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Prevalence and correlates of anger in the community: results from a national survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 June 2014


Mayumi Okuda
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Julia Picazo
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Instituto de Investigaciones Neuropsiquiátricas Dr. López Ibor, Madrid, Spain
Mark Olfson
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Deborah S. Hasin
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Shang-Min Liu
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Silvia Bernardi
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Carlos Blanco
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Introduction

Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of anger in the community.

Methods

We used data derived from a large national sample of the U.S. population, which included more than 34,000 adults ages 18 years and older. We defined inappropriate, intense, or poorly controlled anger by means of self-report of the following: (1) anger that was triggered by small things or that was difficult to control, (2) frequent temper outbursts or anger that lead to loss of control, or (3) hitting people or throwing objects in anger.

Results

The overall prevalence of inappropriate, intense, or poorly controlled anger in the U.S. population was 7.8%. Anger was especially common among men and younger adults, and was associated with decreased psychosocial functioning. Significant and positive associations were evident between anger and parental factors, childhood, and adulthood adverse events. There were strong associations between anger and bipolar disorder, drug dependence, psychotic disorder, borderline, and schizotypal personality disorders. There was a dose-response relationship between anger and a broad range of psychopathology.

Conclusions

A rationale exists for developing screening tools and early intervention strategies, especially for young adults, to identify and help reduce anger.


Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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