Anger Management

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Anger Management Description

Anger management programmes aim to reduce aggressive behaviour by enabling individuals to learn ways to recognise and control emotions, which should enable them to avoid aggressive encounters that lead to violent behaviour. 

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Anger Management Description

The technique is based on cognitive-behavioural principles. It involves the individual thinking about their behaviour as well as applying behavioural techniques to changing those responses.

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  • Cognitive preparation: Group members are helped to recognise thier own anger patterns and so identify situations that trigger aggressive behaviour.
  • Skill acquisition: Individuals learn behavioural and cognitive coping strategies, such as relaxation, which will help them to control the feelings of anger and replace these emotions with acceptable responses.
  • Application and practice: Individuals try out the skills in role plays and actual situations such as minor but genuine provocation and are positively reinforced for appropriate, non- aggressive responses.
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Anger Management Evaluation

Hunter (1993) reported considerable reduction in impulsiveness and interpersonal problems following an anger management programme.

Law (1997) found that only 1 individual who completed an 8-session course showed any improvement.

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Anger Management Evaluation

Holbrook (1997) also used anger management successfully with prisoners. The sample had been selected because their aggression was reactive. Following the course, they were less likely to engage in revenge.

For anger management courses to be effective, the cause of the aggression must be anger but this is unlikely to be the case for all offenders.

Some research studies test only prisoners deemed suitable for the course, so the strategy may not generalise to other aggressive offenders e.g if they cannot self-evaluate.

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