1. Study suggests describing emotional situations alters body’s physiological response to them

    June 21, 2013 by Ashley

    From the Public Library of Science press release via ScienceDaily:

    Angry CoupleThe act of describing a feeling such as anger may have a significant impact on the body’s physiological response to the situation that elicits the emotion, according to research published June 5 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Karim Kassam from Carnegie Mellon University and Wendy Mendes from the University of California San Francisco.

    Participants in the study were asked to complete a difficult math task in the presence of evaluators trained to offer negative feedback as they worked through the assignment. Negative feedback was designed to elicit anger in some participants and shame in others. At the end of the task, participants were given a questionnaire that appraised their feelings (e.g. How angry are you right now?), or a set of neutral questions that did not assess their emotional state.

    In the ‘anger’ condition, participants who completed the questionnaire about emotional state had different physiological responses, measured by heart rate changes, compared to those who answered neutral questions. Among these participants, reporting on one’s emotional state was associated with a smaller increase in heart rate compared to not reporting on it. As the study explains, “Measurement effects exist throughout the sciences — the act of measuring often changes the properties of the observed. Our results suggest that emotion research is no exception.”

    Lead author Karim Kassam added: “What impressed us was that a subtle manipulation had a big impact on people’s physiological response. Essentially, we’re asking people how they’re feeling and finding that doing so has a sizeable impact on their cardiovascular response.


  2. Study suggests expressing anger on online rant-sites may be counterproductive

    March 12, 2013 by Sue

    From the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. press release via EurekAlert!:

    computer frustrationLittle is known about the value and emotional consequences of expressing anger on the Internet. Rant-sites provide an outlet for anonymous, angry outbursts.

    How people feel after reading and writing rants and the effects of this behavior is explored in an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, (http://www.liebertpub.com/cyber) a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers (http://www.liebertpub.com). The article is available online on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (http://www.liebertpub.com/cyber) website.

    “Anger on the Internet: The Perceived Value of Rant-Sites (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cyber.2012.0130),” by Ryan Martin, PhD, and coauthors, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, presents the results of two studies. One study assessed whether individuals felt calmer or angrier after ranting on an Internet site, and whether people who frequent rant-sites are more likely to have problems related to anger. The second study evaluated how people reacted emotionally to reading and writing rants online—whether they became more or less happy or angry.

    “The two studies seem to indicate that both reading and writing on rant-sites tend to be unhealthy practices, suggesting persons with maladaptive expression styles,” says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA. “It will be interesting to explore in future studies if this finding extends to other social networking sites as well.”


  3. Study examines causes of road rage

    January 15, 2013 by Sue

    From the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health press release via EurekAlert!:

    driving frustrationCutting in and weaving, speeding, and hostile displays are among the top online complaints posted by drivers, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) recently published in an online issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention.

    Driver aggression is a major safety concern and researchers estimate this behaviour is a factor in nearly half of all motor vehicle collisions. Identifying the underlying causes and strategies for preventing driver aggression continues to be a priority.

    CAMH researcher Dr. Christine Wickens reviewed thousands of entries posted on RoadRagers.com, a website that invites drivers to submit complaints about unsafe and improper driving.

    Following a previous study evaluating complaints submitted to the Ontario Provincial Police, Dr. Wickens turned her attention towards the crop of new websites that ask drivers to describe the unsafe driving practices they’ve observed.

    “These websites can tell us more about what people are doing out there in the real world,” she explained.

    Dr. Wickens, a post-doctoral fellow with CAMH’s Social and Epidemiological Research Department, and her colleagues evaluated more than 5,000 entries posted on RoadRagers.com between 1999 and 2007. The team sorted the complaints — which consisted mostly of reports on driving in Canada and the U.S. — into various categories, including: speeding/racing, erratic/improper braking and blocking.

    The most common complaints involved cutting in and weaving (54 per cent of all complaints), speeding (29 per cent) and hostile displays (25 per cent).

    The research team also discussed how slighted drivers might feel compelled to retaliate or ‘teach other drivers a lesson.’ In some extreme cases, one reckless action can escalate into a hostile situation between multiple drivers.

