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anger, early adolescents, health, sex



  1. Yarcheski, Adela
  2. Mahon, Noreen E.
  3. Yarcheski, Thomas J.


Background: Some theorists suggest that boys and girls might experience and express anger in different ways, while others do not, making the study of sex differences in anger an important area for investigation. Further, much has been written theoretically about the health implications of anger, but there is a paucity of studies that have examined the relationship between anger and health variables in early adolescent boys and girls separately.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to examine sex differences in anger in early adolescents, and to examine the relationship between anger and several health variables, e.g., current health status, clinical health, eudaimonistic health for boys and girls separately.


Methods: This study compared differences in five anger variables between boys and girls, and examined relationships between the anger variables and health variables for boys and girls separately. The final sample consisted of 148 seventh and eighth graders, ages 12 to 14; 81 were girls and 67 were boys. They responded to the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory and instruments measuring three health variables.


Results: Using multisample analysis via LISREL 7 and independent t tests, findings indicated that boys and girls did not differ in the experience and expression of anger. Pearson correlations were used to examine the relationships between the anger variables and the health variables for boys and girls separately. Of the 30 relationships examined, 12 were statistically significant; seven of these correlations were for girls, while five were for boys.


Conclusions: Early adolescent boys and girls may not differ in any meaningful way in self-reported experiences and expressions of anger, but they may differ in health outcomes in relation to various types of anger.