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Behaviour Research and Therapy 41 (2003) 333349 www.elsevier.

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Anger, aggression, risky behavior, and crash-related outcomes in three groups of drivers
J.L. Deffenbacher a,b,, R.S. Lynch a,c, L.B. Filetti a, E.R. Dahlen a, E.R. Oetting a
a b

Department of Psychology and Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Co 80523-1876, USA Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Co 80523-1876, USA c Front Range Community College, Fort Collins, Co 80523-1876, USA Accepted 10 January 2002

Abstract High anger drivers who acknowledged problems with driving anger and were interested in treatment were compared to high and low anger drivers who did not acknowledge problems with driving anger or want treatment. Although high anger drivers who acknowledged problems reported greater anger on two measures than high anger drivers who did not acknowledge problems, both high anger groups tended not to differ from one another and were more frequently and intensely angered when driving, reported more aggressive and less adaptive/constructive forms of expressing anger while driving, engaged in more aggressive and risky behavior on the road, and experienced more of some accident-related outcomes than low anger drivers. High anger groups did not differ from each other, but reported more trait anxiety and anger and more outward negative and less controlled general anger expression than the low anger group. The two groups of high anger drivers, however, require different types of interventions given their state of readiness for driving anger reduction. Results were also interpreted as supportive of the statetrait model of anger and construct validity of the Driving Anger Scale. 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Angry drivers; Aggression while driving; Risky driving

Corresponding author, at the Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1876, USA. Tel.: +1-970-491-6363; fax: +1-970-491-1032. E-mail address: jld6871@lamar.colostate.edu (J.L. Deffenbacher).

0005-7967/03/$ - see front matter 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0005-7967(02)00014-1

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1. Introduction At one time or another, every driver has been endangered by the erratic behavior of an angry, aggressive driver. Although some of the constructs employed are loosely dened, anger and aggression appear to be a problem on the highways. For example, the most violent cases of assault and mayhem or road rage in the U.S. increased 7% per year from 1990 through 1995 with an estimated 200 people killed and another 12,000 injured (American Automobile Association, 1997). Recent research shows that court- and self-referred aggressive drivers evidence a high incidence of intermittent explosive disorder and other psychopathology (Galovoski, Blanchard & Veazey, in press), and drivers with histories of altercations with other drivers also have greater incidence of trafc violations and crashes (Hemenway & Solnick, 1993). However, for every serious vehicular crash, assault, or injury, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands of angry drivers. Some angry drivers aggress (e.g. yell at another driver or intimidate with their vehicle) and act out in other ways (e.g. speed or drive recklessly), whereas other angry drivers aggress little and drive fairly normally. Nonetheless, both types of angry drivers experience strong angry emotionality and upset (e.g. mad, angry, or furious) and accompanying physiological arousal. Moreover, angers effects are not limited to the highway as anger experienced while commuting carries over and impacts post-commute work and family relations (Novaco, Stokols, Campbell, & Stokols, 1979; Novaco, Stokols, & Milanesi, 1990). Thus, a drivers anger may not only lead to negative consequences for him/herself and the people who share the vehicle or the road with them, but others who are not even there at the time (e.g. coworkers or family members later). Social and environmental factors such as congestion, anonymity, hostile messages, and type of situations encountered contribute to anger while driving (e.g. Deffenbacher, Deffenbacher, Richards, Lynch, & Oetting, 2001; Deffenbacher, Huff, Lynch, Oetting, & Salvatore, 2000; Doob & Gross, 1968; Kenrick & MacFarlane, 1986; Potter, Govern, Petri, & Figler, 1995). However, dispositional factors appear to contribute as well. For example, drivers high in trait driving anger or the propensity to become angry behind the wheel become more frequently and intensely angered and engage in more aggressive and risky behavior on the road (Deffenbacher et al., 2000, 2001; Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting and Swaim, in press). In adult British samples, aspects of trait driving anger tended to correlate positively with trafc violations generally (Underwood, Chapman, Wright, & Crundall, 1999) and with driving violations involving both aggressive or non-aggressive incidents (Lajunen, Parker, & Stradling, 1998). Angry states appear involved as well. For example, anger was the only mood state associated with high speed driving in adolescents (Arnett, Offer, & Fine, 1997), and elevated state anger was associated with increased aggression and risky driving in college students (Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting, & Yingling, 2001). Such ndings suggest that statetrait anger theory can be adapted to driving anger (Arnett et al., 1997; Deffenbacher, Oetting, & Lynch, 1994). Trait anger refers to a disposition to become angry more frequently and intensely across situations, whereas state anger is a transitory emotionalphysiological condition characterized by physiological arousal and subjective feelings ranging from annoyance to rage (Spielberger, 1988; Spielberger, Reheiser, & Sydeman, 1995). Adapted to anger while driving, trait driving anger refers to the propensity or tendency to become angry when driving, whereas state anger refers angry feelings and physiological arousal in response to a specic driving event. A recent study (Deffenbacher et al., 2000) compared high anger drivers who self-identied

