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Health Care Women Int. 2004 Oct;25(9):872-93.

Who me, angry? Patterns of anger diversion in women.

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  • 1Southwest Missouri State University, Department of Counseling, 901 South National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65804, USA.


Researchers suggest that women's experience of anger is very complex and may not be accounted for by existing anger models. The current study was an attempt to clarify a model of women's anger proposed by Cox, Stabb, and Bruckner in Women's Anger: Clinical and Developmental Perspectives, 1999. Anger diversion focuses on women's attempts to bypass anger awareness, to use indirect means to cope with anger, or both. A sample of predominantly college and graduate student women (N = 514) completed a vignette questionnaire assessing diversionary anger styles as well as instruments evaluating symptoms, anger behaviors, emotional expression, and tendencies to respond in socially desirable ways. The results of the study partially support Cox and colleagues' model, particularly in distinguishing between diverting anger and expressing anger assertively. We found that women who divert anger are more vulnerable to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and somatization than are women who use an assertive approach to coping with anger.

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