Experiencing Burnout: John Henryism, Gender Role Conflict, and Anxiety Among Incarcerated Black Men

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1 Scopus citations


At the intersection of race and gender, Black men encounter conflicting and often stress-inducing gender norms. Research suggests Black men may utilize John Henryism Active Coping (JHAC), a culturally-relevant strategy to manage stress. However, little is known about how incarcerated Black men cope with gender role conflict (GRC) and resulting psychological distress. To better understand stressors and coping strategies among Black male prisoners, the current study examined the relationships between GRC, anxiety, and JHAC among N = 193 incarcerated Black men nearing community reentry. Hierarchical linear regression results showed length of incarceration, GRC, and anxiety were all negatively associated with JHAC. Full-time employment prior to incarceration was positively associated with JHAC. Moderation analyses indicated anxiety increased the strength of the negative association between GRC and JHAC. Implications highlight incarcerated Black men may benefit from interventions that encourage active coping strategies to manage gender-related stress and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1032
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Black men
  • John Henryism
  • anxiety
  • gender role conflict
  • incarceration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology


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