Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This thesis was designed to address two questions. Question 1 was "What kinds of coping strategies do people use in dealing with anger-provoking incidents?" Question 2 was "what kinds of coping strategies are associated with effective and ineffective anger management for anger-provoking incidents?" The method of the research entailed asking 122 undergraduate students (48 males, 74 females) to complete a packet of self-report instruments. Students were asked to identify the incident that had made them the most angry in the past several weeks. The packet included a questionnaire that assessed their situation specific coping responses to this incident as well as a questionnaire that assessed effective and ineffective anger management with respect to the incident. Students also responded to a questionnaire that measured general dispositional coping styles with respect to anger-provoking incidents, and a questionnaire that measured traits that reflected general effectiveness and ineffectiveness of anger management with respect to anger-provoking incidents. Question 1 findings for dispositional coping styles and situational coping responses revealed significant differences in usage of coping strategies for dealing with anger-provoking incidents. Strategies least used for dealing with anger-provoking incidents were usually those that Carver et al. (1989) have previously regarded as maladaptive strategies (e.g., denial, behavioral disengagement, alcohol), strategies most used for dealing with anger-provoking incidents were usually those that Carver et al. (1989), have regarded as adaptive strategies (e.g., planning, seeking instrumental social support, seeking emotional social support). There was little significant difference in use between these most-used adaptive strategies. The most noteworthy question 2 findings were that the coping strategies of planning and positive reinterpretation and growth were positively associated with effective anger management. These strategies are not typically included in anger management interventions. The observed associations between these strategies and effective anger management seemed substantial enough to suggest further investigation to determine whether teaching these strategies in anger management programs would improve the efficacy of these interventions.


Richard P. Schellenberg

Date of Award

Fall 1992

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1992 Michael R. Krueger


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