Sixty women's narratives about their anger were coded for elements of anger expression. Their decisions regarding how and where to express anger are most strongly influenced by the anticipated reactions of others. Six patterns of bringing anger into relationships or keeping it out were identified. Women bring anger into relationship: (1) positively and directly, with the goal of removing barriers to relationship; (2) aggressively, with the goal of hurting another; and (3) indirectly, through disguising anger with the goal of remaining safe from interpersonal consequences, using strategies of (a) quiet sabotage, (b) hostile distance, (c) deflection, and (d) loss of control. Women keep anger out of relationship (1) consciously and constructively, choosing to express it in positive ways; (2) explosively expressing anger, but not in the presence of another; and (3) through self-silencing, which ranges from conscious to less conscious awareness of anger and its suppression. Implications of differing patterns for women's health are discussed.
- anger expression,
- women's anger,
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