Masculinity and school adjustment in middle school

Adam A. Rogers, Kimberly Updegraff, Carlos E. Santos, Carol Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study was guided by 2 major goals: to provide a basic description of masculinity during early adolescence and examine associations between masculinity and early adolescents' school adjustment. Using a sample of 338 middle school students (Mage = 12.49, SDage = 0.43, 54% boys, 42% Latina/o) assessed at 2 time points 1 year apart, we examined whether students' endorsement and/or adherence to traditional masculinity norms of emotional stoicism and physical toughness varied by sex and ethnicity, and whether these norms changed from the 7th to 8th grades. We then used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine whether students' endorsement and adherence to these same norms longitudinally predicted their attitudes toward school and their school engagement. Results showed that boys reported higher levels of masculinity than girls, but there were few differences between Latina/o and White students. Results also showed differing patterns of change in masculinity for boys and girls between the 7th and 8th grades. Finally, for boys and girls alike, masculinity norms (emotional stoicism in particular) were associated with increased school avoidance, decreased school liking, and decreased school engagement 1 year later. Contributions of these findings to the current literature are discussed and future directions of research are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Academic adjustment
  • Conformity to masculinity norms
  • Early adolescence
  • Masculinity ideology
  • School engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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