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driving anger as a personal problem for which they sought assistance (i.e. high anger-problem or HAP drivers) and compared them to a low anger group who indicated no personal problem with driving anger (i.e. low anger-no problem or LANP drivers). Although groups did not differ in the frequency of driving or miles driven, HAP drivers reported more anger in frequently occurring situations such as normal or rush hour trafc and day-to-day driving. Although groups did not differ on lifetime injury accidents or major accidents in the last year, HAP drivers reported higher lifetime prevalence of auto crashes generally, more minor accidents and close calls in the last year, greater loss of vehicular control in the last three months, lower seatbelt use, more aggressive and risky behavior while driving, and had their anger lead to more injury to themselves and damage to their vehicles. In summary, HAP drivers experienced more frequent and intense anger, engaged in more aggressive and risky behavior, and were at risk for a number of adverse outcomes. This study also identied an interesting, potentially important group of angry drivers, a high anger group who did not identify driving anger as a personal problem and seek help when interventions were made available (i.e. a high anger-no problem or HANP group). This group was as high on trait driving anger as the HAP group, but did not see themselves as experiencing signicant problems from their driving anger. Two general possibilities exist to account for the reports of this group. First, their self-perceptions may be valid in that they experience anger, but do not evidence the problems of HAP drivers. If this is the case, they should be studied in order to identify the protective factors and processes that minimize problems. On the other hand, their self-perceptions may not be accurate. They may experience problems of which they are relatively unaware or which they deny or minimize. In this case, they should be studied in order to understand the processes leading to their misperceptions and because they present different problems for intervention. Psychotherapeutic strategies are appropriate for HAP drivers because they identify driving anger as a personal problem and seek help, but different strategies would be necessary for HANP drivers because they are not at a stage of readiness for such interventions. The present research sought to address three general goals. First, it continued to map the characteristics of HAP drivers. Measures of idiosyncratic anger reactions, driving anger expression, and ratings of self as a driver were added as well as replicating several measures from a prior study (Deffenbacher et al., 2000). Knowledge regarding HAP group provides further information regarding their vulnerabilities and informs intervention design. Second, the study assessed the characteristics of HANP drivers. Data from this group will inform researchers of potential protective factors or document that they are at risk and that alternative interventions are needed. Third, the study tested an application of statetrait theory to anger while driving. Specically, if trait driving anger reects a persons disposition to become angry behind the wheel, then high anger drivers (both HAP and HANP), compared to low anger drivers, should experience more frequent and intense anger when driving (frequency and intensity hypotheses). Since anger can prompt and motivate aggression, HAP drivers should also engage in more aggression on the road (aggression hypothesis). No prediction for aggression was made for HANP drivers because they may not behave aggressively or experience problems due to aggression. Since both anger and aggression can activate behaviors and processes that interfere with perception, attention, information processing, and performance, and since trait driving anger may be correlated with other characteristics such as impulsiveness that could lead to impulsive, risky behavior, it was also predicted that HAP drivers would show elevated risky driving (risky behavior hypothesis) and crash-related outcomes (negative outcomes hypothesis). Again, since HANP drivers have not been studied before, no predictions were made for them regarding risky behavior and crash-related outcomes.

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These general goals were pursued by comparing HAP, HANP, and LANP drivers on: (1) perceptions of themselves as angry, aggressive, risk-taking, and safe drivers; (2) frequency and (3) intensity of driving-related anger; (4) aggressive driving behavior (i.e. behavior that is prompted by anger and/or could intentionally harm, annoy, frustrate, or intimidate others); (5) risky driving behavior (i.e. unsafe behavior and/or behavior that is not necessarily motivated by anger, but that increases the risk of a vehicular crash or other adverse outcomes such as speeding or drinking and driving); and (6) crashes and crash-related outcomes such as moving violations and close calls.

2. Method 2.1. Participants Groups (Mdn age =19) were drawn from introductory psychology. The HAP group consisted of 55 (28 men, 27 women) students who scored in the upper quartile of the Driving Anger Scale (DAS 52) (Deffenbacher et al., 1994) and indicated a personal problem with their driving anger and a desire for counseling for driving anger reduction. The HANP group was comprised of 38 (21 men, 17 women) students scoring in the upper quartile on the DAS, but describing themselves as not having a problem with driving anger. The LANP group consisted of 60 (42 men, 18 women) students scoring in the lower quartile on the DAS (DAS 42) and indicating no personal problem with driving anger. Students received one of three research credits for participation. 2.2. Instruments Unless otherwise noted, a reliabilities reported below are from the current study. 2.3. Driving Anger Scale The DAS contains 14 driving situations that are rated on a 15 scale (1= not at all, 5= very much) for the amount of anger experienced if they occurred. The DAS (a 0.92) has a 10-week testretest reliability of 0.84 (Deffenbacher, 2000) and correlates positively with the frequency and intensity of anger when driving, frequency of aggressive and risky driving behaviors, and some crash-related outcomes (Deffenbacher et al., 2000, 2001; Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting, & Yingling, 2001). 2.4. Driving Scenarios The Driving Scenarios (Deffenbacher et al., 2000, Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting, & Yingling, 2001) assess anger in three common situations (i.e. driving in ordinary trafc, being stuck in heavy, rush hour trafc, and being yelled at by another driver). Participants rate anger experienced in these situations on seven, 5-point semantic differentials (e.g. hot headedcool headed). High anger drivers report more anger on these scenarios than do low anger drivers (Deffenbacher et al., 2000, 2001).

