Anger experience and expression across the anxiety disorders
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The purpose of this study was to explore possible differences in the experience and expression of anger across four anxiety disorder groups and non-clinical controls. Anger was assessed by two measures, the Reaction Inventory and the Aggression Questionnaire, in 112 individuals who met DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder (PD) with or without agoraphobia (n=40), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; n=30), social phobia, (SOC; n=28), and specific phobia (SPC; n=14) as well as non-clinical controls (n=49). Patients with PD, OCD, and SOC reported a significantly greater propensity to experience anger than controls, whereas patients with SPC exhibited no differences in anger experience in comparison to controls. In addition, patients with PD reported significantly greater levels of anger aggression compared to both controls and patients with OCD, and patients with SOC reported significantly lower levels of verbal aggression than controls. Most, but not all, of these differences disappeared when symptoms of depression were controlled in the analyses. The implications of these findings and future directions for research are discussed.
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