Advertisement

Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 21–30 | Cite as

Differentiation of Self, Interpersonal Conflict, and Depression: The Mediating Role of Anger Expression

  • Soo-Whan ChoiEmail author
  • Nancy L. Murdock
Original Paper

Abstract

The current study investigated how differentiation of self (Bowen in Family therapy in clinical practice. Jason Aronson, New York, 1978; Kerr and Bowen in Family evaluation. W. W. Norton and Company, New York, 1988) was related to interpersonal conflict and depression, and tested mediation hypotheses involving anger expression. The results revealed that anger expressed outwardly partially mediated the relationship between emotional reactivity and interpersonal conflict, and that anger expressed inwardly fully mediated the relationship between emotional cutoff and depression among 260 college students attending an urban university located in Midwestern United States.

Keywords

Family systems Differentiation of self Anger expression Interpersonal conflicts Depression 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1173.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baum, N., & Shnit, D. (2003). Divorced parents’ conflict management styles: Self-differentiation and narcissism. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 39(3–4), 37–58. doi: 10.1300/J087v39n03_02.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  4. Buss, A., & Perry, M. (1992). The aggression questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 452–459. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.63.3.452.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Carleton, R. N., Thibodeau, M. A., Teale, M. N., Welch, P. G., Abrams, M. P., Robinson, T., et al. (2013). The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale: A review with a theoretical and empirical examination of item content and factor structure. PLoS ONE,. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058067.Google Scholar
  6. Deffenbacher, J. L., Oetting, E. R., Lynch, R. S., & Morris, C. D. (1996). The expression of anger and its consequences. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34(7), 575–590. doi: 10.1016/0005-7967(96)00018-6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Deschênes, S. S., Dugas, M. J., Fracalanza, K., & Koerner, N. (2012). The role of anger in generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 41(3), 261–271. doi: 10.1080/16506073.2012.666564.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Drake, J. R., Murdock, N. L., Marszalek, J. M., & Barber, C. E. (2015). Differentiation of Self Inventory—Short form: Development and preliminary validation. Contemporary Family Therapy, 37, 101–112. doi: 10.1007/s10591-015-9329-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Duckro, P. N., Chibnall, J. T., & Tomazic, T. J. (1995). Anger, depression, and disability: A path analysis of relationships in a sample of chronic posttraumatic headache patients. Headache, 35(1), 7–9. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1995.hed3501007.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Gentry, W. D., Chesney, A. P., Gary, H. E., Hall, R. P., & Harburg, E. (1982). Habitual anger-coping styles: Effect on mean blood pressure and risk for essential hypertension. Psychosomatic Medicine, 44, 195–202. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.library.umkc.edu/ehost
  11. Haber, J. (2003). The Haber level of differentiation of self scale. In L. Strickland & C. Dilorio (Eds.), The measure of nursing outcomes (2nd ed., pp. 320–331). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Harburg, E., Erfurt, J. C., Hauenstein, L. S., Chape, C., Schull, W. J., & Schork, M. A. (1973). Socio-ecological stress, suppressed hostility, skin color, and black-white male blood pressure: Detroit. Psychosomatic Medicine, 35(4), 276–296. doi: 10.1097/00006842-197307000-00003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Heppner, P. P., Cook, S. W., Wright, D. M., & Johnson, W. C., Jr. (1995). Progress in resolving problems: A problem-focused style of coping. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 42, 279–293. doi: 10.1037/0022-0167.42.3.279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hooper, L., & Doehler, K. (2011). The mediating and moderating effects of differentiation of self on body mass index and depressive symptomatology among an American college sample. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 24(1), 71–82. doi: 10.1080/09515070.2011.559957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jenkins, S. (2005). Differentiation of self and psychosocial development. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 27(2), 251–261. doi: 10.1007/s10591-005-4042-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kerr, M. E., & Bowen, M. (1988). Family evaluation. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.Google Scholar
  17. Kitamura, T., & Hasui, C. (2006). Anger feelings and anger expression as a mediator of the effects of witnessing family violence on anxiety and depression in Japanese adolescents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(7), 843–855. doi: 10.1177/0886260506288933.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kruse, N. (2007). The relationship between self differentiation and the levels of trust, shame, and guilt in intimate relationships. Dissertation Abstracts International, 68, 4134. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.library.umkc.edu/ehost
  19. Moreno, J. K., Fuhriman, A., & Selby, M. J. (1993). Measurement of hostility, anger, and depression in depressed and nondepressed subjects. Journal of Personality Assessment, 61(3), 511–523. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1173.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Murdock, N. L., & Gore, P. R. (2004). Stress, coping, and differentiation of self: A test of Bowen theory. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 26(3), 319–335. doi: 10.1023/B:COFT.0000037918.53929.18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385–401. doi: 10.1177/014662167700100306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rosen, K. H., Bartle-Haring, S. E., & Stith, S. M. (2001). Using Bowen theory to enhance understanding of the intergenerational transmission of dating violence. Journal of Family Issues, 22, 124–142. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.42.5.864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ruehlman, L. S., & Karoly, P. (1991). With a little flak from my friends: Development and preliminary validation of the test of negative social exchange (TENSE). Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 3(1), 97–104. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.3.1.97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Skowron, E. A. (2004). Differentiation of self, personal adjustment, problem solving, and ethnic group belonging among persons of color. Journal of Counseling and Development, 82(4), 447–456. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6678.2004.tb00333.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Skowron, E. A., & Friedlander, M. L. (1998). The Differentiation of Self Inventory: Development and initial validation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 45(3), 235–246. doi: 10.1037/0022-0167.45.3.235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Skowron, E. A., Holmes, S.E., & Sabatelli, R.M. (2003). Deconstructing differentiation: Self regulation, interdependent relating, and well being in adulthood. Contemporary Family Therapy, 25, 111–129. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.library.umkc.edu/ehost
  27. Skowron, E. A., & Platt, L. F. (2005). Differentiation of self and child abuse potential in your adult college students. The Family Journal (Alexandria, VA), 13, 281–290. doi: 10.1177/1066480705276314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Skowron, E. A., & Schmitt, T. A. (2003). Assessing interpersonal fusion: Reliability and validity of a new DSI fusion with others subscales. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29(2), 209–222. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2003.tb01201.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Skowron, E. A., Stanley, K. L., & Shapiro, M. D. (2009). A longitudinal perspective on differentiation of self, interpersonal and psychological well-being in young adulthood. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 31(1), 3–18. doi: 10.1007/s10591-008-9075-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In S. Leinhardt (Ed.), Sociological methodology (pp. 290–312). Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.Google Scholar
  31. Spielberger, C. D. (1999). State-trait anger expression inventory-2: Professional manual. FL: PAR.Google Scholar
  32. Suchday, S. T., & Larkin, K. T. (2001). Biobehavioral responses to interpersonal conflict during anger expression among anger-in and anger-out men. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 23(4), 282. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.library.umkc.edu/ehost
  33. Titleman, P. (2014). Differentiation of self: Bowen family systems theory perspective. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Van Kleef, G. A., van Dijk, E., Steinel, W., Harinck, F., & van Beest, I. (2008). Anger in social conflict: Cross-situational comparisons and suggestions for the future. Group Decision and Negotiation, 17(1), 13–30. doi: 10.1007/s10726-007-9092-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Walker, M. W. (2007). Differentiation of self and partner violence among individuals in substance abuse treatment. Dissertation Abstracts International, 67, 7393. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.library.umkc.edu/ehost

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Missouri-Kansas CityKansas CityUSA

Personalised recommendations