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Psychiatry Res. 2008 Sep 30;160(3):372-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2007.06.003. Epub 2008 Aug 21.

The relation between anger management style, mood and somatic symptoms in anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea.


The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between anger management style, depression, anxiety and somatic symptoms in anxiety disorder and somatoform disorder patients. The subjects comprised 71 patients with anxiety disorders and 47 with somatoform disorders. The level of anger expression or anger suppression was assessed by the Anger Expression Scale, the severity of anxiety and depression by the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) anxiety and depression subscales, and the severity of somatic symptoms by the Somatization Rating Scale and the SCL-90-R somatization subscale. The results of path analyses showed that anger suppression had only an indirect effect on somatic symptoms through depression and anxiety in each of the disorders. In addition, only anxiety had a direct effect on somatic symptoms in anxiety disorder patients, whereas both anxiety and depression had direct effects on somatic symptoms in somatoform disorder patients. However, the anxiety disorder group showed a significant negative correlation between anger expression and anger suppression in the path from anger-out to anger-in to depression to anxiety to somatic symptoms, unlike the somatoform disorder group. The results suggest that anger suppression, but not anger expression, is associated with mood, i.e. depression and anxiety, and somatic symptoms characterize anxiety disorder and somatoform disorder patients. Anxiety is likely to be an important source of somatic symptoms in anxiety disorders, whereas both anxiety and depression are likely to be important sources of somatic symptoms in somatoform disorders. In addition, anger suppression preceded by inhibited anger expression is associated with anxiety and somatic symptoms in anxiety disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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