Anger in prisoners: Women are different from men

Jennifer M. Suter, Mitchell K. Byrne, Stuart Byrne, Kevin Howells, Andrew Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anger can contribute to offending behaviour and to behavioural difficulties in prison environments. As such, training in self-management of anger has been a common strategy in an attempt to reduce such behaviours. However, the vast majority of research into anger in offenders has been conducted using male participants. This has led to a lack of knowledge specific to the treatment needs of angry female prisoners. This paper investigates the extent to which a sample of Australian female offenders differs from Australian male offenders in their expression and experience of anger. Fifty women and 121 men were given the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory [Spielberger, C.D. (1991). State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory: STAX1 Professional Manual. Florida: Psychological Assessment Resources] and the Novaco Anger Scale [Novaco, R. W. (1994). Anger as a risk factor for violence among the mentally disordered. In J. Monohan, & H. J. Steadman (Eds.), Violence and mental disorder. Chicago: University of Chicago Press]. The data collected from female participants was then contrasted with identical data collected from male inmates in the separate study [Howells, K., Day, A., Bubner, S., Jauncey, S. (2000). Anger needs and treatment responsivity in male prisoners. Unpublished manuscript: University of South Australia.]. Results indicated significant main effects for gender in a majority of the subscales of the two measures, with significant differences found in both the experience and expression of anger for male and female prisoners. The results are discussed in terms of the implications for correctional service providers with respect to the specific psychological needs of female offenders. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1100
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2002

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