Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Charles O. Matthews


The purpose of this study was to determine from a group of ending stage of treatment or post-treatment incest survivors their experience with anger before therapy, during therapy, and at present, using semi-structured interviews and the following objective measures: STAXI--State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (Spielberger, 1988), CRI--Coping Resources Inventory (Hammer and Marting, 1988), MBTI--Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers and McCaulley, 1985), a researcher-constructed outcome measure (a visual analog scale of awareness of feelings and symptom improvement) and a researcher-constructed Type-Related Anger questionnaire. Subjects who volunteered to participate in the study were 45 adult female (average 38 years old) survivors of childhood incest where incest was defined to include any sexual contact by a blood relative or by someone who is in a caretaking role and their 25 referring outpatient therapists, identified as experts in their communities by local rape crisis centers. Survivors had worked with an average of 3.6 therapists per person and had been in therapy for an average of 32 months with their current therapists.;STAXI results showed that these survivors had much more State and Trait Anger and had repressed much more anger before therapy than at present. They were not significantly more expressive with their anger prior to therapy than at present. When compared to the norm groups on the objective measures, these survivors at present had equal total coping resources, equal repressed anger, and more expressed anger. There were no differences between therapist assessment and client report of current repressed or expressed anger. Specific coping resources had some type-related similarities, but the small sample size in this study made all type results inconclusive. Strategies, tasks, and rituals for working through anger were suggested by both survivors and therapists and could be classified by type preference and by coping resource preference.;Implications of the study are that severely abused survivors can be successfully treated by qualified therapists and that their anger is related to empowerment and healing and is not "maladaptive.".



© The Author