Anger Communication in Bicultural Adolescents


  • This research was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research to the first author (Grant No. 017.003.018). Many thanks to Jamal el Kattabi, Roy Bernabela, Asad Jaber, Mariam and Khaoula Boukhoubezaa, Soumaya el Hamami, Charlotte Duinen, Handan Golbasi, Dagmara Ostrowska, and Mieke Evers for all their help and assistance, as well as the adolescents, teachers, and schools taking part in the study.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Sheida Novin, FSW, Department of Developmental Psychology, Leiden University, PO Box 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands. E-mail:


Little is known about bicultural adolescents’ emotional competence. The aim of the present study was to examine anger communication by comparing thirty-eight 16-year-old Moroccan-Dutch adolescents with 40 Dutch and 40 Moroccan peers using hypothetical anger-eliciting vignettes. Findings show that although Moroccan and Dutch adolescents were equally likely to feel angry, they differed in their anger communication in accordance with their cultural models: Moroccan adolescents were more likely to express their anger indirectly than their Dutch counterparts, whereas Dutch adolescents were more likely to react directly or aggressively. Critically, the anger communication styles of the Moroccan-Dutch youngsters fell in between the two monocultural groups.