Machismo, Marianismo, and Negative Cognitive-Emotional Factors: Findings From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study

J Lat Psychol. 2016 Nov;4(4):202-217. doi: 10.1037/lat0000050. Epub 2015 Oct 19.


There is limited research on the traditional Hispanic male and female gender roles of machismo and marianismo, respectively, in relation to negative cognitions and emotions. Given the vulnerability of Hispanics to negative cognitions and emotions, it is important to examine sociocultural correlates of emotional distress. Therefore, we examined associations of machismo and marianismo with negative cognitive-emotional factors (i.e., depression symptoms; cynical hostility; and trait anxiety and anger) in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study, a cross-sectional cohort study of sociocultural and psychosocial correlates of cardiometabolic health. Participants were aged 18-74 years and self-identified as Hispanic of Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South American, and other Hispanic background (N = 4,426). Results revealed that specific components of machismo (traditional machismo) and marianismo (family and spiritual pillar dimensions) were associated with higher levels of negative cognitions and emotions after adjusting for socio-demographic factors (p < .05); these associations remained consistent across sex, Hispanic background group, and acculturation. Findings can inform mental health interventions and contribute to our understanding of the importance of gender role socialization in the context of self-reported negative cognitive-emotional factors in Hispanics.

Keywords: gender roles; machismo; marianismo; negative cognitions/emotions.