    The next step in the research will be to examine how slighted drivers perceive the offensive actions of another motorist: Is the other driver in a rush, negligent, or deliberately aggressive? How do these different interpretations affect how we respond?

    With this in mind, Dr. Wickens advises drivers to work hard at keeping cool behind the wheel.

    Remind yourself to take a deep breath, stay calm, and do whatever it takes to bring your anger down,” she said.

    Dr. Wickens suggested that educating drivers during their training on the most common complaints might help them realize the impact of their actions and avoid these types of behaviours. The training could also teach drivers to be aware of their own responses associated with behaviours they are likely to encounter on the road.


  4. Study suggests anger may play significant role in anxiety disorders

    December 10, 2012 by Sue

    From the Concordia University press release via EurekAlert!:

    Angry MenAnger is a powerful emotion with serious health consequences. A new study from Concordia University shows that for millions of individuals around the world who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), anger is more than an emotion; it’s an agent that exacerbates their illness.

    Concordia graduate student Sonya Deschênes investigated the subject after conducting a literature review for her PhD research, supervised by psychology professor Michel Dugas. While some of the studies she came across showed that anger and anxiety were linked, she noticed that this relationship was poorly understood. “This was surprising to me because irritability, which is part of the anger family, is a diagnostic feature of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD),” she explains.

    GAD is a serious affliction characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry about everyday things. It often interferes with a person’s ability to function normally. Individuals suffering from GAD typically anticipate disaster, and are overly concerned about everyday issues, such as health, money, and relationships.

    Deschênes and her colleagues at Concordia and Ryerson University in Toronto looked into how specific components of anger contribute to GAD. They examined hostility, physical and verbal aggression, anger expression and anger control. The team assessed more than 380 participants for GAD symptoms and their tendency to respond to anger-inducing scenarios, by testing responses to such statements as, “I strike out at whatever infuriates me” and “I boil inside, but I don’t show it.”

    The study, which was recently published in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, found that in the 131 participants who exhibited GAD symptoms, higher levels of anger and its various dimensions were associated with worry and anxiety. Furthermore, hostility and internalized anger contributed to the severity of their GAD symptoms.

    This suggests not only that anger and anxiety go hand in hand, but also that heightened levels of anger are uniquely related to GAD status. What’s more, internalized anger expression – boiling inside without showing it – is a stronger predictor of GAD than other forms of anger.

    Deschênes acknowledges that more research is needed to understand why anger and anxiety tend to co-occur – and she intends for her doctoral research to proceed in this direction. According to Deschênes, a possible explanation for the link is that, “when a situation is ambiguous, such that the outcome could be good or bad, anxious individuals tend to assume the worst. That often results in heightened anxiety. There is also evidence of that same thought process in individuals who are easily angered. Therefore, anger and GAD may be two manifestations of the same biased thought process.”

    Deschênes also argues that symptoms of anger could get in the way of the treatment for anxiety, which can be done with a technique called cognitive-behavioural therapy. “If anger and hostility are contributing to the maintenance of symptoms, and these are not targeted during treatment, these people may not be benefiting as much from that treatment,” Deschênes says. “It’s my hope that, by furthering our understanding of the role of anger in GAD, we can improve treatment outcomes for individuals with this disorder.”


  5. Researchers develop biofeedback video game to help children with anger management

    October 29, 2012 by Sue

    From the Boston Children’s Hospital press release via EurekAlert!:

    Kids playing gamesChildren with serious anger problems can be helped by a simple video game that hones their ability to regulate their emotions, finds a pilot study at Boston Children’s Hospital. Results were published online October 24 in the journal Adolescent Psychiatry.

    Noticing that children with anger control problems are often uninterested in psychotherapy, but very eager to play video games, Jason Kahn, PhD, and Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD, at Boston Children’s Hospital developed “RAGE Control” to motivate children to practice emotional control skills that they can later use in challenging life situations.

    The fast-paced game involves shooting at enemy spaceships while avoiding shooting at friendly ones. As children play, a monitor on one finger tracks their heart rate and displays it on the computer screen. When heart rate goes above a certain level, players lose their ability to shoot at the enemy spaceships. To improve their game, they must learn to keep calm.

