Anger in Adolescent Communities: How Angry Are They?
Lisa Pullen, Mary Anne Modrcin, Sandra L. McGuire, Karen Lane, Melissa Kearnely, and Sonya Engle
Anger is a common factor in two causes of death in adolescence: homicide and suicide. This study looked at the level of anger in non-clinical convenience sample of adolescents (N = 139) between the ages of 12 and 19 years (early: 12 to 14 years, mid: 15 to 16 years, late: 17 to 19 years) from a large Southeastern Baptist church. Participants completed the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, Beck and Children’s Depression Inventories, and Children of Alcoholics Screening Test (CAST). The level of self-reported anger was low. The difference in anger between the three age groups was not statistically significant. Differences in gender were generally not significant statistically. A strong correlation exists between stress and anger. A minor relationship between parental drinking behaviors, as measured by the CAST, and anger was found. A significant relationship between anger and depression, and frequency of participation in religious activity and decreased anger was established. By increasing the current knowledge of anger in adolescents, it may be possible to gain insight into risk factors or triggers that cause anger. Interventions must be implemented early to prevent juvenile detention and to help adolescents remain in the community. Public policies addressing anger in adolescents are essential. Health care providers must work together to identify adolescents with disorders or feelings of isolation or disconnect and provide treatment based in communities so adolescents can still function and not be isolated. It is relevant that a mentor or someone that can be trusted is provided to build a safe and secure environment. This greater knowledge may aid in assessment and treatment of adolescents with dysfunctional anger.