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2.5. Personal Driving Anger Situations The Personal Driving Anger Situations were developed for this study to assess the individuals highest levels of anger in idiosyncratic situations. The person described, in detail, his/her two most angering driving situations. Anger in those situations was rated on a 0100 scale (0= little or no anger; 100= maximum level of anger you could ever experience). An a reliability is not appropriate, but this measure is an adaptation of the Anger Situation measure that had a 10-week testretest reliability of 0.81 (Deffenbacher, Story, Brandon, Hogg, & Hazaleus, 1988). 2.6. Driving Anger Expression Inventory (DAX) The 49 items of the DAX are rated on a 4-point scale (1= almost never, 4= almost always) according to how the individual expresses his/her anger when driving (Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting, & Swaim, in press). The DAX breaks down into two general dimensions, a 34-item (a 0.93) Hostile/aggressive expression and a 15-item (a 0.90) adaptive/constructive expression, which share a small, negative correlation (r 0.24). Hostile/aggressive expression correlates positively with roadway anger, aggression, and risky behavior, whereas adaptive/constructive expression correlates negatively with these variables. Hostile/aggressive expression tends to be more strongly related to these variables than adaptive/constructive expression 2.7. Driving Log On the Driving Log (Deffenbacher et al., 2000, 2001; Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting, & Yingling, 2001), participants recorded: (a) the number of times and miles driven that day; (b) the number of times angry while driving that day; (c) the event leading to the greatest amount of anger while driving that day and the intensity of that anger on a 0100 scale (0= no anger, 100= maximum anger ever experienced); and (d) if they engaged in any of six aggressive behaviors (e.g. cursing at another driver or making an angry gesture) or 14 risky behaviors (e.g. drank and drove or drove 10 mph over the speed limit). Intensity and frequency of anger and frequency of aggression and risky behavior on the Log correlate positively with each other and with trait driving anger, but not with amount of driving (Deffenbacher et al., 2000; Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting, & Yingling, 2001). 2.8. Survey of Driving The Survey of Driving (Deffenbacher et al., 2000) was modied. Four general ratings of self as a driver were added. In response to the stem, As a driver, I am, participants rated themselves on 7-point scales (1= very calm, unaggressive, cautious, or safe, 7= very angry, aggressive, risk taking, or unsafe). Six questions (a 0.45) assessed crash-related conditions in the last three months (i.e. moving violations, loss of concentration, minor loss of vehicular control, close calls, minor accidents, and major accidents). Thirteen questions (a 0.85) inquired about the frequency of aggressive behavior in the last three months (e.g. physical ght with another driver or yelling at another driver or pedestrian). Another 15 items (a 0.86) assessed the frequency of risky

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driving behaviors in the last three months (e.g. speeding 1020 mph over the limit or making an illegal turn). Participants indicated the frequency of accident-related outcomes, aggression, and risky behaviors from 0 to 5 or more (5+ was treated as a 5 throughout analyses). Scores for aggression, risky behavior, and crash-related outcomes were the sum of the frequency of items within each group of items. Similar a reliabilities for accident-related conditions (a 0.41), aggression (a 0.88 and 0.89) and risk-taking (a 0.83 and 0.86) were reported for two other samples (Deffenbacher et al., 2001). Trait driving anger is associated positively with aggression and risky behavior and some accident-related outcomes (Deffenbacher et al., 2000, 2001). 2.9. Other psychological measures Trait anger and anxiety and general anger expression were included to assess other variables that might be related or contribute to anger, aggression, and risky driving. The Trait Anger Scale is a 10-item, Likert-type scale (1= almost never, 4= almost always) assessing how the person characterizes him/herself or reacts with anger (Spielberger, 1988). Alpha reliabilities range from 0.81 to 0.91 (Spielberger, 1988) and two-week to two-month testretest reliabilities from 0.70 to 0.77 (Jacobs, Latham, & Brown, 1988; Morris, Deffenbacher, Lynch, & Oetting, 1996). The Trait Anger Scale correlates positively with measures of anger, aggression, hostility, and anger consequences and correlates stronger with anger-related variables than other cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and personality variables (Deffenbacher, Oetting, Lynch, & Morris, 1996; Deffenbacher, Oetting, Thwaites et al., 1996; Spielberger, 1988). The Trait Anxiety Inventory is a 20item, Likert-type inventory (1= almost never, 4= almost always) on which participants indicate how they generally feel (Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1970). Alpha reliabilities of 0.89 0.90 and testretest reliabilities of 0.860.66 over two-week to three-month intervals have been reported (Jacobs et al., 1988; Spielberger et al., 1970). The Trait Anxiety Inventory correlates positively with many indices of anxiety and is a well-validated instrument (Spielberger et al., 1970). General anger expression was measured by the 8-item Anger-In, Anger-Out, and AngerControl scales from StateTrait Anger Expression Inventory (Spielberger, 1988). Anger-In addresses suppressing anger, being critical, and harboring grudges; Anger-Out the outward, negative expression of anger; and Anger-Control a persons attempts to control anger and calm down. Alpha reliabilities range from 0.73 to 0.84 (Spielberger, 1988). Anger-Out and Anger-Control correlate negatively with each other, whereas Anger-In tends to be minimally related to the other two. Construct validity is found in different patterns of correlations with other measures of anger, personality, and physiological reactions (Deffenbacher, Oetting, Thwaites et al., 1996; Spielberger, 1988). 2.10. Procedure Students in six large introductory psychology classes completed a screening questionnaire containing: (1) the DAS; (2) a box in which to indicate whether they felt like they had a personal problem with driving anger and wanted to participate in counseling for that problem; (3) a box in which to indicate that they did not feel like they had a personal problem with driving anger, but would like to participate in a study on driving; and (4) a place for their name, address, and phone number. Research assistants called students meeting inclusion criteria (see section 2.1),

