Investigating the Role of Anger and Cognitive Malfunction in Mental Health: A Cross-Sectional Exploration Paving the Way for a Subsequent Experiment

J Psychol. 2024 Apr 2:1-23. doi: 10.1080/00223980.2024.2334289. Online ahead of print.


The functional outcomes associated with subjective well-being (SWB) and the detrimental aspects of psychological distress (PD) make it essential to explore contributing factors. The present study investigated a model about the existing gap in the determining role of trait anger (TA), state anger (SA), cognitive reappraisal (CR), rumination and cognitive failure (CF) as predictors of SWB and PD. The study contributes by exploring the interaction of dispositional, situation factors and emotional regulation strategies in shaping SWB and PD in the Indian Sample. A cross-sectional survey design was employed wherein 600 young adults aged 18-40 (Mage = 22.13, SDage = 4.06) were recruited from Uttar Pradesh, India using a multi-level cluster sampling method. The data were collected using questionnaires in the field setting during August-December 2021. Regression and path analysis revealed that the proposed predictors explained significant variance in SWB and PD, i.e., R2 = 0.24, F (5, 594) = 38.03, p < 0.01, Cohen f2 =0.31 and R2 = 0.35, F (5, 594) = 66.40, p < 0.01, Cohen f2 = 0.53, respectively. The models also fit well with the statistical indices. Except CR, all predictors emerged as significant risk factors. The findings suggest that the interventions to reduce PD and enhance SWB may consider inculcating CR and reducing higher levels of TA, SA, rumination and CF to enhance an individual's adaptive functioning. The findings pave the way for conducting a pre-planned experiment to study the outcomes of various levels of TA in regulating incidental anger (SA) employing CR and rumination.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; cognitive failures; cognitive reappraisal; psychological distress; rumination; trait/state anger.