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Anger as a Disorder

Anger as a Disorder
Reported by
Leslie Knowlton

Posted October 15, 2009

Presented By


Current official manuals including the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and ICD (International Statistical Classification of Disorders and Related Health Problems) do not list anger among their disorders. Although anger has harmful consequences for peoples' lives, this can make it difficult for clinicians to diagnose and treat anger disorders.

Raymond DiGiuseppe described the history of psychologists' understanding of anger, why it is important to discriminate between different symptoms of anger, and why grouping anger too closely with depression is problematic. He also presented a multidimensional Anger Disorder Scale that he and his colleagues have developed to classify what he calls "anger-aggression disorder."

Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.

Web Sites

Anger and Aggression
An indexed guide to anger and anger theory from

APA Monitor on Psychology—Special Issue on Anger
The March 2003 issue of the APA Monitor on Psychology was devoted to recent developments in anger research. Articles include When anger's a plus, 'Goo, gaa, grr?', Anger across the gender divide, and Advances in anger management.

Controlling Anger—Before It Controls You
A guide from the American Psychological Association that explains how to identify and manage anger.

Homepage of the DSM-IV. Includes frequently asked questions, diagnostic coding issues, relevant clinical changes from the DSM-III, and a prelude to the DSM-V.

To Novatus on Anger
Excerpts from Seneca's treatise, provided by

Articles and Assessment Tools

Deffenbacher, J. L., E. R. Oetting & R. A. DiGiuseppe. 2002. Principles of empirically supported interventions applied to anger management. Counsel. Psychol. 30: 262-280.

DiGiuseppe, R. & R. C. Tafrate. 2004. The anger disorder scale. Toronto, Canada: Multi Health Systems.

DiGiuseppe, R. & R. C. Tafrate. 2003. Anger treatment for adults: a meta-analytic review. Clin. Psychol. Sci. Pract. 10: 70-84.

DiGiuseppe, R. & R. C. Tafrate. 2001. A comprehensive treatment model for anger disorders. Psychother.-Theor. Res. 28: 262-271.

DiGiuseppe, R. 1999. End piece: reflections on the treatment of anger. J. Clin. Psychol. 55: 365-379.


Raymond DiGiuseppe, PhD

St. John's University
Albert Ellis Institute
e-mail | web site

Raymond DiGiuseppe has trained hundreds of therapists in REBT and CBT. He helped develop the Diplomat in Behavioral Psychology and served on the Diplomat board. He was associate program chair and program chair for the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT). He has served on the editorial board of AABT's Cognitive and Behavioral Practice since its founding. He served as AABT convention coordinator and associate convener for the World Congress for Behavior Therapy and was elected AABT representative-at-large in 2001.

DiGiuseppe has contributed to the scientific and clinical literature with five books, more than seventy chapters and articles, and more than a hundred conference presentations. His present scholarship focuses on clinical aspects of anger, on which he lectures widely.

Leslie Knowlton

Leslie Knowlton is a freelance writer based in New York City and on Deer Isle, Maine. With a master's degree in psychology, she spent more than a decade as a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a medical writer and contributing editor for the Psychiatric Times. Her work has also appeared in dozens of other newspapers and magazines including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan and Fitness.