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described the study briey, and made arrangements for assessment if students were interested. Participants were assessed in groups of 2030 in a classroom with 5075 seats. Following the completion of consent forms, participants completed, in order, Driving Scenarios, Personal Driving Anger Situations, DAX, Driving Survey, Trait Anger Scale, Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Anger Expression Inventory. This order was selected because it moved from driving to general variables, preventing responses to general measures from inuencing driving variables. Participants then received three Driving Logs with instructions to complete them on three days on which they drove during the coming week. Students not returning Logs in 10 days were called and reminded. 3. Results The analytic format is a 2 (Gender)3 (Anger Status) MANOVA performed on clusters of variables assessed by the same methodology. Univariate ANOVAs followed up on signicant multivariate effects, and interactions and signicant anger main effects were explored by Tukey tests. Multivariate effect sizes were expressed in terms of Roys statistic, and univariate effect sizes in terms of eta square (h2). Qualitative evaluation of effect sizes are based on Cohens (1988) criteria where h2 from 0.01 to 0.04 is a small effect size, 0.05 to 0.14 is a moderate effect size, and greater than 0.14 is large. 3.1. Perceptions of self as a driver Self-ratings from the Driving Survey (Table 1) revealed signicant multivariate effects for gender, F(4,142) 4.69,p 0.01, Roys 0.12, and anger, F(8,284) 8.45, p 0.001,
Table 1 Ratings of self as driver as a function of gender and anger status Measure Gender Anger status Univariate anger HANP SD 0.94 0.97 1.74 1.73 1.33 1.36 1.00 1.28 M 2.80 3.71 4.60 4.41 3.90 3.47 2.90 3.59 SD 1.20 1.65 1.96 1.66 1.65 1.33 1.45 1.81 HAP M 3.86 3.89 5.21 4.37 3.43 2.82 2.36 2.52 SD 1.43 1.16 1.55 1.50 1.48 1.62 0.95 1.31 F(2, 145) Size h2 Anger effect

LANP M Calm/angry Unaggressive/aggressive Cautious/risk-taking Safe/Unsafe M F M F M F M F 2.10 2.33 3.88 3.06 2.98 2.28 2.39 2.00

24.83 8.68 5.58 7.82

0.26 0.11 0.07 0.10

p 0.01, p 0.001. Note. LANP = Low Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HANP = High Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HAP = High Anger, Admitted Problem with Driving Anger and Seeking Help; M = Male; and F = Female.

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Roys 0.27, but not for the interaction, F(8,284) 0.87. Univariate gender effects were found on ratings of being an aggressive and risk-taking driver, Fs(2,145) 4.64 and 5.43, ps 0.05, h2s 0.03 and 0.04, due to males rating themselves as more aggressive and risk-taking (Ms 4.56 and 3.43) than females (Ms 3.96 and 2.85). Univariate anger effects were found on all ratings (Table 1). HAP drivers rated themselves as more angry drivers (M 3.87) than HANP participants (M 3.25), p 0.05, and both high anger groups rated themselves as more angry drivers than the LANP group (M 2.22), ps 0.01. HAP and HANP drivers (Ms 4.79 and 4.51) did not differ on ratings as aggressive drivers, but both groups rated themselves as more aggressive than the LANP group (M 3.47), ps 0.01. The HANP group rated themselves as more risk-taking (M 3.69) than the LANP group (M 2.63), p 0.01, whereas the HAP group (M 3.13) did not differ from either group. HANP participants rated themselves as less safe drivers (M 3.24) than HAP and LANP groups (Ms 2.44 and 2.20), ps 0.05, which did not differ from one another. Anger effect sizes were large for ratings of self as an angry driver, and moderate for other ratings. 3.2. Intensity of anger reactions Intensity of anger in response to the Driving Scenarios (Table 2) revealed a signicant multivariate effect for anger, F(6,288) 11.51, p 0.001, Roys 0.34, but not for gender, F(3,144) 0.14, or the interaction, F(6,288) 0.83. Large anger effects were found for all scenarios (Table 2), but between-group differences varied with the situation. For ordinary trafc, HAP drivers (M 15.95) reported more anger than LANP drivers (M 11.22), p 0.01, with HANP drivers (M 14.31) not differing from either group. For being stuck in heavy rush hour trafc,
Table 2 Intensity of anger as function of gender and anger status Measure Gender Anger Status Univariate Anger anger effect HANP SD 3.74 4.56 5.46 6.14 5.77 6.46 19.96 16.00 17.97 19.00 M 14.91 13.71 25.10 23.71 24.57 26.12 81.67 78.65 73.48 70.06 SD 5.27 4.54 5.24 7.13 7.00 6.60 12.97 11.37 15.74 11.84 HAP M 15.64 16.26 25.21 26.15 29.00 27.82 86.89 82.33 77.71 74.33 SD 5.79 5.04 7.15 4.82 5.51 5.23 11.34 11.74 15.93 14.29 F(2, 147) Size h2

LANP M Normal trafc Stuck in heavy trafc Yelled at by another driver Personal Driving Situation I Personal Driving Situation II M F M F M F M F M F 11.48 10.94 18.17 17.50 20.20 20.22 65.98 73.33 54.10 63.28

12.97 25.08 24.77 13.48 15.85

0.15 0.25 0.25 0.16 0.18

p 0.001. Note. LANP = Low Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HANP = High Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HAP = High Anger, Admitted Problem with Driving Anger and Seeking Help; M = Male; F = Female.

