Extending John Bowlby’s hypothesis that dysfunctional anger is a predictable outcome of insecure attachments to parents, this study investigated the relationship between current parent–adolescent attachment and both the experience and expression of anger. Participants included 776 students (379 boys and 397 girls) in grades 8–12. As predicted by attachment theory, results of structural equation modeling analyses indicated that adolescents’ self-reported attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance toward both mother and father figures were positively related to the adolescents’ greater levels of self-reported anger intensity. In turn, greater intensity of anger was associated with higher levels of both internalizing (anger-in) and externalizing (anger-out) expressions. In addition, there was a direct effect of attachment anxiety on internalized but not externalized anger. This study highlights the importance of differentiating anger dimensions and the critical role of anger intensity as a mediator of the relationship between insecure attachment and anger expressions.
Konishi, Chiaki and Hymel, Shelley
"An Attachment Perspective on Anger Among Adolescents,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 60:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol60/iss1/4