Prevalence and correlates of anger attacks: A two site study

Robert A. Gould, Susan Ball, Susan P. Kaspi, Michael W. Otto, Mark H. Pollack, Anantha Shekhar, Maurizio Fava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations


Although anger attacks have been described in depressed outpatients, they have not been well studied in other disorders. In Study 1, we examined the prevalence of anger attacks in 50 outpatients with panic disorder. In Study 2, we replicated the initial findings at an independent site and examined the specificity of anger attacks by comparing their occurrence in patients with panic disorder, patients with other non-panic anxiety disorders and patients with a depressive disorder. At both sites, we also explored the relationship between anger attacks and demographic and clinical characteristics, such as gender, presence and severity of depression, and social anxiety measures. In both sites, the prevalence of anger attacks in patients with panic disorder was approximately one-third. However, anger attacks were not unique to panic disorder, with similar rates emerging for patients with other anxiety disorders. Furthermore, patients with depressive diagnoses had twice the prevalence of anger attacks than did anxiety patients. At both sites, those with anger attacks were significantly more depressed and were likely to have either current or past history of major depression. Anger attacks were not associated with social anxiety measures, but were related to cluster B, cluster C and self-defeating personality disorder traits. Our findings support the notion that anger attacks are best conceptualized as an associated feature of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 20 1996


  • Anger
  • Anger attack
  • Depression
  • Panic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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    Gould, R. A., Ball, S., Kaspi, S. P., Otto, M. W., Pollack, M. H., Shekhar, A., & Fava, M. (1996). Prevalence and correlates of anger attacks: A two site study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 39(1), 31-38.