Date of Award

8-7-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Mary Ann Rafoth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William F. Barker, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Victoria B. Damiani, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Abstract

This descriptive design study investigated anger demonstrated by an adolescent population and added to the limited body of research that investigates anger in adolescents. Specifically, the research explored the effects of variables including sex, grade level, number of friends, academic achievement, school behavior, friends’ behavior, and number of household members on levels of Reactive Anger (RA), Instrumental Anger (IA), Anger Control (AC), and Total Anger. The sample for this study was comprised of seventh, ninth, and eleventh grade students in a rural school district in Pennsylvania. Seventy-four subjects completed the Adolescent Anger Rating Scale (AARS). Analyses for this study involved use of independent t-tests, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and analysis of variance (ANOVA) to detect differences in levels of RA, IA, AC, and Total Anger when variables were considered. Results of the data analyses reveal that no significant differences are detected in RA, IA, AC, and Total Anger levels for males versus females or younger versus older students. Additionally, no significant differences of anger expression or anger control were detected when examining variables individually including number of friends reported or number of household members reported. Results reveal that average grade earned, number of school suspensions, and friends’ behavior had a significant effect on the data. Specifically, average grade earned had a significant effect on Reactive Anger, Instrumental Anger, Anger Control, and Total Anger. Those indicating lower average grades earned were observed to report higher levels of Reactive Anger, Instrumental Anger, and Total Anger, along with lower levels of Anger Control than those indicating higher average grades earned. Number of school suspensions was found to have a significant effect on Anger Control, with those reporting no school suspensions having significantly higher levels of Anger Control than those reporting more school suspensions. Finally, results reveal that friends’ behavior had a significant effect on Reactive Anger, Instrumental Anger, Anger Control, and Total Anger. Those rating their friends’ behavior as Good reported significantly less Reactive Anger, Instrumental Anger, and Total Anger, along with significantly more Anger Control, than those rating their friends’ behavior as more negative.

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