Referrals for anger and aggression in forensic psychology outpatient services
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The purpose of this study was to investigate a clinical observation in referrals to a forensic clinical psychology outpatient service: that anger was related to obsessional-compulsive behaviours, possibly as a substitute means of controlling situations. A secondary hypothesis was that control of situations by obsessional-compulsive behaviours would result in greater levels of anxiety and depression, since this is not this group's preferred means of control. Comparison of anger referrals (n = 34) and non-anger referrals (n = 25) on the State-Trait Anger Expression inventory (STAXI), the Maudsley Obsessional-Compulsive inventory (MOCI) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD) showed no support for either of these hypotheses. Additional data on the STAXI and HAD were added to the initial sample, thus providing norms on these measures for forensic outpatients. Anger referrals scored significantly higher on all but two scales of the STAXI, compared with non-anger referrals. No group differences were found on the HAD scales, with both groups showing moderately high levels of anxiety and depression.