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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1995 Aug;183(8):505-9.

Depression and the experience and expression of anger in marital and other relationships.

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Department of Psychology, American University, Washington, DC 20016-8062, USA.


In prior research using trait self-report measures, depression has been linked to elevated anger experience and anger suppression, whereas observational studies of marital interactions reveal high rates of overt anger expression by depressed people. This study tested whether the key distinction between these contradictory lines of research is a) target of anger expression (people in general versus spouse) or b) method of measurement (self-report versus behavioral observation). Depressed patients (N = 33) scored significantly higher than did nondepressed controls (N = 41) on self-report measures of anger and anger suppression regardless of whether the target of anger was the spouse or others. Group differences were nonsignificant on anger expression. Thus, it appears that the critical feature of studies linking depression with heightened anger expression may be their use of behavioral observations rather than their specific focus on the marital relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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