Anger as a Mediator of the Effects of Anxiety on Aggressiveness in Teacher Trainees

By Cankaya, Ibrahim | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, August 2011 | Go to article overview

Anger as a Mediator of the Effects of Anxiety on Aggressiveness in Teacher Trainees


Cankaya, Ibrahim, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


Aggressiveness, involving hazardous behaviors intended to hurt, bully, or harm others, has been found to be increasing in frequency among students at schools, employees in business organizations, and generally among young people (Baron & Richardson, 1994; Gergen & Gergen, 1986). Aggressiveness may appear in physical, verbal, or psychological (mobbing) forms. Physical aggressiveness is manifested in such behaviors as kicking, hitting, or shoving others, and using weapons or knives; verbal aggressiveness is manifested in the form of insulting, humiliating, and swearing at others; and psychological aggressiveness is manifested in the form of hating, holding grudges against, excluding, and isolating others (Uygur, 2001).

Aggressive behavior may lead to undesired consequences for individuals, families, schools, and society. Such consequences include hatred of others and a low sense of trust for children at school and among those who are attacked (Sanders & Phye, 2004). For those who are subjected to aggression, common problems include loneliness, introversion, maladaptation to the environment, rebelliousness, low motivation, and learning difficulties ((inkir, 2006). The determining factors of aggressiveness are individual traits such as personality type, anxiety, stress, and anger (Morgan, 2000). In this study the focus was on the effects of anxiety on aggressiveness through the mediator of anger. Anger usually emerges as an emotional reaction to situations such as being suppressed, attacked, threatened, deprived, or limited (Budak, 2000). It is a primary feeling, along with happiness, sadness, fear, and hate (Kassinove & Tafrate, 2002; Sharkin, 1988). A fundamental reason for anger is anxiety, manifested as fear, worry, and nervousness, which surfaces whenever the integrity of one's personality is threatened (Kozacioglu, 1986). Variables such as anxiety, anger, stress, and depression are considered to be factors with a direct effect on aggressiveness (Sharkin, 1988).

The direct association of aggressiveness with anger, anxiety, stress, and depression has been well documented. The value of the present study, however, lies in the fact that the aim was to show the extent to which these variables affect aggressiveness through (or partially through) a mediating variable or variables.

Relevant Research

In a number of studies the aim has been to identify a direct relationship between aggressiveness and anxiety, stress, and anger. Freedman, Sears, and Carlsmith (1998) showed that adolescents with high anxiety scores also had high aggressiveness scores. Karabiyik (2003) established the presence of a positive relationship between trait anxiety levels and a tendency towards aggressiveness among university students in Turkey. Lopez and Thurman (1986) and Stern (1999) found that youngsters with a tendency towards aggressiveness also had high chronic anxiety and anger levels. In a study of 247 university students, Clay, Anderson, and Dixon (1993) reported a positive relationship between anxiety and anger levels. Kassinove and Tafrate (2002) studied adolescents and found that, in addition to anxiety and stress, anger also had a significant effect on aggressiveness. Tor and Sargin (2005) conducted a study of students attending the second stage of elementary schools in Turkey, and found that student anger levels were high in schools where aggressiveness is a common behavior, and that these students had a greater tendency towards violence. Siitgii (2006) studied experimental and control groups of 40 students each in Turkey and observed a decrease in the aggressiveness scores of students who received anger management training when compared to pretreatment scores. Kesen, Deniz, and Durmusoglu (2007) studied 201 students in Konya, Turkey and found a positive relationship between students' anger levels and their tendency towards aggression. In a study with Japanese university students Ramirez (1993) showed that those with high anger levels also had a high aggressiveness tendency.

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Anger as a Mediator of the Effects of Anxiety on Aggressiveness in Teacher Trainees
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