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HAP and HANP groups (Ms 25.68 and 24.04), while not differing from one another, reported signicantly more anger than did LANP drivers (M 17.83), ps 0.01. HAP participants (M 28.41) reported more anger when being yelled at by another driver than either HANP (M 25.34), p 0.05, or LANP drivers, (M 20.21), p 0.01, and the HANP group reported more anger when yelled at than did the LANP group, p 0.01. The individuals two most angering driving situations demonstrated a signicant multivariate effect for anger, F(4,292) 7.88, p 0.001, Roys 0.18,but not for gender, F(2,146) 0.13, or the interaction, F(4,292) 1.34. Large univariate anger effects were found for both situations (Table 2). HAP (Ms 84.61 and 76.03) and HANP drivers (Ms 80.17 and 71.77) did not differ from each other in their two most angering situations, but reported signicantly more anger than LANP drivers (Ms 69.65 and 58.69), ps 0.01. 3.3. Expression of driving anger The two forms of expressing driving anger (Table 3) yielded signicant multivariate effects for gender, F(2,146) 7.24, p 0.01, Roys 0.09, and anger, F(4,292) 15.36, p 0.001, Roys 0.32, but not for the interaction, F(4,292) 0.89. Both hostile/aggressive and adaptive/constructive forms of anger expression demonstrated univariate gender effects (Table 3), due to males reporting more hostile/aggressive expression and less adaptive/constructive expression (Ms 68.03 and 29.06) than females (Ms 61.88 and 33.56). Both forms of anger expression also revealed large anger effects (Table 3) with HAP (Ms 73.91 and 28.19) and HANP (Ms = 67.45 and 29.99) groups not differing from each other, but reporting more hostile/aggressive expression and less adaptive/constructive expression than the LANP group (Ms 53.50 and 35.75), ps 0.01. 3.4. Day-to-day driving Logs averaged over three days (Table 4) yielded a signicant multivariate effect for anger, F(12,250) 4.14, p 0.001, Roys 0.26, but not for gender, F(6,125) 0.93,or the interaction, F(12,250) 0.62. Groups did not differ on the frequency of driving or number of miles driven, but differed signicantly on other variables (Table 4). HAP (Ms 2.83, 63.48, and 2.08) and HANP (Ms 2.38, 57.45, and 2.02) drivers did not differ signicantly from one another on the frequency and intensity of anger or the frequency of aggressive behavior, but were signicantly higher on all three than the LANP group (Ms 1.09, 32.47, and 0.68), ps 0.01. The HANP group (M 3.34) engaged in more risky behavior than the LANP group (M 2.23), p 0.05, whereas the HAP group (M 3.10) did not differ signicantly from either group in terms of risky behavior. Anger effect sizes were large for frequency and intensity of anger and frequency of aggressive behavior and small for risky driving. 3.5. Aggressive, risky, and crash-related behavior over the last three months Three-month reports of aggressive behaviors, risky behaviors, and crash-related outcomes were added into three general indices (Table 3) which yielded signicant multivariate effects for gen-

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Table 3 Expression of driving anger and aggressive, risky, and crash-related behavior as a function of gender and anger status Univariate Anger HANP SD M SD M SD F(2, 147) Size h2 HAP Anger Effect Univariate Gender F(1, 147) Gender Effect Size h2

Measure LANP M

Gender Anger Status

28.22 0.28 12.45 0.15 25.94 0.26 8.50 5.62 0.10 0.07

6.60 11.01 11.34 4.31 0.22

0.04 0.07 0.07 0.03 0.00

Hostile/aggressive expression Adaptive/constructive expression Aggressive behavior

Risky behavior

Crash-related outcomes

M F M F M F M F M F

56.83 50.17 32.12 39.39 8.55 6.11 19.43 16.78 4.43 4.72

13.98 7.22 7.61 10.38 8.64 4.46 13.20 11.98 3.00 2.82

70.14 64.77 29.57 30.41 21.14 13.29 33.95 25.12 6.52 6.71

15.34 12.57 8.94 6.28 11.41 10.06 14.43 10.66 3.47 2.57

77.11 70.71 25.50 30.89 23.64 17.41 26.79 24.19 6.29 6.59

17.56 13.65 5.33 9.22 11.76 9.46 14.53 13.70 3.47 4.07

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p 0.05, p 0.01, p 0.001. Note. LANP = Low Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HANP = High Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HAP = High Anger, Admitted Problem with Driving Anger and Seeking Help; M = Male; and F = Female.

J.L. Deffenbacher et al. / Behaviour Research and Therapy 41 (2003) 333349 Table 4 Day-to-day driving (Driving Logs) as a function of gender and anger status Measure Gender Anger status Univariate anger HANP SD 1.57 1.81 34.18 21.18 2.04 0.75 25.30 19.50 1.11 0.53 1.98 1.75 M 2.91 3.72 42.13 35.72 2.53 2.22 60.34 54.56 2.31 1.72 3.34 3.34 SD 1.39 2.28 46.52 39.94 2.08 1.13 27.32 22.03 1.54 1.20 2.20 1.54 HAP M 2.45 2.58 29.45 47.44 2.80 2.86 64.82 62.14 2.27 1.90 3.13 3.08 SD 1.28 1.47 24.70 42.98 2.31 1.86 25.39 20.75 1.64 1.35 1.84 2.34 F(2, 130)

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Anger effect

LANP M Number of times driven Number of miles driven Anger frequency Anger intensity Aggressive behavior Risky behavior M F M F M F M F M F M F 2.62 2.89 36.80 24.19 1.13 1.04 29.36 35.58 0.79 0.58 2.24 2.23

Size h2

2.50 0.69 9.68 19.81 14.76 3.26

0.04 0.01 0.13 0.23 0.19 0.05

p 0.05, p 0.001. Note. LANP = Low Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HANP = High Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HAP = High Anger, Admitted Problem with Driving Anger and Seeking Help; M = Male; and F = Female.