    “The connections between the brain’s executive control centers and emotional centers are weak in people with severe anger problems,” explains Gonzalez-Heydrich, chief of Psychopharmacology at Boston Children’s and senior investigator on the study. “However, to succeed at RAGE Control, players have to learn to use these centers at the same time to score points.”

    The study, led by first author Peter Ducharme, MSW, a clinical social worker at Boston Children’s, compared two groups of 9- to 17-year-old children admitted to the hospital’s Psychiatry Inpatient Service who had high levels of anger. To qualify for the study, the children had to have a normal IQ and not need a medication change during the five-day study period.

    One group, with 19 children, received standard treatments for anger including cognitive-behavioral therapy, presentation of relaxation techniques and social skills training for five consecutive business days. The second group, with 18 children, got these same treatments, but spent the last 15 minutes of their psychotherapy session playing RAGE Control.

    After five sessions, the video gamers were significantly better at keeping their heart rate down. They showed clinically significant decreases in anger scores on the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory-Child and Adolescent (STAXI-CA), and specifically on:

    • the intensity of anger at a particular time
    • the frequency of angry feelings over time
    • expression of anger towards others or objects.

    The gamers also had a decrease in suppressed, internalized anger that reached marginal statistical significance. In contrast, the standard-treatment group showed no significant change from baseline on any of the above measures.

    The video gamers gave their therapy experience high marks for helpfulness (5 to 6 on a scale of 7). “Kids reported feeling better control of their emotions when encountering day to day frustrations on the unit,” says Ducharme. “While this was a pilot study, and we weren’t able to follow the kids after they were discharged, we think the game will help them control their emotions in other environments.”

    More studies in progress

    The investigators are now conducting a randomized, controlled clinical trial of RAGE Control in the outpatient clinic at Boston Children’s that adds a cooperative component. The children team up with a parent for 10 game sessions at the clinic; if either the parent’s or the child’s heart rate goes up, neither of them can shoot, forcing them to help calm each other. (Click here for more information.)

    The research team plans another clinical trial to test whether letting children take RAGE Control home, to play with parents and siblings, will increase its effect.

    In addition, Kahn is spearheading a team effort to develop toys to enhance emotional regulation skills in children too young for RAGE Control. These toys include racing cars that stop if a child gets too excited and, for even younger children, a cooperative game where children try to help each other stack blocks (if heart rate goes up, the table becomes wobbly and the blocks topple).


  6. Study looks at differences between feeling guilty and feeling angry

    September 30, 2012 by Sue

    From the Association for Psychological Science press release:

    Angry CoupleWhen you rear-end the car in front of you at a stoplight, you may feel a mix of different emotions such as anger, anxiety, and guilt. The person whose car you rear-ended may feel angered and frustrated by your carelessness, but it’s unlikely that he’ll feel much guilt.

    The ability to identify and distinguish between negative emotions helps us address the problem that led to those emotions in the first place. But while some people can tell the difference between feeling angry and guilty, others may not be able to separate the two. Distinguishing between anger and frustration is even harder.

    In a study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientist Emre Demiralp of the University of Michigan and his colleagues hypothesized that clinically depressed people would be less able to discriminate between different types of negative emotions compared to healthy individuals. Clinically depressed people often experience feelings of sadness, anger, fear, or frustration that interfere with everyday life.

    “It is difficult to improve your life without knowing whether you are sad or angry about some aspect of it,” says Demiralp. “For example, imagine not having a gauge independently indicating the gasoline level of your car. It would be challenging to know when to stop for gas. We wanted to investigate whether people with clinical depression had emotional gauges that were informative and whether they experienced emotions with the same level of specificity and differentiation as healthy people.”

    The researchers recruited 106 people between the ages of 18 and 40 to participate in their study. Half of the participants were diagnosed with clinical depression and half were not. Over the course of seven to eight days, they carried a Palm Pilot, which prompted them to record emotions at 56 random times during the day. To report their emotions, they marked the degree to which they felt seven negative emotions (sad, anxious, angry, frustrated, ashamed, disgusted, and guilty) and four positive emotions (happy, excited, alert, and active) on a scale from one to four.

