Australian Institute of Criminology

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Anger management and violence prevention: improving effectiveness

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 227

Kevin Howells, Andrew Day, Susan Bubner, Susan Jauncey, Paul Williamson, Ann Parker and Karen Heseltine
ISBN 0 642 24268 2 ISSN 0817-8542 ; CRC 37/98-99
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2002

Abstract

After reviewing the findings of previous studies of anger management programs, this paper discusses the findings of a study of 200 male offenders (mainly prisoners) in South Australia and Western Australia before and after they participated in an anger management intervention. The study found that the overall impact of the anger management interventions was small and no significant differences were observed for community versus prison participants. The paper discusses the question of who benefits most from anger management programs, concluding that those high in anger and low in anger control at the outset, and those who were motivated to work on their anger problems, showed greater improvement on a wide range of anger measures. The paper also discusses the reasons for the low impact of offender anger management programs, and makes recommendations for improving anger management outcomes.

This paper is taken from the report of research undertaken with the assistance of a grant from the Criminology Research Council.