attributes of Black fathers; identify the resiliency factors that contribute to increased mental health; and share stories of resiliency to interrupt the occurrence of mental health disparities.

The discussion on racism or perceived racism and its impact on mental health and mental health disorder is important in order to gain insight into the resilient characteristics which reduce the negative effects of perceived racism on physical and psychological systems. The focus will be placed on areas of anxiety, depression, and issues of self esteem. This project investigates the concept of gender role conflict from the perspective of professional Black fathers in order to identify resiliency characteristics of Black fathers. The underlying assumption is that the dissemination of new insights of gender role conflict among professional Black fathers would lead to a clearer understanding of gender role conflict as experienced by this minority group.

Guiding questions included: What are the contributing factors associated with gender role conflict as it affects Black men? What negative effects does this gender role conflict produce? These questions require that we examine the complexity of societal demands and familial demands in a historical context as it relates to the Black professional father. Furthermore, in order for readers to understand "gender role conflict," the concepts associated with "role theory" will be discussed and narratives will be included to help the reader understand the concepts found in role theory. Following the discussion on role theory research on gender role conflict, the foundation of this research, will be discussed.

As a Registered Nurse in the specialty area of psychiatric nursing and mental health, I have made every effort to set aside personal bias and previous experiences with role conflict. I have an interest in gaining insight into the influencing factors that contribute to gender role conflict, related health disparities and resiliency factors that contribute to adaptive coping strategies because of the increasing number of Black men entering the female dominated nursing profession. There are inherent issues that result in gender role conflict. Intervention strategies generated from this research aim to generate knowledge that can be used to eradicate or minimize the health disparities that occur as a result of Black professional fathers' experiences with gender role conflict. This is often a result of having to defend their racial group in its totality and combat the negative image of being a Black father. …

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