The Status Dynamics of Anger Management

Zeybekoglu, E. / Published 2016 / Dissertation

Citation: Zeybekoglu, E. (2016). The status dynamics of anger management.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Psychology. Boston, MA: William James College.

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Abstract: Cognitive-Behavioral Anger Management has become a popular treatment option for court-mandated referrals that present with aggressive behavior. However, many individuals that complete anger management courses recidivate to violence. To help us understand their reasons for recidivism, this doctoral project will suggest that we must first understand the cultural sanctions for aggressive thoughts and behavior in their world-view. The thesis of this Doctoral Project will argue that a person’s place, or status, within a community provides significance to their appraisal of events that elicit anger. Instances where aggressive behaviors are thought to follow from the affective arousal of anger are re-described as having a relational appraisal, not only to the object of anger, but also to the broader community and culture in which both the person and object are embedded. This will involve a review of existing evidence-based anger management interventions, an examination of theoretical works regarding emotion and emotional behavior, and finally, a re-conceptualization of anger management techniques interpreted through the lens of Descriptive Psychology. Utilizing a conceptually clear descriptive framework to integrate what is known to be clinically effective from existing anger management modalities, this Doctoral Project will conclude by providing a new framework for understanding anger that should help clinicians in developing an empathetic and conceptually accurate formulation when working with Anger Management clients.

This Doctoral Project was supervised by Wynn Schwartz, Ph.D.