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


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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Available from: Kevin T. Larkin, Apr 30, 2015
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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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    ABSTRACT: The hypothesis that intense anger experience may increase risk for or exacerbate cardiovascular diseases has been under active theoretical and empirical interest for decades. Biopsychological models of disease suggest that persons displaying exaggerated physiological responses to acute emotional or stressful states are at a greater risk to develop cardiovascular disorders. The last two decades have witnessed active work to refine means by which anger expression can be assessed, and laboratory research has produced evidence suggesting that certain expression styles may predict enhanced physiological responses to acute stress. In this paper, we review methodological and definition issues related to the assessment of anger, and we summarize recent improvements on the assessment of anger expression. We also review recent studies addressing the association between anger and cardiovascular diseases, and we present potential neuroendocrine and behavioral mechanisms through which anger expression may increase risk for cardiovascular disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Behavioral Medicine
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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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    ABSTRACT: The current study describes the creation and validation of the Anger Cognitions Inventory (ACI) to assess the cognitive appraisals associated with resentful and reflective anger. The ACI was created based on a content analysis of self-reports of participants' thoughts and feelings following anger provocation in the laboratory. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on two separate college student samples (N = 267 and N = 276, respectively) revealed five subscales which could validly be grouped into resentful and reflective anger. Convergent and divergent validity data showed that resentful anger correlated positively with anger-out/trait anger and reflective anger correlated positively with anger-in/brooding. A second study showed positive correlations between rumination and delayed cardiovascular recovery following anger provocation. Limitations of both studies include restricted samples which limit generalizability of results and cardiovascular recovery data collected in Study II which does not include assessment of autonomic balance between vagal and sympathetic responsivity.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2004 · Journal of Behavioral Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: To examine cultural differences in response to anger provocation, affective, cognitive, behavioral, and cardiovascular responses to social confrontation, role plays were measured in 20 Indian male immigrants in the United States and 40 White men. Participants engaged in 2 interactions with a nonacquiescent male confederate and were instructed to suppress or express their anger in counterbalanced order. Following each role play, participants state anger, and resentful and reflective cognitions pertaining to anger were assessed. Participants' videotaped behavioral responses were assessed for problem-solving skills and negative and positive verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Blood pressure and heart rate (HR) responses were recorded throughout the session. Results revealed that Indian participants used more introspective strategies comprising of repression and rational coping self-statements to anger provocation than their White counterparts. White participants experienced significantly higher HR responses and showed more awareness of physiological sensation compared to the Indian participants, but only when asked to exhibit their anger. Indian participants had a faster diastolic blood pressure (DBP) recovery when allowed to engage in anger inhibition (which is a culturally determined mode of functioning) compared to when they had to exhibit anger before inhibiting it. White men showed a heightened cardiac response to anger expression, something not seen among Indian men. Indian men, in contrast, exhibited delayed DBP recovery from anger expression and increased introspective cognitive strategies when asked to engage in anger exhibition, a behavior not congruent with their culture of origin.
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