Source Publication

Resources in Education

Document Type


Publication Date

January 1991


Relationships among perceived stress, trait anger (general propensity to become angry), modes of anger expression, and health status were examined in a sample of 720 college students, using Caplan's conceptualization of stress as the study's framework. Propensity toward anger was assessed by the 10-item form of the Trait Anger Scale (Spielberger et al.), modes of anger expression were assessed by the Framingham Anger Scales, perceived stress was operationalized by the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck, and Mermelstein), and current health status was assessed by Ware's 9-item Current Health Scale. As hypothesized, stress was a positive correlate of trait anger and all four modes of anger expression. To clarify the relative contributions of anger and stress to the variance in current health status, stepwise regression analyses were used. Trait anger, anger-in and anger-out failed to meet inclusion criteria. The final model explained 14% of the variance in health status with three variables: perceived stress, anger-discuss, and anger symptoms. Thus, trait anger was not as important to health as were the modes chosen to express anger after its arousal by stressful events. Discussion of anger appeared to be a health-promoting expression mode, while expressing anger through somatic symptoms was inversely related to health.

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