Reformulating masculinity: Traumatic brain injury and the gendered nature of care and domestic roles Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: This article examines the nexus between masculine identity and participation of men living with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rural New South Wales, Australia. The article considers the impact of adoption of caring and household duties upon identity and participation satisfaction. METHOD: The focus of this paper is on a finding that emerged from the qualitative phase of a larger project examining participation following TBI in rural and regional areas. During semi-structured interviews, participants were invited to discuss aspects of their participation including their daily occupations, supports, experience of country life and rehabilitation services. A grounded theory methodology shaped the analysis of the interviews. RESULTS: Results, relating to the reformation of masculinity, centred upon eight men drawn from the cohort who moved from the role of breadwinner pre-injury to primarily domestic and caring roles post-injury. Their narratives illustrated three responses to altered life circumstances that necessitated the revision of gendered roles: non-acceptance of reformulated masculinity, accepting reformulated masculinity for the sake of others and accepting and personally valuing a reformulated masculinity. CONCLUSIONS: Participation satisfaction for men who take up responsibility for domestic and/or caring duties following TBI is contingent upon successful reformulation of their gendered identity. The research highlights the need for rehabilitation practitioners to adequately support psychosocial adjustment for men following TBI.

publication date

  • January 2011