Doctor of Philosophy
Anger is an important aspect of the negative emotion associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and difficulties with anger regulation are implicated in more severe PTSD trajectories as well as associated problems such as aggression perpetration. Anger is also known to erode social relationships and is implicated in poorer psychosocial functioning and having fewer close relationships. From a diagnostic conceptualization, anger is included in both the hyperarousal symptom cluster (e.g. irritability and angry reactions) and the negative alterations in cognitions and mood symptom cluster (e.g. negative emotions like anger, fear, shame, etc). Although anger is included in the diagnostic symptoms of PTSD, it is not often a specific focus of research and there are few investigations of anger on a granular level. This study assessed anger and psychosocial functioning in a sample of post-9/11 veterans with PTSD (N = 70; 87.1% cisgender men; 60.0% white, 32.9% African American/Black; Mage = 37.6 years [SD = 7.8]) using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to capture daily reports of anger frequency and intensity. Hierarchical and simple linear regressions were used to investigate between-subjects relations among PTSD symptoms, anger reported via EMA, and indices of psychosocial functioning. Primary results from this study demonstrated that anger reported via EMA significantly predicted greater impairment in some domains of psychosocial functioning, after controlling for PTSD symptom severity. Findings from this study suggest that the frequency and intensity of experiences of anger in veteran’s day-to-day lives may contribute to psychosocial functioning impairment beyond the expected deleterious impact of PTSD. A nuanced measurement of anger may have clinical utility in predicting psychosocial functioning among veterans with PTSD.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.
Zakarian, Rebecca J., "Understanding Anger and Psychosocial Functioning in a Sample of Post-9/11 Veterans Using Ecological Momentary Assessment" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3232.