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Treating Anger and Aggression in Military Populations: Research Updates and Clinical Implications

Authors

  • Leslie A. Morland,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, National Center for PTSD—Pacific Islands Division
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  • Allison R. Love,

    1. Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, National Center for PTSD—Pacific Islands Division, Pacific Health Research and Education Institute
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  • Margaret-Anne Mackintosh,

    1. Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, National Center for PTSD—Pacific Islands Division, Pacific Health Research and Education Institute
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  • Carolyn J. Greene,

    1. Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, National Center for PTSD—Pacific Islands Division, Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Center for Health Care Evaluation
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  • Craig S. Rosen

    1. Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, National Center for PTSD—Dissemination & Training Division, Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
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Address correspondence to Leslie A. Morland, Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, National Center for PTSD—Pacific Islands Division, 3375 Koapaka St., Suite I-560, Honolulu, HI 96819. E-mail: Leslie.Morland@va.gov.

Abstract

Anger is a common symptom among military populations with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); yet, anger treatment has received relatively little attention in the literature. This discrepancy is surprising given that excessive anger is a key predictor of treatment outcome in PTSD. This study seeks to (a) build a case for the importance of a more explicit approach to understanding and treating anger in our military and veteran populations, (b) summarize the current literature base on treatment factors and treatment outcomes for treating anger and related symptoms among veterans, and (c) offer clinical and research implications and recommendations based on current findings and on the expertise of the authors in completing a large-scale study of anger treatment with veterans.

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