Relations between the Experience and Control of Anger, and Somatization and Internalizing Psychopathology among Middle-School Children in Vietnam
Nguyen, Ngoc-Quynh Thi
The study presented in this thesis was designed to determine the relation between the experience, expression, and control of anger, and various forms of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, among Vietnamese adolescents, a population likely to show relatively high levels of restraint in affect expression. First Western and non-Western culture differences are presented and the distinction between somatization and psychologization is introduced. Then several explanations for the differences seen between Asian and Western cultures are introduced and the reasons and effects of somatization in children are presented. The Monism vs. Dualism model and the Group Harmony model for differences in rates of somatization and depression are investigated. The cultural differences for anger are also discussed. As part of the thesis work, a representative sample of sixth and ninth graders in Danang, Vietnam was given self-report measures on anger and various forms of psychopathology. The findings suggest that the intense experience of anger but lack of outward behavioral expression of anger is the most strongly related to all the forms of psychopathologies measured. Additionally, while the use of control during anger is related to less aggressive behavior, it is related to higher somatic complaints, especially for those with high trait anger. The implications of these results suggest that the relations between anger and aggression, anxiety/depression, and somatic complaints are complex and often varied depending on level of trait anger.