Theses Doctoral

An Analysis of the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory Ratings of Traumatized Children and Adolescents Relative to Non-traumatized Controls

Elliott, Nicole Kristen

This study compared the anger ratings of traumatized youth with and without PTSD relative to the anger ratings of a non-traumatized control group. Participants consisted of youth aged 7-18 years were previously evaluated for a study at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. In order to potentially increase the external validity of the study, youth with comorbid major depressive disorder and substance dependence were included in the sample. Diagnostic measures identified 31 youth with PTSD, 59 traumatized youth without PTSD, and 39 non-traumatized controls. Participants completed the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, a self-report inventory that measures anger experience, anger expression, and anger control. Data analyses indicated significant group differences on the State Anger, Trait Anger, Angry Temperament, and Angry Reaction scales and subscales. Specifically, the PTSD group and traumatized PTSD negative group had significantly higher State Anger scores than the control group. State Anger scores for the PTSD and traumatized PTSD negative groups did not significantly differ. Regarding Trait Anger, the PTSD group had significantly higher scores than both the traumatized PTSD negative and control groups. Trait Anger scores for the traumatized PTSD negative group and the controls did not significantly differ. Angry Temperament scores of the PTSD group were significantly higher than scores of the traumatized PTSD negative and control groups. Angry Temperament scores of the traumatized PTSD negative and control groups did not differ. Angry Reaction scores of the PTSD group significantly exceeded scores of the control group only. Angry Reaction scores for the PTSD and traumatized PTSD negative groups did not differ, and the traumatized PTSD negative and control group scores also did not differ. Statistical analyses failed to identify significant group differences for the remaining scales (Anger Expression, Anger In, Anger Out, and Anger Control). Overall findings of this study indicate that the relationship between PTSD and anger varied depending on the anger domain that was examined, as significantly higher anger scores were not consistently related to diagnostic status. A discussion of the results including theoretical and clinical significance is presented. Finally, limitations of the study and possible directions for future research are addressed.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
School Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Saigh, Philip A.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 27, 2012