The Psychology of Men, Literature Review Example


This research paper will address the psychology of men and marriage.  In particular why many modern marriages end up in separation and divorce.  What are the underlying psychological causations. There is no doubt that many young couples starting out on married life.  Need some degree of help in facing the challenges that lie ahead. Literature is based upon peer reviewed journals and textbooks in this area.


Levant R.F. and Pollack, W. (1995). A new psychology of men. New York: Basic Books (Levant R.F. and Pollack, 1995)

This will be the prime source of reference for this research.  A comprehensive review of the psychology of men and marriage.  The paper examines the gender role strain in marriage  more from that of a problematic construct.  The author is a professor at the Harvard Medical School and this contribution is also discussed in the Journal of Professional Research Psychology and Practice.  (Levant, R.F. 1996)

Gender in Families: Women and Men in Marriage, Work, and Parenthood,  Linda Thompson and Alexis J. Walker,  Journal of Marriage and Family. (Walker, A.J. 1989)

The research focuses upon  gender by focusing on three domains of family life—marriage, work and parenthood.  Within the context of marriage the research  considers  intimacy, communication and conflict, and wife-battering. Within the employment context  the paper examines women and men as providers and resistance to wives as co-providers. Family work, looks at the strain of sharing family work  between the male and female partner. The authors make suggestions for  further research and encourage others  to conceptualize gender as relational or interactional rather than as an individual property or role.

Emotional behavior in long-term marriage.  Carstensen, L.; Gottman, J. M.;Levenson, R.W.  Psychology and Aging, Vol 10(1), Mar 1995, 140-149. (Carstensen, Gottman, & Levenson, 1995).

This paper researches the emotional state  of long-term marriages. An empirical research study based upon an observational coding system  in order to identify specific emotional behaviors expressed by middle-aged and older spouses during discussions of a marital problem. The research explored a sample of  156 couples  that varied by age and emotional behaviour. Early findings indicated that  within the  older couples, the resolution of conflict was less emotionally negative and more affectionate than in middle-aged marriages.  On average wives had more negative views on their marriages than male partners.  The husbands appeared more defensive than wives, and unhappy marriages involved greater exchange of negative affect than happy marriages

Marriage and health: His and hers. Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K.;Newton, Tamara L. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 127(4), Jul 2001, 472-503 (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001)

This analytical paper examines the road towards  marital relationship to physical health. Examples from 64 articles of marital studies and relationships  suggests that marital functioning is consequential for health; whereas the opposite negative dimensions of marital functioning have indirect influences on health outcomes through depression and health habits. In addition they have direct influences on cardiovascular, the immune system and other  physiological mechanisms The research explores the behavioural traits of marriages functioning and how hostility in marriage poses severe health risks for both marital partners and their children.

Divorce talk: Women and men make sense of personal relationships. Riessman, Catherine Kohler,  Piscataway, NJ, US: Rutgers University Press. (1990)  (Riessman, C. 1990)

Riesseman takes a close look at the incidents of  divorce in America. The paper illustrates how divorce is socially shared, and how it impacts different types of men and women.  The paper is based upon empirical research that includes  interviews with adults who are divorcing.  She uses the information to gain a better understanding of how personal relationships work. The author considers  the ideology of the companionate marriage: husband and wife should be each other’s closest companion, and in marriage one should achieve emotional intimacy and sexual fulfillment.

This is best demonstrated where a level of equality exists and this is rare in marriages.  In reality, most wives are subordinate to their husbands.  Riessman critically studies the stories people tell about their marriages— it is interesting to hear how the protagonists justify their actions in divorce cases.

Domains of masculine gender role stress and intimate partner violence in a clinical sample of violent men.  Moore, T. M.; Stuart, G.l  ; McNulty, J. K.; Addis, M.E ;Cordova, J.V  ;Temple, Jeff R.  Psychology of Violence, Vol 1(S), Aug 2010, 68-75 (Moore, et al., 2010)

Explores the concept of violence in marital break-downs and the impact this has on the relationship, family and others.



Carstensen, L., Gottman, J. M., & Levenson, R. (1995). Emotional behaviour in long term marriage. Psychology and Aging Vol 10 Iss 1, 140-149.

Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Newton, T. L. (2001). Marriage and health : His and Hers. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 127 Iss 4, 472-503.

Levant R.F. and Pollack, W. (1995). A new psychology of men. New York: Basic Books.

Levant, R. (1996). A new psychology of men. . Journal of Professional Research and Practice Vol 27 N0 3, 259-265.

Moore, T. M., Stuart, G., McNulty, J. K., Addis, M., Cordova, J., & Temple, J. R. (2010). Domains of masculine gender roles and intimate partner violence in a clinical sample of violen men. Psychology of violence Vol 1 , 68-75.

Riessman, C. (1990). Divorce talk: Women and men make sense of personal relationships. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Walker, J. T. (1989). Gender in Families: Women and Men in Marriage, Work, and Parenthood. Journal of Marriage and Family Vol 51 No 4, 845-871.