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Opinions expressed in the manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Federal Bureau of Prisons or the U.S. Department of Justice.
As the rates of both violent crime and prison violence continue to rise, anger management programs have become a common treatment recommendation for prisoners. Several psychology treatment programs have incorporated anger management as core curricula, and many supervisory and probation officers mandate anger management as a post release requirement for probationers. Assessment tools that provide direction in treatment planning and therapeutic will surely be very helpful. The Angry Cognitions Scale (ACS) (Martin and Dahlen in J Ration Emot Cogn Behav Therapy 25:155–173, 2007) was formulated to assess the cognitive antecedents to anger: overgeneralizing, inflammatory labeling, demandingness, catastrophic evaluation, and misattributing causation. Evaluation of adaptive anger was also included. A limitation of that study is its lack of generalization to populations beyond college students and the authors recommended rewriting the scenarios to fit specific clinical populations. Researchers have noticed that prisoners may exhibit unique responses to anger provocations due to their conditions of confinement, potential consequences for acts of violence, and cultural norms of the prison environment (Wydo in Measuring anger in a prison population using the Anger Disorders Scale and the Personality Assessment Inventory, 2003). In the current study, the original scenarios from the Angry Cognitions Scale were reworded or reconstructed to replicate common anger provoking events in jails and prisons. As opposed to events that happen in the general public, such as driving a car or going to the mall, it is posited that inmates will more easily relate to everyday occurrences in jail settings and thus provide more accurate responses to be used in therapy. Two hundred and thirty male inmates completed the Angry Cognitions Scale-Prison Form (ACS-PF) and the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (STAXI-2). Results indicated that the five maladaptive subscales of the Angry Cognitions Scale-Prison Form were highly correlated and showed good convergent validity with the STAXI-2, while the adaptive process subscale demonstrated discriminant validity. A factor analysis of all ACS-PF items yielded a three factor solution that offers an alternative scoring method. Results support the hypothesis that the ACS-PF provides information on six distinct cognitive processes that prisoners may experience in response to provocations.
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- An Assessment Instrument for Anger Management in Correctional Settings: The Angry Cognitions Scale-Prison Form
Michael R. Wydo
Ryan C. Martin
- Springer US
- Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Print ISSN: 0894-9085
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6563