    Demiralp and his colleagues looked at participants’ tendency to give multiple emotions (e.g., disgusted and frustrated) similar rankings at a given point in time. According to their methodology, the more two emotions were reported together the less the person differentiated between these emotions.

    The researchers found that clinically depressed people had less differentiated negative emotions than those who were healthy, supporting their hypothesis. Notably, they did not find the same difference between groups for positive emotions—people with and without diagnosed clinical depression were equally able to differentiate between positive emotions. It is possible that people who are clinically depressed differentiate more between positive emotions as a coping mechanism.

    Demiralp and his colleagues argue that the procedure used in the study to record emotions may be particularly useful in studying the emotional experience of clinically depressed people, paving the way for more treatment and therapy options in the future.

    “Our results suggest that being specific about your negative emotions might be good for you”, says Demiralp. “It might be best to avoid thinking that you are feeling generally bad or unpleasant. Be specific. Is it anger, shame, guilt or some other emotion? This can help you circumvent it and improve your life. It is one of our overarching goals to investigate approaches for facilitating this kind of emotional intelligence at a large scale in the population.”


  7. Study suggests “self-distancing” can help with aggressive reactions

    July 3, 2012 by Sue

    From the Ohio State University press release:

    A new study reveals a simple strategy that people can use to minimize how angry and aggressive they get when they are provoked by others.

    When someone makes you angry, try to pretend you’re viewing the scene at a distance – in other words, you are an observer rather than a participant in this stressful situation. Then, from that distanced perspective, try to understand your feelings.

    Researchers call this strategy “self-distancing.”

    In one study, college students who believed a lab partner was berating them for not following directions responded less aggressively and showed less anger when they were told to take analyze their feelings from a self-distanced perspective.

    “The secret is to not get immersed in your own anger and, instead, have a more detached view,” said Dominik Mischkowski, lead author of the research and a graduate student in psychology at Ohio State University.

    “You have to see yourself in this stressful situation as a fly on the wall would see it.”

    While other studies have examined the value of self-distancing for calming angry feelings, this is the first to show that it can work in the heat of the moment, when people are most likely to act aggressively, Mischkowski said.

    The worst thing to do in an anger-inducing situation is what people normally do: try to focus on their hurt and angry feelings to understand them, said Brad Bushman, a co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State.

    “If you focus too much on how you’re feeling, it usually backfires,” Bushman said.

    “It keeps the aggressive thoughts and feelings active in your mind, which makes it more likely that you’ll act aggressively.”

    Mischkowski and Bushman conducted the study with Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan. Their findings appear online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and will be published in a future print edition.

    There were two related studies. The first involved 94 college students who were told they were participating in a study about the effects of music on problem solving, creativity and emotions.

    The students listened to an intense piece of classical music while attempting to solve 14 difficult anagrams (rearranging a group of letters to form a word such as “pandemonium”). They had only seven seconds to solve each anagram, record their answer and communicate it to the experimenter over an intercom.

    But the plan of the study was to provoke the students into anger, which the experimenters did using a technique which has been used many times in similar studies.

    The experimenter interrupted the study participants several times to ask them to speak louder into the intercom, finally saying “Look, this is the third time I have to say this! Can’t you follow directions? Speak louder!”

    After this part of the experiment, the participants were told they would be participating in a task examining the effects of music on creativity and feelings.

    The students were told to go back to the anagram task and “see the scene in your mind’s eye.” They were put into three groups, each of which were asked to view the scene in different ways.

    Some students were told to adopt a self-immersed perspective (“see the situation unfold through your eyes as if it were happening to you all over again”) and then analyze their feelings surrounding the event. Others were told to use the self-distancing perspective (“move away from the situation to a point where you can now watch the event unfold from a distance…watch the situation unfold as if it were happening to the distant you all over again”) and then analyze their feelings. The third control group was not told how to view the scene or analyze their feelings.

