DOI: 10.1155/2023/8842805 ISSN:

The Role of Anger Expression in Unmet Expectations and Depressive Symptoms

Izabela Kaźmierczak, Anna Zajenkowska, Joanna Rajchert, Adrianna Jakubowska, Agnieszka Abramiuk-Szyszko
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Background and Objectives. Depression is associated with unmet relational expectations, but little is known about how both partners experience meeting expectations and how this relates to anger expression and depressive symptoms. The aim of study 1 was to explore the role of anger expression in explaining the link between relational expectations and depression using the actor-partner interdependence mediation model. Additionally, social expectations beyond romantic relationships are associated with societal demands. Study 2 is aimed at investigating the role of anger expression in the relationship between internalized social demands (i.e., outer self-awareness) and depressive symptoms. Design and Methods. Online self-report data were collected from N = 194 romantic partners (97 dyads) in study 1 and N = 407 individuals in study 2. Results. In study 1, unmet expectations were associated with both actor and partner effects on depressive symptoms and anger expression. In particular, inwardly directed anger was linked to depressive symptoms in the case of the individual experiencing unmet expectations, whereas outwardly directed anger predicted such symptoms in the case of the partner’s unmet expectations. In study 2, there was a positive association between outer self-awareness and directing anger inwards and outwards, which was linked to higher depressive symptoms. Furthermore, while directing anger inwards seemed to be a universal mechanism underlying the association, the interpersonal mechanism (i.e., directing anger outwards) was found to be dependent on gender.

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