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J Clin Psychol. 1989 Jul;45(4):531-41.

Anger, hostility, and depression in assaultive vs. suicide-attempting males.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195.


Hostility and depression were examined in male psychiatric patients who exhibited either assaultive (n = 40) or suicide-attempting behavior (n = 20). Both groups were compared to a sample of nonviolent males (n = 22) to provide a basis for interpreting the absolute as well as relative magnitude of these variables in relation to their violent behavior. Both suicide-attempting and assaultive patients were characterized by high levels of hostility and depression, as evidenced by significantly higher scores than those of the nonviolent group on almost all indices. Assaultive subjects evidenced relatively greater overt expression, frankly assaultive impulses, and verbalized anger and hostility. Suicide-attempting subjects tended to experience anger and hostility in a more intropunitive and covert manner and displayed higher levels of guilt and depression. Covariance analyses indicated that anger and depression contributed separately to the affective configuration of the assaultive and suicide-attempting groups.

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