The experience of anger in male adolescents with and without behavior disorders

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Virginia Tech


Using the TFA Systems model (Hutchins & Vogler, 1988), groups of boys with and without behavior disorders were compared on (a) the primary mode (thinking, feeling, or acting) relied upon during conditions of normal daily events and when angry, and (b) the specific thoughts, feelings, and actions experienced during angry episodes.

The group without behavior disorders was found to function in a flexible manner, when angry, both currently and in the past. In contrast, prior to receiving therapeutic services, the group with behavior disorders was found to operate in a predominantly acting-oriented manner, when angry. While receiving treatment, this group no longer operated in a predominantly acting-oriented way, but still did not display the flexible functioning of the group without behavior disorders. Adolescents with behavior disorders were also found to be more negative and aggressive in their thoughts, feelings, and actions during angry situations, and to more frequently target adults. Several other between-group differences were also. found.