Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 539–569

Cardiovascular consequences of expressing, experiencing, and repressing anger

  • Aron Wolfe Siegman

DOI: 10.1007/BF00844719

Cite this article as:
Siegman, A.W. J Behav Med (1993) 16: 539. doi:10.1007/BF00844719


Psychoanalytic theory's pathogenic view of repression gave rise to the widely held belief that the expression of anger is beneficial to mental and physical health. The present paper reviews a number of experimental and correlational studies which demonstrate that thefullexpression of anger, with its vocal manifestations, is associated with significant cardiovascular hyperreactivity. Furthermore, epidemiological studies indicate that such expressions of anger are also related to coronary heart disease (CHD) and to some physiological and hormonal changes that have been implicated in the pathophysiology of CHD. On the other hand, neither the mere experience of anger nor its repression has any of the above negative cardiovascular consequences, although the repression of anger seems to have other untoward health consequences.

Key words

anger experienceanger expressionanger repressioncardiovascular reactivitycoronary heart disease

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aron Wolfe Siegman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Maryland Baltimore CountryCatonsville