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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2013 May;47(5):470-6. doi: 10.1177/0004867413476752. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Mental health correlates of anger in the general population: findings from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

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National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.



The aim of the present study is to examine the mental health correlates of anger in the general population using data collected as part of the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (2007 NSMHWB).


The 2007 NSMHWB was a nationally representative household survey of 8841 Australians aged between 16 and 85 years. The survey assessed for 30-day DSM-IV mental health disorders and 30-day anger symptoms.


A range of mood, anxiety and substance use disorders were found to be independently associated with symptoms of anger after controlling for demographics and comorbidity. These included major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol and drug use disorders.


This study is the first epidemiological investigation of the mental health correlates of anger in the Australian general population. Anger can have extremely maladaptive effects on behaviour and can lead to serious consequences for the individual and for the community. The findings of the present study denote the importance of assessing anger symptoms among individuals presenting with these common mental health disorders.


Anger; DSM-IV; anxiety disorders; mood disorders; substance use disorders

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