der, F(3,145) 4.82, p 0.01, Roys 0.09, and anger, F(6,290) 9.83, p 0.001, Roys 0.27, but not for the interaction, F(6,290) 0.58. Aggressive and risky behavior, but not crashrelated outcomes showed univariate gender effects (Table 3). Men engaged in more aggressive and risky behavior (Ms 17.78 and 26.72) than women (Ms 12.27 and 22.03). All three variables demonstrated univariate anger effects (Table 3). HAP (Ms 20.53, 25.53, and 6.44) and HANP (Ms 17.23, 29.54, and 6.61) groups, while not differing from one another, engaged in signicantly more aggressive and risky behavior and experienced more crash-related outcomes than LANP drivers (Ms 7.33, 18.10, and 4.58), ps 0.05. Anger effect sizes were large for aggression and moderate for risky driving and crash-related conditions. In order to understand more fully the nature of anger effects and the specic behaviors or conditions contributing most to these ndings, the three general indices were broken down into individual items and explored by one-way (Anger) MANOVAs. The 13 aggression items revealed a signicant multivariate anger effect, F(26,270) 2.80, p 0.001, Roys 0.34. Univariate anger effects were found for verbal arguments with other drivers, making hostile gestures toward other drivers, swearing at other drivers, ashing lights at other drivers in anger, honking horns in anger, yelling at another driver, losing control of anger while driving, driving up close behind another driver in anger, and cutting another driver off in anger, Fs(2,147) 3.43, 15.95, 16.04, 7.35, 3.85, 10.12, 19.47, 10.10, and 8.88, ps 0.05, h2s 0.05, 0.18, 0.18, 0.09, 0.05, 0.22, 0.21, 0.12, and 0.11, respectively. For making hostile gestures, swearing at other drivers or pedestrians, ashing lights in anger, yelling at another driver,

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losing control of anger while driving, driving up close behind another driver in anger, and cutting someone off in anger, HAP (Ms 2.19, 3.00, 1.90, 2.58, 2.85, 1.94, and 1.29) and HANP (Ms 1.76, 2.54, 1.41, 1.76, 2.87, 1.83, and 1.23) groups did not differ from each other, but engaged in more of these behaviors than the LANP group (Ms 0.48, 1.00, 0.69, 1.04, 0.47, 0.62, and 0.30), ps 0.01. HAP drivers engaged in more arguments with other drivers and honked their horn at others in anger more (Ms 0.43 and 1.97) than did LANP drivers (M 0.10 and 1.04), ps 0.05, whereas HANP drivers (Ms 0.36 and 1.51) did not differ from other groups on these variables. The 15 risky behaviors revealed a signicant multivariate anger effect, F(30,266) 1.78, p 0.01, Roys 0.25. Univariate anger effects were found on driving without using a seatbelt, drinking and driving, being drunk and driving, passing unsafely, tailgating, going out of turn at a stop light or stop sign, and entering an intersection when the light is turning red, Fs(2,147) 3.49, 3.89, 3.98, 4.27, 12.47, 4.24, and 3.10, ps 0.05, h2s 0.05, 0.05, 0.05, 0.06, 0.15, 0.06, and 0.04, respectively. While not differing from one another, HAP (Ms 2.34 and 1.36) and HANP (Ms 2.24 and 1.39) groups tailgated others more and went out of turn at a red light or stop sign more often than the LANP group (Ms 0.80 and 0.63), ps 0.05. The HANP group drove without their seatbelts, drank and drove, drove drunk, and passed unsafely (Ms 2.75, 1.34, 0.69, and 1.56) more often than the LANP group (Ms 1.53, 0.44, 0.07, and 0.70), ps 0.05, whereas the HAP group (Ms 1.97, 0.87, 0.42, and 1.25) did not differ from either group on these variables. Although a univariate anger effect was found for entering an intersection as the light was turning red, no between-group differences were found on post hoc testing. Crash-related outcomes also demonstrated a multivariate anger effect, F(12,284) 2.66, p 0.01, Roys 0.12, but only moving violations and close calls revealed univariate anger effects, Fs(1,147) 5.13 and 8.24, ps 0.01, h2s 0.07 and 0.10. HAP participants received more moving violations in the last three months (M 0.58) than the LANP group (M 0.11), p 0.05, whereas the HANP group (M 0.28) did not differ from other groups on moving violations. HAP and HANP groups (Ms 1.42 and 1.86), while not differing from each other, experienced more close calls in the last three months than LANP drivers (M 0.80), ps 0.05. 3.6. Other psychological characteristics Trait anger and anxiety and general anger expression styles are summarized in Table 5. Trait anger and anxiety demonstrated a signicant multivariate effect for gender, F(2,146) 6.23, p 0.01, Roys 0.08, and anger, F(4,292) 17.57,p 0.001, Roys 0.35, but not for the interaction, F(4,292) 1.46. Only trait anxiety showed a univariate gender effect, F(1,147) 10.43, p 0.01, h2 0.07, due to women (M 42.88) reporting more anxiety than men (M 37.89). Both trait anger and anxiety revealed univariate anger effects (Table 5). While not differing from one another, HAP (Ms 24.66 and 42.31) and HANP (Ms 23.08 and 42.01) participants reported signicantly more trait anger and anxiety than the LANP group (Ms 16.73 and 36.84), ps 0.01. Anger expression styles showed a signicant multivariate effect for anger, F(6,290) 56.87, p 0.001, Roys 0.20, but not for gender, F(3,145) 0.24, or the interaction, F(6,290) 1.39. Univariate anger effects (Table 5) were found for Anger-Out and Anger-Control, but not for Anger-In. HAP (Ms 18.71 and 21.14) and HANP (Ms

