Masculine identity after traumatic brain injury

Macqueen, Ruth (2016) Masculine identity after traumatic brain injury. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract Background: Men are twice as likely to experience a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as women suggesting that aspects of masculine identity play an important role in how people acquire their brain injury. Research also suggests that masculine identity influences how people manage their health experiences. Masculine identity may therefore be an important consideration for neuropsychological therapy and rehabilitation more generally particularly because part of the process of rehabilitation concerns helping individuals with their sense of self. This research aimed to explore men’s experiences of masculine identity following TBI. Method: Individual interviews were conducted with 10 men age 21-67 who had experienced a TBI who were living in the community. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to consider lived experiences and to explore the meaning of the TBI experience in relation to masculine identity.
Results: Three superordinate themes emerged from the analysis:
Doing life and relationships differently: Participants identified changes in aspects of their role as a man within relationships, family, occupation and social groups.
Self-perceptions and the perceived view of others: Self-perceptions and others perceptions of the ability to perform roles as a man resulted in experiences of shame and loss of self-confidence. The invisibility of the injury appeared to both accentuate and protect from the experience of shame.
Managing the impact: Participants identified ways in which they thought about their lives and reformulated their behaviour in order to protect their identity as a man.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that men experience changes in masculine identity following TBI, particularly when ideals about independence and roles were challenged. The findings highlight how masculine identity may be a valuable aspect of self in considering threats to and reconstruction of self-identity after TBI. Aspects of gender identity should be considered in order to promote engagement, support adjustment and achieve meaningful outcomes in rehabilitation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Users 7376 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2016 13:48
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 13:48

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