The Experience, Expression, and Control of Anger Following Traumatic Brain Injury in a Military Sample

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on the experience and expression of anger in a military sample.

Participants:

A total of 661 military personnel with a history of TBI and 1204 military personnel with no history of TBI.

Design:

Cross-sectional, between-group design, using multivariate analysis of variance.

Main Measure:

State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (STAXI-2).

Results:

Participants with a history of TBI had higher scores on the STAXI-2 than controls and were 2 to 3 times more likely than the participants in the control group to have at least 1 clinically significant elevation on the STAXI-2. Results suggested that greater time since injury (ie, months between TBI and assessment) was associated with lower scores on the STAXI-2 State Anger scale.

Conclusion:

Although the results do not take into account confounding psychiatric conditions and cannot address causality, they suggest that a history of TBI increases the risk of problems with the experience, expression, and control of anger. This bolsters the need for proper assessment of anger when evaluating TBI in a military cohort.

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