J.L. Deffenbacher et al. / Behaviour Research and Therapy 41 (2003) 333349 Table 5 Trait anger and anxiety and general anger expression styles as a function of gender and anger status Measure Gender Anger status Univariate anger Anger effect

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LANP M Trait Anger Scale Trait Anxiety Inventory Anger-In Anger-Out Anger-Control M F M F M F M F M F 16.07 17.39 34.62 39.06 16.31 17.00 14.71 14.78 25.64 23.50

SD 4.00 4.03 6.69 9.52 3.98 5.99 3.38 3.00 4.60 6.00

HANP M 24.33 21.82 40.91 43.12 18.67 16.88 17.24 17.65 21.57 23.24

SD 4.35 4.52 11.52 10.32 4.85 5.05 3.49 3.00 4.41 3.93

HAP M 24.25 25.07 38.14 46.48 17.21 18.30 19.50 17.93 21.32 20.06

SD 5.83 5.47 8.66 9.77 4.57 5.11 4.33 4.13 4.48 4.69

F(2, 147)

Size h2

39.46 5.62 0.87 15.94 7.12

0.35 0.07 0.01 0.18 0.09

p 0.01, p 0.001. Note. LANP = Low Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HANP = High Anger, No Problem with Driving Anger; HAP = High Anger, Admitted Problem with Driving Anger and Seeking Help; M = Male; and F = Female.

17.44 and 22.40) groups did not differ, but reported signicantly more Anger-Out and signicantly less Anger-Control than the LANP group (Ms 14.75and 24.57), ps 0.05. Effect sizes were large for trait anger and outward expression of anger and moderate for trait anxiety and controlled anger expression. 4. Discussion A simple explanation for the ndings is differential exposure. If high anger drivers drove more than low anger drivers, then they would be exposed to more provocation and frustration on the road. They might, therefore, report more anger, aggression, and risky behavior as a function of being exposed to more hassle and provocation on the road. This, however, does not appear to be the case. All groups drove an equal number of miles and times per day as reported earlier for HAP and LANP groups (Deffenbacher et al., 2000). Thus, ndings do not appear to be confounded by differential exposure to potential provocation, but appear more interpretable in terms of the persons characteristic of anger proneness behind the wheel in interaction with similar driving environments. Before addressing ndings for anger groups, gender differences will be explored. Men and women did not differ on a single anger measure, replicating absence of gender effects found previously for driving anger (Deffenbacher et al., 2000, 2001) and for many studies on anger generally (e.g. Deffenbacher, Oetting, Thwaites et al., 1996). Men and women, however, tended to differ on aggression and risky behavior. They differed on ratings as aggressive and risky drivers, on hostile/aggressive and adaptive/constructive forms of expressing driving anger, and on three-

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month reports of aggressive and risky driving behaviors. They did not, however, differ on driving diary measures of aggressive and risky behavior. Thus, although men and women did not differ in the tendency to experience anger while driving, they differed in terms of men being more aggressive and risk-taking as has been found in other studies of driving (Arnett et al., 1997; Deffenbacher et al., 2000). Two cautions regarding gender differences, however, are in order. First, gender effects were not found on some variables, and when they were, effect sizes for gender differences were generally not large. Second, conclusions should not be extrapolated to men and women in general or even college students, but must be limited to anger groupings dened in this study. Gender differences may be more or less pronounced in others samples. For example, Deffenbacher et al. (2001) studying high and low anger drivers without regard to problem status found fewer gender differences for aggression and risky behavior. Theoretical predictions were generally supported. Hypotheses regarding anger frequency and intensity received support, with some evidence that HAP drivers were somewhat angrier than HANP drivers. For example, on ratings of self as an angry driver and anger level in response to being yelled at about their driving, HAP drivers reported signicantly greater anger than HANP drivers, who, in turn, reported signicantly more anger than LANP drivers. However, high anger groups did not differ from one another in terms of their anger during rush hour trafc, in their personally most angering situations, or on the frequency and intensity of anger in day-to-day driving (Log data) and reported signicantly more anger on all of these variables than LANP drivers. For example, on Driving Logs, HAP drivers reported becoming angry 2.6 times more often than LANP drivers, whereas HANP drivers were angry 2.2 times more often. These relative rates of occurrence take on added meaning when it is remembered that logs were daily averages. Over a long period of time, say a year, the differences become quite marked. For example, assuming students drove on average 300 days per year, LANP drivers would become angry 327 times, whereas HANP drivers would become angry 714 and HAP drivers 849 times. Thus, multiple measures and methods provided consistently large anger effect sizes and strong support for frequency and intensity hypotheses of statetrait anger model and for the construct validity of the DAS. At a clinical level, ndings further documented the anger problems of the HAP client group (Deffenbacher et al., 2000) and suggested that, although they may not be quite as high on all anger variables as the HAP group, HANP drivers experience elevated anger on nearly all measures, even though they do not describe it as a personal problem. An additional interesting nding regarding anger is the level of anger reported by LANP drivers in their personally most provocative situations. Although they reported less anger than high anger groups, the absolute levels were still moderately high in both situations (i.e. approximately 70 and 60 on a 100 point intensity scale, respectively). This means that even individuals who do not typically react to driving with anger have specic situations that elicit considerable, perhaps even problematic anger at times. High anger drivers also reported more driving-related aggression than the low anger group. This was reected in ratings of themselves as aggressive drivers, their use of hostile/aggressive ways of expressing anger while driving, and reports of aggression whether in the driving diaries or reports of aggression over the last three months. In all cases, HAP and HANP drivers did not differ from one another, but were more aggressive than LANP drivers. Differences were sizable as effect sizes were consistently large, and based on log and three-month reports, HAP drivers engaged in 3.1 and 2.8 times more aggression than the LANP group, whereas the HANP drivers

