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Violence Risk: Anger Rumination’s Association with Pre- and Post-Hospitalization Violence

  • Author(s): Hardin, Kaitlin Michelle
  • Advisor(s): Novaco, Raymond W
  • et al.
Abstract

Anger rumination has not been well examined with regard to violence risk. It is a common sequel to anger experiences, and it likely facilitates imagined violence; however, no previous study has examined that interrelationship. The current study investigates anger rumination as a possible mechanism through which anger is related to violent behavior in a secondary analysis of data from the MacArthur Violence Risk study, which was conducted with 1,136 civil commitment patients, before and after hospital discharge. Anger proclivity was assessed via BPRS hostility, anger rumination was measured using items of the Novaco Anger Scale, and imagined violence was measured with the Schedule of Imagined Violence. Violence, pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization, was indexed by the MacArthur project measure. Correlational analyses, mediation analyses, and moderated mediation analyses were conducted. Anger rumination significantly predicted pre- and post-hospitalization violence, when controlling for age, sex, race, child abuse, and anger proclivity, and partially mediated the relation between anger proclivity and violence. Imagined violence and anger rumination were also highly inter-related. When imagined violence was added to the model, it was a significant predictor of pre-hospitalization violence, however, it did not moderate the association of anger rumination with pre- or post-hospitalization violence. Anger rumination may be a mechanism through which anger incites violent behavior. Future research should investigate the association between anger rumination and imagined violence, with attention given to revenge planning as a link.

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