Anger suppression as a vehicle for gender socialization in girls: A developmental study

Cox, Deborah L.
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A growing body of literature supports the link between anger suppression and depression, and females' greater likelihood of demonstrating both. Anger suppression has been asserted to be involved in gender socialization for girls. Differences between boys and girls in anger suppression and depression were investigated using anger stylistic and depression measures. Differences between two grade groupings in anger suppression and depression were analyzed. Results supported the hypothesis that girls suppress anger at higher rates than boys, but not the related hypothesis that such suppression relates to higher levels of depression in girls than in boys. There were no grade-group differences in either anger suppression or depression, and no significant relationship between suppressed anger and depression for either sex. However, qualitative interview data revealed girls' gender-specific behaviors and beliefs with regard to anger, including withdrawal and expectations of diminishment by significant adults.

Social sciences, Depression, Developmental psychology, Social psychology, Women studies, Psychotherapy