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The Role of Anger in Symptoms and Processes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder


The Role of Anger in Symptoms and Processes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Deschênes, Sonya S. (2014) The Role of Anger in Symptoms and Processes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Research investigating the associations between anger and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is limited. The goals of the current program of research were to examine the various forms of anger associated with GAD as well as the cross-over effects of worry and anger on cognitive mechanisms characteristic of GAD and high trait anger. In Study 1, participants (N = 381) completed a series of questionnaires assessing various aspects of anger and GAD diagnostic criteria via self-report. Our results indicated that GAD analogues reported higher levels of trait anger, anger suppression, and hostility than less anxious participants. In Study 2, the effects of laboratory-induced anger on negative style, negative beliefs about uncertainty, and worry were examined. Participants were randomized to an anger induction condition (n = 43) or a control condition (n = 34). An interpretation bias task, questionnaire items assessing beliefs about uncertainty, and a structured worry task were administered following the manipulation. Participants in the anger condition reported greater increases in negative interpretive style and in the belief that uncertainty is unfair and spoils everything than participants in the control condition; however no group differences were found with worry. In Study 3, the effects of anger and worry on interpretive style and hostile attributions were examined. Participants were randomized to a worry induction (n = 51), anger induction (n = 50), or control condition (n = 49). We also examined whether GAD analogues reported greater hostile interpretations of ambiguous intent than less anxious participants, and whether GAD analogue status interacted with the worry and anger experimental conditions in predicting increased hostile and threatening interpretations of ambiguous information. Although we found no effects of condition or interactions between GAD and condition on interpretive style or hostile attributions, we found that GAD symptoms were associated with greater negative interpretive style and greater hostile attributions. Together, findings from these studies suggest that elevated levels of multiple dimensions of anger, as well as hostile attributions, characterize individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for GAD and provide some, albeit limited, support for the notion that elevated anger contributes to cognitive vulnerabilities underlying GAD.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Deschênes, Sonya S.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:July 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Dugas, Michel and Gouin, Jean-Philippe
ID Code:978886
Deposited On:26 Nov 2014 14:01
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
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