Lorraine Gray is a 2015 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara

Dissertation Committee:

  • Steven Kadin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Salvador Treviño, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • James O'Neil, Ph.D., External Expert


machismo, gender role conflict, Mexican gangs, male socialization, masculine behavior, early behavior modeling

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The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine gender role conflicts (the inability to express emotions or feelings) within the lived experiences of former Mexican American gang members. This study involved exploring the relationship between restricted emotionality, machismo, and violence. O’Neil developed the theory of gender role conflict in 1980 to identify areas of stress in masculine behavior, cognitions, affective behavior, and the unconscious. According to O’Neil (1981a), “Gender role conflict is a psychological state in which gender roles (masculine, feminine, or androgynous roles) have negative consequences or impacts on the persons” (p. 203). The extreme result of conflict is the limitation of a person’s ability to ascertain his or her highest and best human potential or to limit another person from reaching his or her inherent capacity. A review of literature revealed no research on the distinctive subculture of Mexican American gang members and gender role conflict. The focus of this study was one of O’Neil’s six patterns of gender role conflict: restricted emotionality. This study involved examining machismo from various perspectives, including exploring the anthropological roots of a patriarchal society as a possible infrastructure to misogyny and strict traditional male ideologies such as hypermasculinity. This study helped elucidate how the dominant culture plays an active role in influencing the identity and behavior of a subcultural group, specifically Mexican American gang members. The electronic version of this dissertation is available free at Ohiolink ETD Center,


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