Open Journal of Psychiatry, 2012, 2, 249-252 OJPsych Published Online October 2012 (
Relationship of trait anger with quality of life and anger
control among alcohol users
Manoj Kumar Sharma1*, L. N. Suman1, Pratima Murthy2, P. Marimuthu3
1Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS , Bangalore, India
2Centre for Addiction Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India
3Department of Biostatistics, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India
Received 14 August 2012; revised 16 September 2012; accepted 27 September 2012
Background: Abstinence and anger control are pro-
moted as ways to improve quality of life. Trait anger
has been seen as one casual factor for alcohol related
aggression and poor quality of life. The present study
assesses anger control, quality of life and its relation
with trait anger among alcohol dependents, abstain-
ers & social drinkers. Material & Method: 150 sub-
jects (50 subjects in each group) in the age range of 20 -
45 years were taken for the study. Semi-structured
interview schedule, State-Trait Anger Expression In-
ventory-2, WHOQOL-BREF were administered in in-
dividual setting. Results: De pendent alcohol users and
abstainers reported the significant impact of alcohol
use on family & occupational functioning. Quality of
life has correlation with anger control (in/out), trait
anger, temperament & reaction in the control & ab-
stainers group, whereas quality of life has negative
correlation with trait anger expression among the
alcohol group. Conclusions: Alcohol use has been as-
sociated with the trait anger expression and poor
quality of life. It has implications for promoting alco-
hol abstinence, in improving quality of life and in an-
ger control.
Keywords: Trait Anger; Anger Control; Quality of Life
Anger is a social emotion, its expression invariab ly has a
consequences to social relations within a culture or society .
Culture based expectations also influence the expression
and control of anger. Indian participants use more intro-
spective strategies like repression and rational self coping
statements to manage anger provocation than their west-
ern counterparts [1]. Gender and location of participants
also has a significant correlation with the anger expres-
sion inde x [2]. In a study c ompari ng an ger exp ression a n d
control carried out on Iranian and Indian patients (200 in
each group) using state trait anger ex pression inve ntory &
daily hassel ch ecklist. Ira nian m ale student s scored higher
on anger expression index whereas Indian males scored
higher on anger control [3]. Drug users experience anger
more frequently than nonusers and they are more likely to
feel less in control of their angry feelings. They are more
apt to express such anger toward other persons or objects
in their environment [4]. Alcohol interferes with those
processes which are needed to control behaviour and act
in a planful way to achieve the best outcomes in any
situation, namely attention, abstracting relevant informa-
tion, reasoning, problem-solving, planning, and self re-
gulation [5] and one specific set of skills to which these
processes are integral is social prob lem solving [6].
Participants with high trait anger are more prone to use
alcohol and drugs [7]. Trait anger has an association with
aggression among intoxicated men who reported low
level of anger cont rol [8]. Al coh ol use was reporte d more
among people with moderate levels of trait anger [9]. Ab-
stinence, controlled or minimal drinking has positive
impact on quality of life among alcohol users [10].
In a culture like India where abstinence is generally the
desired goal , there is a need to un derstand t he i nfluence o f
alcohol on trait anger, anger control and quality of life.
The present work assesses anger control, quality of life
and its relat ion with t rait anger am ong alco hol depen dents,
life time abstainers and social drinkers.
2.1. Participants & Procedure
The study was reviewed and approved by the NIM-
HANS Ethics Committee. The total study sample com-
prised 150 subjects in the age range of 20 - 45 years.
Group I consisted of 50 patients with active alcohol de-
pendence drawn from both outpatient and inpatient set-
tings. Grou p II consisted of 50 wh o had been diagnosed of
*Corresponding a uthor.
M. K. Sharma et al. / Open Journal of Psychiatry 2 (2012) 249-252
alcohol dependence b ut currently maintaining abstinence
from alcohol for the last three months. Group III com-
prised of 50 social drinkers (no lifetim e use of more than 2
standard drinks per day). This group was drawn fr om the
community (20 - 45 years of age and gender matched
samples drawn fr om among the hospit al staf f, e ducatio nal
institutions and workplaces using a snowballing ap-
proach). Subjects who had organic disorders, poly sub-
stance use (except ni cot i ne), psychosis or sen s ory deficits
were excluded from the study. Each assessment session
lasted about 30 minutes and all the subjects were assured
of confidentiality.
2.2. Measurement
A Semi-structured interview schedule was developed by
the investigators to obtain information about socio-d emo-
graphic details, information about alcohol use, its rela-
tionshi p wit h a nge r a nd i ts effect s on a n ger c o nt rol . State -
Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 [11], WHOQOL-
BREF [12] were used .
