Long-Term Changes among Participants in a Men's Mutual-Help Organization

Kenneth I. Maton
Eric S. Mankowski
Clinton W. Anderson
Edward R. Barton
David R. Karp
Björn Ratjen

DOI: 10.2190/SH.8.1.j


This article presents findings from a longitudinal study of participants in the ManKind Project, International (MKP-I), a mutual help and personal development organization for men. The study tests whether gender role conflict and other gendered beliefs, psychological well-being, social support, and goal importance and satisfaction improve over the 2-year period of observation. Participants (n = 293) from local centers across the United States and Canada were surveyed on five occasions over a 24-month period before, during, and in some cases after participation ended. As hypothesized, t-tests indicate that outcomes improved after the initial weekend of participation. Many of the initial changes endured across the entire 2-year follow-up period, though the survey response rate declined substantially over this time. MKP-I's self-selected participants may be enabled through self-help and mutual aid group processes to reduce adherence to traditional masculine gender role expectations and increase the meaning and psychological quality of their lives.

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