Distress Concealment and Depression Symptoms in a National Sample of Canadian Men Feeling Understood as Loneliness as Sequential Mediators

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Men's tendency to conceal their distress has been linked with increased depressive symptoms. Although interpersonal connectedness has been associated with distress concealment and depression, it is unclear how connectedness mediates this association. The aim of the present study was to examine the mediating effects of feeling understood and loneliness—two facets of interpersonal connectedness—in the association between distress concealment and depressive symptoms in men. A sample of 530 Canadian men was selected based on age- and region-stratification that reflects the national population. Participants completed measures of depression symptoms, distress concealment, loneliness, and feeling understood. Mediation analyses were conducted. Results supported a sequential mediation model: concealing distress was associated with not feeling understood, not feeling understood was associated with loneliness, and loneliness was associated with depressive symptoms. These findings shed light on how distress concealment is associated with depressive symptoms among men. Implications for practice and theory are discussed.


This article was originally published as Cox, D. W., Ogrodniczuk, J. S., Oliffe, J. L., Kealy, D., Rice, S. M., Kahn, J. H. (2020). Distress concealment and depression symptoms in a non-probability national sample of Canadian men: Feeling understood and loneliness as sequential mediators. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 208(6), 510–513. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000001153.