Anger Control Among Rapists

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


The present study sought to investigate whether rapists, who typically displace their anger onto females, could be taught anger control in a limited number of sessions.Thirty members of a sex offender rehabilitation program who had committed a forcible rape were chosen for the study. They were matched for age and length of time in treatment and assigned to either the experimental or the control group. All subjects met at a preliminary session where they were administered the Novaco Anger Scale and two imaginal provocations. Both groups then met for five weeks, twice a week. The experimental group was conducted in accordance with the anger control treatment method devised by Novaco. The control group was conducted in accordance in the usual manner of groups in the program. At the end of treatment, both groups were readministered the assessment devices and rule infractions were tabulated for nine weeks pre-treatment and nine weeks post-treatment.Both the experimental and the control groups demonstrated a significant improvement in the ability to control their anger as measured by the Novaco Anger Scale. However, the improvement demonstrated by the experimental group was significantly greater than that of the control group. The experimental group also demonstrated a significant improvement in the ability to control their anger as measured by the Imaginal Provocations. In addition to the original questions to this scale, two were devised for the unique characteristics of this population. The experimental group also demonstrated significant improvement on these two questions.The two groups were also compared for the number of rule infractions incurred pre versus post-treatment. The experimental group demonstrated no significant change while the control group demonstrated a significant increase in the number of rule infractions. It was hypothesized that this was due to a period of increasing stress in the rehabilitation program. The treatment method was judged to be a useful adjunct for the treatment of rapists.


Psychology, Clinical

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text