Preventing Problem Anger

The psychological literature supports the efficacy of brief cognitive-behavioral treatments for individuals with clinically dysfunctional anger who are receptive to treatment. Delivered individually or in the form of group therapy, these treatment protocols generally consist of 8-15 weekly sessions. Support for preventive approaches is less clear, and this is unfortunate because considerable harm could be prevented by addressing anger-related concerns earlier.

At the
Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab, we are working on a number of projects designed to inform the development and evaluation of such prevention programs. One of the first gaps in the literature we must address is the lack of appropriate measures for assessing attitudes and intentions around seeking professional help for anger-related concerns. We hope that by developing such measures, we can inform research and practice involving persons who may be at risk for developing problem anger but who have not yet sought assistance. In addition, we are starting work to develop a brief screening and intervention program for college students across the range of anger-related issues. Focusing on increasing awareness of the role anger plays in one’s life and helping students overcome obstacles to treatment, we hope to increase the utilization of early intervention strategies to minimize harm.
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