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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Literature Review on Women's Anger and Other Emotions

Assessment Instruments

Anger assessment instruments encountered in the literature are listed below with brief descriptions. Empirical studies that have included women in their samples have utilized the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (Moll & Marler, 1990; Schill & Wang, 1990; O'Laughlin & Schill, 1994), the Speilberger Anger Expression Scale (Emerson & Harrison, 1990; Schill & Wang, 1990; Tangney, et al., 1992; O'Laughlin & Schill, 1994), Zelin, Adler, and Myerson's Anger Self Report Scale (Schill & Wang, 1990; O'Laughlin & Schill, 1994), the Cook & Medley Hostility Scale (Schill & Wang, 1990; O'Laughlin & Schill, 1994), the State-Trait Anger Scale (Thomas & Atakan, 1990; Potter-Efron & Potter Efron, 1991; Moreno, et al., 1993; Thomas, 1993d), the Framingham Anger Scales (Thomas & Atakan, 1990; Grover & Thomas, 1993; Thomas, 1993d), the Contrada Cognitive Anger Scale (Thomas, 1993), the Anger Situation Questionnaire (van Goozen, Frijda, Kindt, & van de Poll (1994), and the Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire (HDHQ) (Moreno, et al., 1993).

In one study of a Canadian federal and provincial inmate sample, the Anger Expression Scale was found to be satisfactory, but the conclusion was drawn that the State-Trait Anger Expression Scales should be used on this population with caution (Kroner & Reddon, 1992). It should be noted however, this study was conducted on a male sample and thus should not be generalized to a female population. Kroner and Reddon note the absence of research examining the role of anger in violent behaviour and "more broadly, in crime" (p. 398).

1. Anger Expression (AX) Scale

The Anger Expression Scale measures style and expression of anger and includes anger-in (the extent to which anger is experienced but not expressed) and anger-out (the external expression of anger) (Schill & Wang, 1990; Spielberger, Johnson, Russell, Crane, Jacobs, & Worden, cited in Thomas, 1993a). It also has a subscale for anger control.

2. Anger Inventory

Designed for women and men survivors of child sexual abuse to assist individuals to assess their current experience of anger and express it in the process of healing, this inventory consists of sentence completion and other writing exercises (Davis, 1990).

3. Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI)

Developed in 1957, this scale measures assault, indirect aggression, irritability, negativism, resentment, suspicion, and verbal expressions of anger. Though regarded as one of the most meticulously constructed measures of hostility, evidence of its validity was found to be "both fragmentary and limited" (Speilberger, Jacobs, Russell, & Crane, 1983). It was further rejected as an appropriate anger test by Braha (1987).

4. Contrada Cognitive Anger Scale

This 10-item measurement, designed by Contrada, Hill, Krantz, Durel, and Wright in 1986, scores tendency to engage in unhealthy thinking and dwell on angry incidents (cited in Thomas, 1993a). The tool includes a Somatic Anger Scale measuring physical symptoms in reaction to anger arousal.

5. Cook & Medley Hostility Scale

The Cook & Medley Hostility Scale, developed in 1954 primarily measures "suspiciousness, resentment, frequent anger, and cynical distrust of others rather than overtly aggressive behaviour" (Smith & Frohm, cited in Schill & Wang, 1990).

6. Framingham Anger Scales

The Framingham Anger Scales were developed in a study of coronary heart disease risk in Framingham, Massachusetts (Haynes, Levine, Scotch, Feinleib, & Kannel, cited in Thomas, 1993a), to assess how anger is expressed when it is felt. In addition to assessing internalization (anger-in), and externalization in an attacking or blaming way (anger-out), the Framingham scales measure somatization (physical symptoms), and discussion of anger (anger-discuss) (Grover & Thomas, 1993).

7. Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire (HDHQ)

The HDHQ (Foulds, Caine, & Creasy, cited in Moreno et al., 1993) includes 48 components of the MMPI (see below) and is purported to be the best known measure of hostility that has been derived from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (Foulds, Caine, & Creasy, cited in Speilberger, et al., 1983). It consists of four subscales: Intropunitiveness, Extrapunitiveness, Direction of Hostility, and General Hostility. Speilberger et al. conclude its validity may be restricted to neurotics and depressives, the populations with which it has been used.

8. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

This assessment instrument, named "the most widely researched objective personality questionnaire available" (Butcher, 1987, p. 161), was originally published in 1943 as an aid to psychological screening for professionals in the mental health fields and general medical practice. It is the most frequently administered psychological test with over 10,000 articles and books documenting its use.

9. Mosher Forced-Choice Guilt Inventory

An index of aggression anxiety (Mosher, 1966, cited in Tangney et al. 1992), that includes a Hostility-Guilt subscale.

10. Multidimensional Anger Inventory

The Multidimensional Anger Inventory (Siegel, cited in Kroner & Reddon, 1992) includes five categories: anger-arousal, range of anger-eliciting situations, hostile outlook, anger-in and anger-out.

11. The Anger Situation Questionnaire

This scale was developed by van Goozen et al. (1994) to focus on the relationship between anger and anger-readiness, rather than overt aggressive behaviour. The ASQ consists of thirty three scenarios or vignettes. The respondent is asked to imagine herself in each situation and to indicate from a choice of five emotion labels, five intensity levels, and five action tendencies, "which emotion she would experience, how intense this emotion would be, and what she would feel inclined to do of she found herself in the situation" (p. 81).

12. The Awareness and Expression of Anger Indicator

This inventory appeared in the research only under testing for a 1987 Masters thesis, with further testing recommended at that time (Braha, 1987).

13. The State-Trait Anger Scale

Psychologist Charles Speilberger was first to distinguish between state and trait anger. Anger defined as an emotional state is a transient condition varying in intensity. Trait anger involves one's general propensity to perceive situations as anger provoking and to respond with expressions of anger (Spielberger et al., 1983). Examining both aspects assumes that anger is both stable (trait anger) and variable over time (state anger) (Fuqua, Leonard, Masters, Smith, Campbell & Fischer, 1991). There has been significant work completed on examining the validity of this assessment tool and it has been widely used in many well known studies. It includes the subscales of Angry Temperament and Angry Reaction. This tool was developed following the assessment that most available anger scales cloud "the experience of anger with aggressive behavior and anger-provoking situations" (Speilberger et al., 1983).

14. Self assessment tool: How Enraged Are You?

This is a questionnaire designed for personal use to assist women to assess their rage quotient (Valentis & Devane, 1994).

15. Zelin, Adler, and Myerson's Anger Self-Report Scale

This 1972 scale differentiates between awareness and expression of anger and includes the following subscales: awareness of anger, general expression of anger, physical expression, verbal expression, guilt, condemnation of anger, and mistrust and suspicion (projection of anger) ( Schill & Wang, 1990). This scale was found to be infrequently used, and its validity drawn into question (Speilberger et al., 1983).