2.3. Statistical Analysis
It was carried out using percentage of score and factor
While 76% of social users and 68% of active alcohol
dependent users perceived anger as a negative emotion,
these differences were not statistically significant. A ma-
jority of the dependent users (52%), abstainers (46%)
attributed anger to personal reasons (persisting irritation,
frustration, negative attitude toward the alcohol users, de-
crease communicat ion with others ). 60% of the depe ndent
users and a bstainers experi enced it as having a sig nifi cant
impact on the fam ily (decreas e communication with wife,
frequent fights) and workplace area (loss of job and con-
flict with employers).
Factor analysis was carried out to understand the cor-
related factor in each of the three groups (Ta ble 1 ). An
eigen value greater than 1 was selected for the factor to
be considered and the correlation greater than 0.33 was
considered for the rotated component matrices and the
rotation was done using varimax method. In Table 1,
Columns 1 to 3 is rotated matrix fro m the factor analysis
for the control group. Three factors (trait anger, trait an-
ger reaction and trait anger temperament) are seen to
have a high correlation with total quality of life scores,
the total quality of life alone explains 42.88% of th e vari-
ability of correlatio n and the trait anger correlation (with
anger control in and anger control out) explains 27.02%
and therefore, a total of 69.9% of the variability is ex-
plained by the total quality of life scores and trait anger
in the control group.
Columns 4 to 6 in Table 1 are th e rotated matrix from
the factor analysis for the Abstainers group. Here two
factors (trait anger, trait anger reaction) have a high cor-
relation with total quality of life score, and this explains
the 47.24% of the variability in the correlation. Trait an-
ger is also highly correlated with the three factors (total
quality of score, anger control out, anger control in) wh i c h
explains 24.54% of the variability. Therefore two factors,
viz. the total quality of life sco re and the trait anger score
both explained most of the variability ( 71 . 7 8 %) i n t h e co r -
relation matrix.
For the alcohol dependent group (Columns 6 and 7), it
is only the trait anger reaction score which explain the
correlation with the three variables (that is anger control
out and anger control in and trait anger expression with a
negative correlation). It is the trait anger reaction score
which alone explain almost 50% of variability in the
correlation matrix. If we consider the anger control out
also as a factor. then the total variability explained would
be 73.8%. Since the eigenvalue of the anger control out
is (0.955) less than 1, this factor is not selected for the
further analysis.
In this study, we found that the quality of life has a po si-
tive correlation with anger control (in/out), trait anger,
temperament and reaction in the control and abstainers
group, whereas quality of life has a negative correlation
Ta b le 1 . Factor analysis for three group controls, abstainers and alcohol (rotated matrix) for quality of life (QUL), trait anger, trait
anger reaction, anger control out, anger control in & trait anger temperament.
Controls Abstainers Alcohol
(1) Total QOL (2) Trait anger (3)Total QOL (4) (5)Trait anger (6)(7) Total QOL (8)
Total QOL Tot QOL 0.412 Tot QOL
Trait anger 0.962 Trait anger 0.918 Trait anger
Trait anger reaction 0.864 Trait anger reaction 0.963 Trait anger reaction –0.584
Anger control out 0.895 Anger control out 0.866 Anger control out 0.845
Anger control in 0.876 Anger control in 0.866 Anger control in 0.827
Trait anger temperament 0.882 Trait anger Temperament Trait anger ex pression –0.507
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
M. K. Sharma et al. / Open Journal of Psychiatry 2 (2012) 249-252 251
with trait anger expression among the active alcohol de-
pendent user s. Dependent users and abstain ers reported a
significant impact of alcohol use on family and occupa-
tional functioning. This indicates that alcohol use influ-
ences both quality of life and anger control (in/out). Anger
was perceived as negative emotion across the three
Our findin gs have been c orroborated by other studies as
well. Interactive effect of trait anger and alcohol con-
sumption on anger control was seen in the intoxicated
state. Whereas same relationship was not found between
alcohol consumption and trait anger in the self reported
sober state [13]. Alcohol also exerts proximal effects on
abusive behavior among individuals already prone to
respond to conflict w ith increased anger [14]. Males who
abuse alcohol experience and express more anger than
males who do not abuse alcohol [15]. Alcohol users ex-
perience lower quality of life in comparison to non alco-
hol users [1 6] . Abstinence or moderat e co nsumption also
leads to improved quality o f life [17]. It is also associated
with long term recovery [18]. Longitudinal research has
shown that early impulsivity is associated with both later
offending & problem drinking and it is also related with
poor executive functioning which in turn contributes to
aggressiveness [19]. Thus, in a culture which promotes
abstinence and anger restraint, alcohol use enhances the
expression of trait anger. These finding have implications
for psychoeducating people for abstinence from alcohol,
its role in improving the quality of life as well as for anger
control. Future research in this area shou ld focus on male
and female samples, trait anger expression and its rela-
tionship with alcohol use, resilience to stress, domestic
violence, relation with relapse and psychological comor-
Grant agency: Research suppor t from the Center for Addiction Me dicine,
NIMHANS, Hosur Road, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, awarded to Dr.
Manoj Sharma.
Mrs Sowmya, HR, Research Assistant, for data collection & writing
the report.
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