Healthcare Training Institute - Quality Education since 1979
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Assessment of Road Rage
Driving Anger Scale
Deffenbacher et al. reported internal consistency reliabilities of .90 and .80 for the long and short forms, respectively. In a subsequent study, Deffenbacher et al. obtained internal consistency reliabilities of .92 for the short form and .96 for the long form, and both forms were found to have satisfactory test-retest reliability based on a 10-week interval (.84 and .88 for the short and long forms, respectively). For the long form, subscale reliabilities were found to range from .78 to .87. Although the subscales tend to correlate positively with each other, cluster analyses have demonstrated that there is enough independence of the subscales to assess different reactions to different types of situations. The correlation between the long form and the short form was .95, suggesting that either form was appropriate to use if only a total driving anger score was needed. Gender differences were obtained on four of the subscales: Men reported more anger for Police Presence and Slow Driving, whereas women reported more anger for Traffic Obstructions and Illegal Driving. The DAS has been shown to correlate positively with general trait anger and trait anxiety and to differentiate high-from low-anger drivers.
Driving Anger Expression Inventory
Each of the four subscales was found to possess satisfactory internal consistency, with alpha reliabilities of .88, .81, .86, and .90 for the four subscales, respectively. The alpha reliability coefficient for the Total Aggressive Expression index was .90. The three subscales of aggressive expression correlated positively with each other, with reliabilities ranging from .39 to .48, but were uncorrelated or negatively correlated with Adaptive/Constructive Expression, with reliabilities ranging from -. 02 to -.22. The three subscales of aggressive expression correlated positively with general trait anger, trait driving anger, anger in commonly occurring driving situations and everyday driving, and aggressive and risky driving behavior. The Adaptive/Constructive Expression subscale, on the other hand, tended to correlate negatively with these variables. Also, a gender effect was found, with men scoring higher than women on Personal Physical Aggressive Expression and the Total Aggressive Expression index.
Driver's Angry Thoughts Questionnaire
The Judgmental/Disbelieving subscale consists of items that involve questioning the driving of others, derogation of another person's driving, and thoughts about others not being allowed to drive. Examples of items are "People like you ought to have to take a driver's test" and "Get people like them off the road." The Pejorative Labeling/Verbally Aggressive subscale involves harsh negative judgments, name calling, and thoughts about how the respondent would like to engage in verbally aggressive behavior. Sample items include "What an idiot" and "Get off my ass!" The Revenge/ Retaliatory subscale includes thoughts of retaliation and revenge behavior (e.g., "I'm not going to let them do that to me" and "I'm going to slow down to spite them"). The Physically Aggressive subscale consists of thoughts of wanting to hurt others physically and about engaging in physically aggressive behaviors, for example, "I want to kick their ass" and "I want to run them off the road." The Coping Self-Instruction subscale consists of items that reflect positive and adaptive coping thoughts such as "Just back off and relax" and "Nothing I can do about it so take it easy."
Deffenbacher, Petrilli, et al. have reported preliminary reliability and validity data for the DATQ. Internal reliability coefficients for the subscales were all above .90, except for the Coping Self-Instruction (alpha = .83). The Pejorative Labeling/Verbally Aggressive Thinking, Physically Aggressive Thinking, and Revengeful/Retaliatory Thinking subscales correlated positively with each other and with driving anger, aggressive driving anger expression, aggression, and risky driving behavior, whereas the Coping Self-Instruction subscale correlated negatively with these variables. The Judgmental/Disbelieving subscale did not correlate as strongly with the other variables. Driving-related angry thoughts, except coping self-instruction, correlated with general angry thoughts.
In addition to these standardized instruments, individuals can be asked to keep a driving anger journal, similar to the driving log used in studies by Deffenbacher and his colleagues. Individuals can be instructed to monitor and record anger experienced while driving and to look for patterns or provocation situations that are most problematic. For example, are there certain times of the day when anger is more easily provoked? Under what circumstances is anger provoked? Is there a difference when driving alone versus driving with passengers? In fact, it can be helpful to get the perspective of passengers, given the se]f-serving bias exhibited by most people in their self-assessment of driving habits. Self-assessment can foster increased awareness and consciousness while driving, a first step in treatment for angry driving.
Reflection Exercise #5