"I've been independent for so damn long!": Independence, masculinity and aging in a help seeking context

James A. Smith, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Gary Wittert, Megan Warin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws on semi-structured interviews conducted with 36 older men to examine how older men's understandings of independence relate to their help seeking behaviours and health service use. We argue that discourses of masculinity and successful aging are both represented in men's talk about independence. Recognising that these discourses are intertwined is important for understanding how older men seek help and use health services. We outline the practice and policy implications of viewing older men's help seeking behaviours in this way, and how it might be useful for promoting older men's health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-335
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Dec 2007


  • Help-seeking
  • Independence
  • Masculinity
  • Successful aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy

Cite this