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engaged in 3.0 and 2.4 times more aggression. Extrapolating log data over a 300 driving day year means that LANP drivers, on average, would engage in 204 acts of driving-related aggression per year, whereas HANP drivers would commit 606 and HAP drivers 624 acts of aggression. In summary, both groups of high anger drivers were consistently more aggressive than their low anger peers, ndings that support the aggression hypothesis from statetrait anger theory and construct validity for the DAS. Clinically, elevated aggression should be targeted in interventions with the HAP group, but nearly equal levels of aggression go unacknowledged by HANP drivers. High anger drivers also engaged in more risky behavior and were potentially more crash-prone drivers as well. For example, on ratings of being risk-taking drivers and on reports of risky behavior on the Logs, HANP drivers reported greater risky behavior than LANP drivers, whereas the HAP drivers did not differ signicantly from either other group. HANP drivers also rated themselves as signicantly more unsafe drivers than either LANP or HAP drivers, who did not differ. However, on reports of risky behavior over the last three months and close calls and on the deployment of adaptive/constructive forms of anger expression (i.e. dealing with anger by increased attention to safe driving, problem solving, and cognitive attempts to lower anger), both high anger groups experienced elevated risk relative to the LANP group. HAP drivers also reported more moving violations than LANP drivers. Thus, although effect sizes were small to moderate and the relative differences in crash-related outcomes were smaller than for measures of risky behavior, high anger drivers revealed more risky and less safe behavior than did the low anger drivers. When engaged in over extended periods of time, such behavior puts them at greater risk of vehicular crashes, trafc citations, and the like. These ndings support hypotheses regarding enhanced risky behavior and crash-related outcomes and suggest that the DAS correlates with increased risky behavior, less safe behavior, and some crash-related outcomes, as well as anger and aggression. Other psychological characteristics of the high anger drivers may also interact with and exacerbate their angry, aggressive, risky behavior while driving. Compared to low anger drivers, high anger drivers reported elevated trait anxiety and anger and were more likely to express their anger generally in outward, negative, less controlled ways. Being more anxious and angry generally suggests that high anger drivers are more likely to get behind the wheel in an angry or tense distressed state. Anger, even that is unrelated to driving, can show transfer effects (Zillman, 1971), and the tendencies of high anger drivers toward elevated anger and outward, poorly controlled anger expression increases the chances that hostile, aggressive feelings, cognitions, and behaviors will be primed when they drive. Moreover, anxiety and distress can facilitate anger as well (i.e. nearly any aversive physical or psychological state increases the probability and strength of anger) (Berkowitz, 1990). Thus, other psychological characteristics of high anger drivers may increase the probability and intensity of anger stemming from other areas of their lives will inuence anger while driving, an area to which the high anger drivers are already vulnerable. It is likely that driving anger and other psychological characteristics will, at times, feed each other reciprocally, prompting cycles of escalating anger and stress in and out of the vehicle. General anger and anxiety, and less than functional ways of dealing with both increase the odds of angry, stressed drivers getting behind the wheel, and anger and stress on the road may facilitate further anger and distress after getting out of the car. For example, anger from the morning commute carries over into the workplace and anger from the commute home inuences the family environment (Novaco et al., 1979, 1990), and participants in Novacos studies were not selected for high trait

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driving anger, which would likely have accentuated these effects. Thus, interventions for driving anger reduction would benet from targeting these other psychological characteristics as well as driving anger and aggression per se. In summary, although ndings await replication with other groups of drivers, and although there was evidence of greater anger for HAP drivers on two variables, the two groups of high anger drivers were, in general, much more alike than different. Both high anger groups were at risk for anger, aggression, risky behavior, and some crash-related outcomes. Even though both were at elevated risk, the two groups require different interventions. Because they acknowledge problems and are interested in counseling, HAP drivers appear ready for psychotherapeutic and psycho-educational interventions, and effective interventions are beginning to be reported with which to assist them (Deffenbacher et al., 2000; Deffenbacher, Filetti, Lynch, Dahlen, & Oetting, in press). The present study, however, identied another at-risk group, namely HANP drivers, who were as much at risk, but for whom such interventions will not be effective, because they do not perceive themselves as having a problem and avail themselves of driving anger reduction interventions. They do not appear ready for change-oriented interventions. It may take aversive life events such as a series of trafc tickets, arrests, or lost jobs and damaged relationships due to angry, aggressive driving to motivate HANP drivers to change their perceptions of themselves and seek change. However, alternative interventions, ones focusing on increasing HANP driver awareness of their problems and risks and their readiness and motivation to address them, might be designed to enhance readiness without suffering such painful consequences. Perhaps readiness enhancement interventions (e.g. Deffenbacher, 1995; DiGiuseppe, 1995) or motivational interviewing (Miller & Rollnick, 1991) might be adapted to HANP drivers to make them more aware of themselves, their characteristics, and consequences of their behavior, and hopefully increase their motivation and readiness for change. Acknowledgements This study was supported, in part, by Grant R49/CCR811509 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by R01 DA04777 and 5 P50 DA07074-10 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the ofcial views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. References
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