Potential for hostility and dimensions of anger.

L. Musante, J. M. MacDougall, T. M. Dembroski, P. T. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent reviews have linked Potential for Hostility derived from the Structured Interview (SI) to coronary artery disease, independent of the global Type A pattern. The present study examined the construct validity of Potential for Hostility ratings by correlating Potential for Hostility with 21 scales from four widely used anger/hostility measures: 7 scales from the Anger Self-Report, 8 scales from the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, the total score from the Novaco Anger Inventory, and 5 scales from the Multidimensional Anger Inventory. The pattern of correlations revealed that Potential for Hostility was significantly related to scales reflecting awareness and arousal of anger, particularly the verbal expression of anger. To identify underlying anger dimensions, the 21 scales were factor-analyzed. Examination of two and three rotated principal components confirmed previous solutions. The first component, representing anger-arousing and -eliciting situations and anger awareness, was labeled Experience of Anger. The second component, consisting of scales dealing with either physical assault or verbal expression of anger, was labeled Expression of Anger. When a third factor was retained, it contained scales of suspicion, mistrust-suspicion, and guilt: It was therefore labeled Suspicion-Guilt. Potential for Hostility was correlated only with the Expression of Anger factor in the two-factor solution; in the three-factor solution, Potential for Hostility was correlated equally with the Experience of Anger and Expression of Anger factors but was not correlated with the Suspicion-Guilt factor. The implications of these results for the assessment of hostility are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-354
Number of pages12
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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