Anger Responses in Adolescents: Relationship with Punishment and Reward Sensitivity

L. J. Kreuze*, P. J. de Jong, E. C. Bennik, M. H. Nauta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A substantial proportion of youth with anxiety disorders shows comorbid behavioral (anger) problems. Such comorbid profile is associated with low treatment effectiveness and negative (longterm) outcomes. This study was therefore designed to examine trait factors that may promote anger responding in adolescents. By presenting participants (N = 158, mean age = 15.7, 56% female) with a series of common anger-eliciting situations, we tested whether high reward sensitivity would be associated with anger via perceived non-reward, and high punishment sensitivity via perceived threat. In line with the hypotheses, an indirect effect of reward sensitivity on anger was found via perceived non-reward, and an indirect effect of punishment sensitivity on anger via perceived threat. The latter association also had an indirect effect via perceived non-reward. High punishment and reward sensitivity may thus set adolescents at risk for developing (comorbid) anger problems via heightened threat and non-reward perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7-Jun-2021

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