The relation between anger coping strategies, anger mood and somatic complaints in children and adolescents

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2007 Aug;35(4):653-64. doi: 10.1007/s10802-007-9120-9. Epub 2007 Jun 7.


Attempts to explain the experience of somatic complaints among children and adolescents suggest that they may in part result from the influence of particular strategies for coping with anger on the longevity of negative emotions. To explore these relationships British (n = 393) and Dutch (n = 299) children completed a modified version of the Behavioral Anger Response Questionnaire (BARQ), and two additional questionnaires assessing anger mood and somatic complaints. A hierarchical regression analysis showed that for both the UK and Dutch samples two coping styles, Social support-seeking and Rumination, made a significant contribution to somatic complaints, over and above the variance explained by anger mood. A tendency to repeatedly think or talk about an angering event as a way of coping seems to underlie the observed negative health effects. In addition, tentative support is given for a broader range of strategies to cope with anger than just the traditionally studied anger-out and anger-in styles.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Anger*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Social Support
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom