Factors predicting anger control and suppression in young African American males with histories of aggression

Helen M Rupp, University of Pennsylvania


Feelings of anger and their suppression or internalization can add to the daily stress felt by adolescents and can be compounded by experiences of racism and poverty. There is a need to look at what factors predict how adolescents respond to anger causing experiences. This study was conducted to examine anger in adolescent males as a continuation of ongoing research aimed at reducing long-term anger and aggression in African American boys ranging in age from 10 to 18 years. Participants completed five self-report measures assessing emotional functioning (State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory and Children's Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire), support systems (Kinship Social Support and Neighborhood Social Capital), and adaptive racial socialization experiences (Teenager Experience of Racial Socialization). Correlational analyses were conducted to determine bivariate relationships among variables. Hierarchical multiple regression was applied to determine what factors predicted anger control and suppression. A qualitative component explored actual anger responses among boys identified as anger controllers or suppressors through the viewing and codification of videotapes of a therapeutic intervention conducted in the context of basketball play. Results indicated that anger control was related to peer reliance and racial socialization experiences, while anger suppression was related to rejection sensitivity and racial socialization experiences. Family support was inversely related to feelings of rejection following a teacher rejection. Reliance on peers for support was related to family support and inversely related to dejection following a peer rejection. Neighborhood support was related to family support and racial socialization experiences. Racial socialization experiences emerged as a significant predictor of both anger control and suppression. Feelings of dejection following peer rejection and peer reliance also contributed to the prediction of anger control. Qualitative analysis resulted in operational definitions of anger control, suppression, and expression, as well as a description of observed anger responses. Implications of the study and suggestions for future research with African American males were discussed.

Subject Area

Black studies|Behavioral psychology|Social psychology|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Rupp, Helen M, "Factors predicting anger control and suppression in young African American males with histories of aggression" (2007). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3260981.