Vol. 2 (2) Dec. 2020
Article ID. JHSSR-1058-2020
Gender Variations in Coping Mechanisms Used after Disagreements in the Home Domain: The Case of Malaysian Youths
Coping mechanisms, domestic disagreements, gender differences, Malaysian youths, mental health
Disagreements could lead to conflicts, hence knowing how to cope with them would be of benefit. The current paper aimed to understand if there were gender variations in the coping mechanisms used after disagreements in the home domain. A non-probability sample of 672 Malaysian youths aged between 19–40 years was taken. Of these, 271 were males and 401 were females. Questionnaires were administered face-to-face. SPSS version 16 was used for data analysis. Results showed a significant variation in gender perspectives and the respective coping mechanisms used. Majority of the males claimed to feel ‘no difference’ after domestic disagreements. Their most sought-after activity or preferred coping mechanism was to ‘play games’. In contrast, females often experienced emotions such as unhappiness and sadness after encountering domestic disagreements. Most of them preferred sharing their feelings with others. Some tended to resolve disagreements individually on their own by sleeping, crying, moping, or sulking. Males seemed to cope by participating in an active activity while females coped by indulging in a passive activity. This variation between males and females suggested that males could be more restrained and less expressive; whilst females tended to be more expressive. This outcome illustrates typical male and female behavior in Malaysian society. It is deduced that the male respondents’ lack of expressiveness is reminiscent of the typical male attitude and masculine behavioral traits. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, youths who now spend more time at home or work remotely from home, may ponder over how best they can resolve disagreements in the home domain. The findings of this study would thus be particularly useful for families and couples to avoid mental health issues, such as isolation, depression, suicidal acts, and violence at home.