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High and Low Trait Anger, and the Recognition of Anger Problems

  • Raúl J. Alcázar (a1), Jerry L. Deffenbacher (a2), Laura Hernández Guzmán (a3) and Graciela I. Wilson (a1)

This study compared three groups of people: (a) high trait anger individuals who recognized personal anger problems (HR); (b) high trait anger individuals who did not recognize personal anger problems (HNR); and (c) low trait anger individuals not reporting personal anger problems (LNR). Compared to LNR participants, HR and HNR groups reported more anger-out (i.e., outward negative expression of anger such as arguing with others), anger-in (i.e., anger suppression and harboring grudges), greater desire to use and actual use of physically aggressive anger expression (e.g., pushing or shoving someone), and less anger control-in (i.e., emotionally focused strategies to lower anger such as relaxation) and anger control-out (i.e., behaviorally focused strategies such as being patient with others). HR individuals reported more trait anger (i.e., higher propensity to experience anger) and less anger control-out than the HNR group. Gender did not relate to the recognition of anger problems. Findings were discussed with regard to theory and clinical implications.

Esta investigación comparó tres grupos de personas: (a) individuos con alta ira rasgo que reconocieron tener problemas de ira (AR); (b) individuos con alta ira rasgo que no reconocieron tener problemas personales de ira (ANR); y (c) individuos con baja ira rasgo que informaron no tener problemas de ira (BNR). En comparación con los participantes BNR, los grupos AR y ANR tuvieron mayor ira-externa (i.e., manifestar negativamente la ira como discutir con otros), ira-interna (i.e., contener la ira y guardar rencores), mayor deseo de usar y emplear en los hechos expresiones físico agresivas de ira (e.g., empujar a alguien), menor control-interno (i.e., estrategias enfocadas en la emoción para disminuir la ira, tal como la relajación) y menor control-externo (i.e., estrategias enfocadas conductualmente como ser paciente con otros). Los individuos AR tuvieron más ira rasgo (i.e., mayor tendencia a sentir ira) y menor control-externo que el grupo ANR. El género no se relacionó con el reconocimiento de problemas de ira. Los hallazgos se discuten con respecto a implicaciones clínicas y teóricas.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Raúl J. Alcázar. Department of Health Sciences. Blvd. del Nino Poblano 2901, U. T. Atlixcayotl. Puebla, Pue. México, Z.C. 72430. Phone: +52-222-372-30-52. E-mail:,
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
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