A study of self reported perceived intimacy as a correlate to participation in an anger management course

Christopher F Fariello, University of Pennsylvania


Evidence suggests that many forms of negative affect tend to manifest themselves in anger (Berkowitz, 1990). Of all the emotions, anger is potentially the most devastating to intimate relationships. Many people perceive anger as negatively affecting their interpersonal relationships more than any other emotion (Scherer & Wallbott, 1994). Yet even in the face of this evidence, anger has been long neglected by mental health professionals in the scientific literature (DiGuiseppe, 1999). What has been addressed has traditionally been approached from a “management” perspective. People have been taught skills in relaxation, communication, and behavioral adaptation (Beck, 1998). Programs in anger management have typically been aimed at individuals, whether self motivated or other motivated, in an attempt to repair personal and relational distress. Yet, there is no research to identify if relational repair has occurred. As a result of participating in a psycho-educational course in anger management, individuals may obtain skills that encourage accountability, cognitive changes and new behavioral techniques (Beck, 1998). These skills may have ancillary effects on participants other relational bonds. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential relationship between participation in a psycho-educational anger management course and the perception of the participants' intimate bond within their primary relationship. The study was completed with an n of 30 participants who took part in an eight session anger management course (designed by Ronald Potter-Efron, 1994). Each participant was given a pre-test on the first day of class and a post-test at the conclusion of the course using the Intimacy Scale (IS) (Walker & Thompson, 1983). A correlation of the pre-test post-test scores determined a positive significant change in participant's perception of intimacy.

Subject Area

Behaviorial sciences|Social psychology|Health education

Recommended Citation

Fariello, Christopher F, "A study of self reported perceived intimacy as a correlate to participation in an anger management course" (2004). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3152032.