The Beliefs, Attitudes and Views of University Students about Anger and the Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Oriented Anger Control and Anxiety Management Programs on Their Anger Management Skill Levels

Author/s: T. Fikret KARAHAN, B. Murat YALÇIN, Melda M. ERBAŞ

DOI: 10.12738/estp.2014.6.2314 

Year: 2014 Vol: 14 Number: 6

Abstract

This study was designed as a qualitative focus group using a randomized controlled trail with a mixed methodology. The study has dual aims. First we searched the beliefs, attitudes and views of 176 university students on how to deal with anger using eight focus discussion groups. The anxiety and anger levels of these students were investigated with the Beck Anxiety Inventory and State Trait Anger Scale, and these values were accepted as pretest scores for the participants. The 32 students with the highest scores were selected. These students were randomized into study (n = 16 students) and control groups (n = 16 students). The participants in the study group received a behavioral therapy-oriented anger management skills training program consisting of 11 sessions, 90 minutes per session. After the program was completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory and State Trait Anger Scale were re-administered to both participants in the study and control groups, giving the post-test results. The study group attended two enhancement sessions, three and six months after the termination of the program, and these tests were then reapplied to both groups of participants (1st follow-up and 2nd follow-up tests). The findings revealed that the anxiety levels of the participants in the study group had decreased while statistically their anger control levels were significantly improved (p 0.001) compared to their pretest results. This positive effect for the study group was confirmed by the 3rd and 6th month follow-up tests (p 0.05) when these results were compared to the 1st and 2nd follow-up tests. However, there were no significant changes in the pre, post, 1st follow-up and 2nd follow-up results of both categories for the participants in the control group (p 0.05). In the focus group discussions, the students revealed that although they don’t like angry people they believe that it is better to express their anger on other people. They usually talk with a close friend in order to cope with anger as a relaxation method. They mostly get angry when they believe that they face a situation where they have been treated unjustly and unfairly. Our results indicate that our program not only improved the anger control and anxiety management skills of the participants for the short term, but that this effect continued beyond this.

Keywords
Anxiety, Anger Control, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Anger Management Training, University Students

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