Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication and Storytelling Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kelly A. Dorgan

Committee Members

Amber E. Kinser, Christine K. Anzur


Masculine culture is known for teaching men to be strong, independent, and in control; however, the presence of chronic illness creates challenges for men when attempting to uphold a dominant masculine identity and make disclosure decisions about sharing illness information. This study explores the intersection between illness related self-disclosure and masculine culture. Utilizing qualitative methods, it examines the challenges chronically ill men face when making decisions about self-disclosure. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five men (N=5) who have one or more chronic illnesses. Transcripts were analyzed and coded using grounded theory to identify emergent themes. The analysis revealed three primary themes and several secondary and tertiary themes. The three primary themes are: 1) participant expression of masculine culture; 2) communication challenges; and 3) disclosure strategies. Participants’ accounts of their experiences with living with chronic illness are positioned within literature on chronic illnesses, self-disclosure, and masculine culture.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted