Anger and aggression treatments: a review of meta-analyses [2018]

• There is considerable variability in the effectiveness of anger treatments.

• Cognitive-behavioral interventions are the most commonly studied treatment of anger.

• Court-mandated anger management classes are underrepresented in the literature.

• Behavioral rehearsal may be more effective than therapy targeting cognitive changes.

• Future research will benefit from a common taxonomy of anger-related problems.

In the last several decades, researchers have begun to recognize dysregulated anger as a common and debilitating psychological problem among various psychiatric populations. Accordingly, the treatment of anger and aggression has received increasing attention in the literature. The current article reviews existing meta-analyses of psychosocial intervention for anger and aggression with the aims of (1) synthesizing current research evidence for these interventions, and (2) identifying interventions characteristics associated with effectiveness in specific populations of interest. Results demonstrate that cognitive behavioral treatments are the most commonly disseminated intervention for both anger and aggression. Anger treatments have consistently demonstrated at least moderate effectiveness among both non-clinical and psychiatric populations, whereas aggression treatment results have been less consistent. We discuss the implication of these findings and provide directions for future research in the treatment of anger and aggression.

Amy Hyoeun Lee, Raymond DiGiuseppe

Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 19, February 2018