Anger and anxiety in older adults: a cross-lagged examination.

TitleAnger and anxiety in older adults: a cross-lagged examination.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsSegel-Karpas, D
JournalAging & Mental Health
ISSN Number1364-6915
Keywordsanger expression, anger suppression, Anger-in, anger-out, Anxiety, cross-lagged

OBJECTIVES: Both anger and anxiety are common in older adulthood, with aversive consequences for individuals' physical and mental health. Theory suggests that anger can be an emotional response to the experience of anxiety. Similarly, anger can induce anxiety symptoms. Despite studies documenting the co-occurrence of anger and anxiety and their strong theoretical links, little is known about their temporal relationship. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the longitudinal cross-lagged relationship between anger expression, anger suppression, and anxiety.

METHODS: A large and representative sample of older adults (N=6,852) was utilized, with data collected in two waves at an interval of four years. All variables were measured using validated self-report scales.Data were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling.

RESULTS: Results indicate that both anger suppression and anger expression are significant predictors of anxiety symptoms. Similarly, anxiety is a significant predictor of both anger suppression and anger expression.

CONCLUSIONS: The effects did not differ in magnitude, suggesting a balanced reciprocity between anger and anxiety. An understanding of this reciprocal association can inform interventions and strategies aimed at promoting emotional well-being in older individuals. By addressing both anger and anxiety concurrently, interventions may have a more comprehensive impact on improving mental health outcomes in this population.

Citation Key13847
PubMed ID38516943