The Trail of No Tears: Traditional Masculinity Ideologies and The Cycle of Dismissing-Avoidant Attachment

Date of Award


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Mark Aoyagi

First Committee Member

Peter Buirski

Second Committee Member

Marian Camden


Treatment Manual ; Real relationship; Therapeutic attachment; Socialization; Attachment change; Avoidant; Dismissing; Men; Attachment; Masculinity; Children; Adolescents


Raising boys in accordance with traditional masculinity ideologies is creating a mental health crisis among men. Socialization in accordance with traditional male gender roles causes boys to develop dismissing-avoidant attachments with their primary caregivers. Approaching subsequent relationships with a dismissing-attachment style creates disconnection between men and male peers, female partners, and their children. Many researchers advocate clinical interventions that perpetuate men's traditional fears of intimacy, however attachment theory provides an alternative lens through which clinicians may approach therapy with men. By engaging men in therapeutic attachment relationships, clinicians can inspire implicit and explicit learning of new attachment patterns. This experience by nature challenges traditional definitions of masculinity, and men may develop more congruent, adaptive, and healthy definitions of masculinity.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


47 pages

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