    Each group was told the replay the scene in their minds for 45 seconds.

    The researchers then tested the participants for aggressive thoughts and angry feelings.

    Results showed that students who used the self-distancing perspective had fewer aggressive thoughts and felt less angry than both those who used the self-immersed approach and those in the control group.

    “The self-distancing approach helped people regulate their angry feelings and also reduced their aggressive thoughts,” Mischkowski said.

    In a second study, the researchers went further and showed that self-distancing can actually make people less aggressive when they’ve been provoked.

    In this study, 95 college students were told they were going to do an anagram task, similar to the one in the previous experiment. But in this case, they were told they were going to be working with an unseen student partner, rather than one of researchers (in reality, it actually was one of the researchers). In this case, the supposed partner was the one who delivered the scathing comments about following directions.

    As in the first study, the participants were then randomly assigned to analyze their feelings surrounding the task from a self-immersed or a self-distanced perspective. Participants assigned to a third control group did not receive any instructions regarding how to view the scene or focus on their feelings.

    Next, the participants were told they would be competing against the same partner who had provoked them earlier in a reaction-time task. The winner of the task would get the opportunity to blast the loser with noise through headphones – and the winner chose the intensity and length of the noise blast.

    The findings showed that participants who used the self-distancing perspective to think about their partners’ provocations showed lower levels of aggression than those in the other two groups. In other words, their noise blasts against their partner tended to be shorter and less intense.

    “These participants were tested very shortly after they had been provoked by their partner,” Mischkowski said.

    “The fact that those who used self-distancing showed lower levels of aggression shows that this technique can work in the heat of the moment, when the anger is still fresh.”

    Mischkowski said it is also significant that those who used the self-distancing approach showed less aggression than those in the control group, who were not told how to view the anger-inducing incident with their partner.

    This suggests people may naturally use a self-immersing perspective when confronted with a provocation – a perspective that is not likely to reduce anger.

    “Many people seem to believe that immersing themselves in their anger has a cathartic effect, but it doesn’t. It backfires and makes people more aggressive,” Bushman said.

    Another technique people are sometimes told to use when angered is to distract themselves – think of something calming to take their mind off their anger.

    Mischkowski said this may be effective in the short-term, but the anger will return when the distraction is not there.

    “But self-distancing really works, even right after a provocation – it is a powerful intervention tool that anyone can use when they’re angry.”


  8. Study suggests anger in disputes is more about the climate of the marriage than heat of the moment

    May 24, 2012 by Sue

    From the Baylor University press release via Newswise:

    How good are married couples at recognizing each other’s emotions during conflicts? In general, pretty good, according to a study by a Baylor University researcher. But if your partner is angry, that might tell more about the overall climate of your marriage than about what your partner is feeling at the moment of the dispute.

    What’s more, “if your partner is angry, you are likely to miss the fact that your partner might also be feeling sad,” said Keith Sanford, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences. His study — “The Communication of Emotion During Conflict in Married Couples” —is published online in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology.

    “I found that people were most likely to express anger, not in the moments where they felt most angry, but rather in the situations where both partners had been feeling angry over a period of time,” he said. “This means that if a couple falls into a climate of anger, they tend to continue expressing anger regardless of how they actually feel . . . It becomes a kind of a trap they cannot escape.”

    Common spats that might fester deal with in-laws, chores, money, affection and time spent on the computer.

    Sanford found that when people express anger, they often also feel sad. But while a partner will easily and immediately recognize expressions of anger, the spouse often will fail to notice the sadness.

    When it comes to perceiving emotion in a partner, anger trumps sadness,” he said.

    Previous research has found that genuine expressions of sadness during a conflict can sometimes draw partners closer together, and it potentially can enable couples to break out of a climate of anger.

    “A take-home message is that there may be times where it is beneficial to express feelings of sadness during conflict, but sad feelings are most likely to be noticed if you are not simultaneously expressing anger,” Sanford said.

    The findings were based on self-reporting by 83 married couples as well as observation and rating of their behavior by research assistants, who were given permission by the couples to videotape them through a one-way mirror. Couples were asked to choose two areas of conflict and talk to each other about them — one chosen by the wife, the other by the husband. They also were asked to rate their emotions and those of their partners before and after each discussion.

