Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Feleta Wilson


Background: In the United States, on average, men die nearly five years younger than women. Among men, the life expectancy for African American/Blacks is 72.1 years compared to 76.6 years for White/European Americans. African-American/Black men experience an earlier onset and more severe disease with higher rates of complications than White/European American men. Masculinity ideology has been identified by researchers as having an influence on health behaviors and ultimately health outcomes. Based on prior research literature, higher levels of masculinity ideology have been associated with fewer health promoting behaviors. As such, there is a need for a reliable and valid measure of masculinity ideology for African American/Black men. This would allow researchers to assess which aspects of masculinity ideology most influence their health behaviors.

Purpose: The primary purposes of this study were to: 1). assess the factor structure of the MRNI-R, 2). to assess the reliability of the MRNI-R, and 3). to assess the construct validity of the MRNI-R for a sample of African American/Black men.

Methods: A non-experimental, correlational research design was used for this study. Data was collected from a convenience sample of 300 men age 18 to 81 who self-identified as African American/Black, living in the Detroit metropolitan area, and able to read/write English at a seventh grade level. Participants completed a questionnaire packet which they returned upon completion. Descriptive analysis, principle component factor analysis, Cronbach's alpha, Pearson's r correlations, and multiple regression analysis were performed.

Results: Results for this study revealed a factor structure that is different from the original MRNI-R. Six factors were identified instead of seven. Two of the factors (Self-Reliance Through Mechanical Skills and Negativity Towards Sexual Minorities) have been renamed to more adequately reflect the language used within the instrument. A new factor emerged and was named Machismo to reflect a strong sense of masculine pride. The Importance of Sex and Toughness did not come forward as factors in this study and therefore were eliminated. The results of this study provided support for the reliability and validity for a measure of masculinity ideology (MRNI-R; 38-item) for a population of African American/Black men.

Conclusion: This study provides new knowledge that will enhance the understanding of cultural differences among men. In addition, the knowledge gained from this research has the potential to guide nurses in the development of new comprehensive assessment tools and nursing plans of care with scientific evidence. The knowledge gained from this research will also help facilitate the development and implementation of theoretically based nursing interventions that focus on the promotion of health and self-care behaviors for African American/Black men.