Article

Biobehavioral responses to interpersonal conflict during anger expression among anger-in and anger-out men

Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.2). 02/2001; 23(4):282-90. DOI: 10.1207/S15324796ABM2304_7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine whether typical modes of anger expression (ie., anger-in, anger-out) were related to cardiovascular, affective, behavioral, and cognitive responses to interpersonal conflict, 20 anger-in and 20 anger-out undergraduate men participated in 2 role plays, one in which they were instructed to exhibit their anger overtly and the other in which they inhibited their anger Results showed that anger-in individuals used significantly more repression self-statements than anger-out individuals across both role play interactions (p <.01). Anger-out persons showed exaggerated diastolic blood pressure response in contrast to anger-in participants, but only during the exhibited anger role play (p <.04). When the anger exhibition role play followed anger inhibition, diastolic bloodpressure responses were more intense (p <. 05), and heart rate recovery was significantly slower (p <.03) among anger-outparticipants in contrast to anger-in participants. These findings indicate that modes of anger expression (trait) and contextual demands of the interaction (state) interact in complex ways to influence biobehavioral reactions to anger provocation.

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    • "Dimsdale et al., 1986; Gentry et al., 1982; Dembroski et al., 1985), several other studies have shown associations between open anger expression (i.e., anger out) and blood pressure (e.g. Harburg et al., 1991; Siegman, 1994; Suchday and Larkin, 2001). Moreover, in one study 67 female undergraduates were divided into three groups: low, moderate, or high in Anger-in or Angerout (Abel et al., 1995). "
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    • "Two hundred and eighty-two male participants between the ages of 18 and 35 were recruited from undergraduate psychology classes at West Virginia University (details of study procedure and participants are reported in Suchday and Larkin, 2001). Forty participants classified as anger expressors (N = 20) and anger suppressors (N = 20) were selected on the basis of responses to the Anger Expression Inventory (Spielberger, 1988). "
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