Longitudinal measurement invariance, stability and change of anger and cynicism

J Behav Med. 2014 Jun;37(3):434-44. doi: 10.1007/s10865-013-9501-1. Epub 2013 Mar 12.


Anger and hostility are key concepts in behavioral medicine, but little is known about their stability over life course. A sample of 3,074 individuals from six age groups (aged 15-30 at the baseline) were selected from a population-based study to examine longitudinal measurement invariance, stability and change in anger and cynicism from early to middle adulthood over 15 years. Cynicism, a facet of hostility, and anger were measured 4 times in 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2007. Final longitudinal measurement invariance models achieved partial strict measurement invariance, indicating good measurement consistency over time. Rank-order stability of anger and cynicism was found to be moderate. Mean levels of anger and cynicism decreased over time, but in anger the decline was faster among women. The variance of anger and cynicism also increased over time, but in cynicism the rate of change was higher among men. Altogether, anger and cynicism show measurement invariance and moderate stability from early adulthood to middle adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anger / physiology*
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Young Adult