Anger and its links to violent offending
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The emotion of anger is clearly important as an antecedent for many forms of violence. In this article I describe some contemporary influential psychological ideas about the nature of anger and its links with aggressive and violent behaviour. I also describe the application of such ideas to therapeutic interventions with violent offenders in the form of 'anger management' and similar programmes. I review the evidence for and against the effectiveness of these interventions and make suggestions as to how outcomes, including reductions in reoffending, might be improved. Finally, I propose that a broader approach is needed for the future. Interventions to reduce anger-related violence need to focus on the psychological readiness of the client on developing a broader theoretical orientation and on primary prevention.