    Couples’ “insider knowledge” of one another might be expected to make it easier for them to read each other, Sanford said. But the only time in which couples made significant use of insider knowledge to distinguish emotions was in interpreting “soft” emotions — such as sadness or disappointment — in conflicts about specific events, the study showed.

    While women expressed soft emotions more, they were no better at perceiving hard or soft emotions, Sanford said.


  9. Researchers examines link between mood and glucose control in diabetes

    May 2, 2012 by Sue

    From the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers press release via AlphaGalileo:

    When blood sugar levels in diabetes are poorly controlled, patients tend to have more complications such as depression and other mood disturbances, including anxiety and anger, and a lower overall quality of life. A better understanding of the relationship between glycemic variability and psychological disorders can lead to more effective strategies for patient management, as presented in articles published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Two related articles on this topic are available free on the Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics website at http://www.liebertpub.com/dia.

    “Mood disorders and their association with poor glucose control that can lead to long-term diabetes complications are of great concern,” says Satish Garg, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics and Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver. “We still do not know which comes first. This needs further investigation, especially using newer technologies such as continuous glucose monitoring.”

    Tim Wysocki, PhD, Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, explores the question of how and under what conditions the mood of patients with diabetes might be affected—whether directly or indirectly—by their level of glycemic control. In his editorial entitled “Associations between Affect and Glycemia: A Two-Way Street?” Dr. Wysocki describes a challenging set of questions that require studies using modern technologies to gain a more complete understanding of the complex interactions involved.

    In one study, continuous glucose monitoring data collected from a group of women with type 2 diabetes led to the conclusion that greater glycemic variability may be associated with negative moods and lower quality of life, as described in the article “Does Glycemic Variability Impact Mood and Quality of Life?” by Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL, and colleagues from University of Illinois at Chicago, Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN), mfmillstat, Ltd. (Philadelphia, PA), and Integrated Medical Development (Princeton Junction, NJ).


  10. Study looks at role of family attitudes in teens’ disposition to fight

    April 30, 2012 by Sue

    From the American Academy of Pediatrics press release via EurekAlert!:

    While it may be cute when a 3-year-old imitates his parent’s bad behavior, when adolescents do so, it’s no longer a laughing matter.

    Teens who fight may be modeling what they see adult relatives do or have parents with pro-fighting attitudes, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 29, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.

    Parents and other adults in the family have a substantial influence on adolescents’ engagement in fighting,” said Rashmi Shetgiri, MD, FAAP, lead author of the study. “Interventions to prevent fighting, therefore, should involve parents and teens.”

    Dr. Shetgiri, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, and her colleagues conducted 12 focus groups with 65 middle and high school students to discuss why youths fight and how violence can be prevented. Groups were divided by race/ethnicity and whether students were fighters or nonfighters based on self-report.

    Youths said they fight to defend themselves or others, to gain or maintain respect, to respond to verbal insults or because they are angry due to other stressors. Girls also cited gossip or jealousy as reasons for fighting.

    The discussions showed that parental attitudes toward fighting and parental role modeling of aggressive behavior influence youth fighting. Family attitudes also may prevent youths from fighting. Many Latino students, for example, noted that their parents condoned fighting only when physically attacked and said not wanting to hurt or embarrass their parents could prevent them from fighting.

    Peers also can have a positive or negative influence on fighting by de-escalating situations or encouraging violence.

    The conversations also revealed that nonfighters use various strategies to avoid confrontations such as walking away, ignoring insults or joking to diffuse tension. Fighters, however, said they are unable to ignore insults and are aware of few other conflict-resolution methods.

    Potential interventions suggested by youths include anger and stress management programs led by young adults who have overcome violence, and doctors counseling youths about the consequences of fighting.

    “Our study suggested that there may be differences between boys and girls, and racial/ethnic groups in risk and protective factors for fighting,” Dr. Shetgiri concluded. “This has important implications for violence prevention programs and individuals working with violent teens.”