Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


First Advisor

Catherine Berheide


Gender roles are socially constructed norms prescribed for men and women in society to follow. Specifically, men and women have been assigned to traditional roles that are seen as "correct" for their assigned gender (i.e. men being the breadwinner and women being the housewife). Connecting traditional gender roles to mental health and well-being, this study investigates whether individuals who believe in traditional gender roles struggle more with mental health problems than those who do not. I propose that the more strongly an individual agrees with traditional gender roles, the more days of poor mental health they will report. To investigate the relationship between traditional gender roles and mental health, this study analyzes a sample of 701 full and part-time employees from the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS). The findings show that there is no statistically significant relationship between one’s attitude towards traditional gender roles and days of poor mental health reported. Therefore, the hypothesis was not supported. However, several controls, including sex, race, and age, are significant predictors of poor mental health. Further studies can improve on this topic by utilizing alternative measures of traditional gender roles since measures have focused on the traditional male breadwinner model.