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Conformity to masculine norms has been associated with elevated levels of depression in men. Men's perceived failure to achieve internalised expected standards may in turn precipitate maladaptive self-conscious affect, including shame. The current study explored whether internalised shame mediated the relationship between men's conformity to masculine norms and depression. Online self-report data was provided by a community sample of adult males (n = 545; mean age = 38.94 years). Direct and indirect effects were evaluated. A significant mediation effect was observed whereby higher masculinity significantly predicted depression symptoms, via higher shame proneness. This indirect effect was of medium magnitude. Findings are discussed within the framework of help seeking and suggestions are made for managing shame proneness in clinical settings.

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Journal Article

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