Anger and well-being
: an exploratory study into relationships between anger, well-being, and mental health

  • Bryn Williams

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research (MScR)


Anger has long been a recognised feature of many mental health disorders and broadly associated with poorer mental health. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between anger and a broad spectrum of areas of well-being. The present study re-examines the links between anger and mental health, as well as extending the investigation to relationships between anger and well-being and moderating influences that anger has on the relationship between well-being and mental ill health. Analysis of a survey of well-being and anger found that, after controlling for low mood/depression, anxiety, stress, and self-harm/suicidal ideation, increased levels of anger intensity/frequency, anger suppression (“anger-in”), anger expression (“anger-out”), and anger duration had negative relationships with several well-being areas, whereas anger control and rage had positive relationships with areas of well-being. Anger intensity/frequency, anger-out, and rage were also found to weaken the relationships between indicators of poor mental health and areas of well-being, whereas higher anger-in and anger control increased the strength of those relationships. This was particularly evident for well-being factors such as self-esteem, positive affect, and worry. This research highlights the complexity of anger, showing that while many components perform similarly to indicators of poor mental health, some components like rage appear to be associated with better well-being in multiple domains. The findings showing moderating effects of anger components on relationships between indicators of psychological distress and well-being provide preliminary evidence for the existence of a protective effect of anger.
Date of Award23 Jan 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bristol
SupervisorC W Pleydell-Pearce (Supervisor)

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