Masculinities, Work, and Retirement Among Older Men Who Experience Depression


This research article explores the connections between participants’ depression, masculinities, work, and retirement.


The high incidence of depression among older men has been linked to numerous factors. In this qualitative descriptive study of 30 older, Canadian-based men who experienced depression, we explored the connections between participants' depression, masculinities, work, and retirement. Our analyses revealed three thematic findings. The recursive relationship between depression and work was reflected in depression impeding and emerging from paid work, whereby men's careers and work achievements were negatively impacted by depression amid assertions that unfulfilling work could also invoke depression. Lost or unrealized empires highlighted the centrality of wealth accumulation and negative impact of many participants' unfulfilled paid work aspirations. Retirement as loss and the therapeutic value of work reflected how masculine ideals influenced men to continue working to avoid the losses they associated with retirement. The findings confirm the need to support men's work-related transitions by affirming a diversity of masculine identities beyond traditional workman/breadwinner roles.

Full Reference

Masculinities, work and retirement among older men who experience depression. / Oliffe, John L; Rasmussen, B; Bottorff, J L; Kelly, Mary T; Galdas, Paul Michael; Phinney, A; Ogrodniczuk, J. In: Qualitative Health Research, Vol. 23, No. 12, 12.2013, p. 1626-1637.