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The suffering man: An exploration of body image and psychological well-being

Naseem, Omara (2015). The suffering man: An exploration of body image and psychological well-being. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This current research study sought to explore male participants’ subjective experiences of their masculinity, body image and psychological well-being using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The purpose of this study was to employ an idiographic exploration of the participants’ experiences of masculinity, body image and how these influence their psychological well-being. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight male participants. Participants were aged between 23-60 years old, fluent in English, White and Indian, heterosexual and homosexual. Five major themes emerged from the data: Masculinity as a Threat to the Self, The Suffering Man, Negotiating Masculine Ideology, Negotiating Interpersonal Masculinity and Changing the Body. The themes were complex, multifactorial and interpersonal in nature. Particularly interesting was the prevalence of the experience of coping with emotional distress with the participants sharing difficulty expressing emotions and vulnerability. This highlights how the men experience their body image, masculinity and psychological well-being as being intrinsically linked. Findings may provide insights into working with men in the field of Counselling Psychology and help to better recognise issues pertaining to masculinity and body image and how these may present amongst men when seeking help.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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