The experience and expression of anger and its relationship to social competence in behavior disordered male and female adolescents in an alternative school setting
An exploratory study was conducted to examine the experience, expression, and control of anger, and to explore the relation of these three aspects of anger to social competence among adolescents with serious emotional disturbances enrolled in an alternative school setting. Participants in the study ranged in age from 14 to 18 years old (mean age = 15.8) and were enrolled in the 7th to the 12th grades. The State - Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (Spielberger, 1988) was used to assess students' self reported trait anger, state anger and anger expression. The Social Skills Rating System (Gresham & Elliot, 1990), Student and Teacher Forms were used to assess students' social competence in three areas, cooperation, assertiveness and self-control.
Results indicated that in comparison to the normative sample, behavior disordered girls more frequently than the boys identified themselves as having high scores on the state anger, trait anger, and anger expression index on the STAXI-2. Female participants also described themselves as having fewer prosocial skills as it relates to cooperation and self control when compared to their peers in the normative sample. Teacher ratings concurred. Male participants described themselves as functioning within the normative range on all the anger subscales of the STAXI-2, with the exception of the Anger Control - Out scale. As a group, male respondents described themselves as having average prosocial skills when compared to male peers in the normative group. However, teachers rated male respondents as having fewer prosocial skills as it relates to cooperation and self control when compared to the normative group.
Pearson product-moment correlation analyses were conducted to examine to what extent students' ratings in each of the three social competence subscales (cooperation, assertiveness, and self control) were correlated with teachers' ratings on the same scales. Due to the small sample size of female adolescents, these analyses were conducted only for male participants. Results indicated that only the correlation of teacher and male student ratings in cooperation was statistically significant (r = .58).
Pearson product-moment correlation analyses were also conducted to examine to what extent student self-reported anger (state, trait, and expression index) was associated to social skills subscale scores (cooperation, assertiveness, and self-control) as reported by both the adolescent and their teachers. Due to the small sample size of female adolescents, these analyses were conducted only for male participants. Results indicated that none of the correlations between the male students' ratings on the three anger scales and their self reported ratings on the three social skills scales were statistically significant. However, the correlation between teachers' ratings of students' social skills in the areas of cooperation and self control (but not in the area of assertiveness) and students' anger expression index were negative and statistically significant (r = -.48 and r = -.52, respectively). (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
0384: Behaviorial sciences
0451: Social psychology