Introduction

Anger is a normal human emotion. Certain people may show clinical anger which is a chromic and pervasive anger. The difference between anger and clinical anger maybe comparible to the difference between feeling down and clinical depression. In other words, when an otherwise common emotion becomes long lasting, it becomes a clinical problem.

Professor Snell developed the Clinical Anger Scale to measure this (Snell et al., 1995).

The CAS is not meant as a formal diagnosis of clinical anger.

A good overview article about clinical anger is the paper Understanding Clinical Anger and Violence by xrefs:refs[Gardner and Moore (2008)], from which I quote the following:

Although, to many, anger may seem like a maladaptive response to inter- personal distress, the emotion is actually intended to serve an adaptive function, as it has as its most basic purpose the preparation of human beings to respond to real threats in the environment (Kemper, 1987). However, when generalized to contexts beyond those in which it is likely to be useful and adaptive, this otherwise normal emotion can lead to chronically height- ened arousal and is associated with dysfunctional and problematic behav- ior. For many individuals, heightened intensity, frequency, and duration of anger, which we have defined as “clinical anger,” are precursors to a vari- ety of interpersonal, health, occupational, and legal difficulties (Del Vecchio & O’Leary, 2004; Kassinove & Sukhodolsky, 1995).

Although anger is stereotypically more associated with men than with women, Snell et al. (1995) found no evidence that men and women differ in terms of the syndrome of clinical anger (p.222).

Usage

Snell (2007) writes:

In clinical settings, the CAS could provide information helpful in understanding angry clients, the planning of treatment, and the assessment of therapeutic progress. Client scores on the CAS could, for example, be compared with non-clinical groups (or against CAS norms, once they are established). By being administered at several points in time, the Clinical Anger Scale may also provide valuable information about clinical status and treatment response. Moreover, in non-clinical settings, the CAS may prove useful in identifying individuals who have "clinical" levels of anger or those who at risk for developing clinical anger. Additionally, the CAS can be easily administered in mental health, prison, educational, and other types of settings to screen for anger symptomatology. In this sense, the CAS may prove to be useful to employ in applied settings where the measurement of clinical anger is deemed necessary and helpful (Sharkin, 1988).

Scoring and interpretation

The CAS has 21 items with 4 choices each (which are scored 0,1,2,3). The CAS score is simply the sum of the item scores. Thus, scores on the CAS can range from 0 to 63. A higher score means that the participant has more anger symptoms.

In student samples, the average CAS lies around 10 points.

Run the demo

Professor Snell retired from the Southeast Missouri State University in April 2017. On his website he stated that people can use his instruments. Of course, you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about this scale (Snell et al., 1995 and Snell, 2002).

Technically

This is a simple multi-radio question.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
l: cas
q: For each cluster of items, read and identify the statement that best reflects how you feel.<br><br>
PLEASE BE HONEST IN RESPONDING TO THE STATEMENTS.<br>
<br>
t: multiradio 4
o: scores 0 1 2 3
- A. I do not feel angry.
- B. I feel angry.
- C. I am angry most of the time now.
- D. I am so angry and hostile all the time that I can't stand it.
- A. I am not particularly angry about my future.
- B. When I think about my future, I feel angry.
- C. I feel angry about what I have to look forward to.
- D. I feel intensely angry about my future, since it cannot be improved.
- A. It makes me angry that I feel like such a failure.
- B. It makes me angry that I have failed more than the average person.
- C. As I look back on my life, I feel angry about my failures.
- D. It makes me angry to feel like a complete failure as a person.
- A. I am not all that angry about things.
- B. I am becoming more hostile about things than I used to be.
- C. I am pretty angry about things these days.
- D. I am angry and hostile about everything.
- A. I don't feel particularly hostile at others.
- B. I feel hostile a good deal of the time.
- C. I feel quite hostile most of the time.
- D. I feel hostile all of the time.
- A. I don't feel that others are trying to annoy me.
- B. At times I think people are trying to annoy me.
- C. More people than usual are beginning to make me feel angry.
- D. I feel that others are constantly and intentionally making me angry.
- A. I don't feel angry when I think about myself.
- B. I feel more angry about myself these days than I used to.
- C. I feel angry about myself a good deal of the time.
- D. When I think about myself, I feel intense anger.
- A. I don't have angry feelings about others having screwed up my life.
- B. It's beginning to make me angry that others are screwing up my life.
- C. I feel angry that others prevent me from having a good life.
- D. I am constantly angry because others have made my life totally miserable.
- A. I don't feel angry enough to hurt someone.
- B. Sometimes I am so angry that I feel like hurting others, but I would not really do it.
- C. My anger is so intense that I sometimes feel like hurting others.
- D. I'm so angry that I would like to hurt someone.
- A. I don't shout at people any more than usual.
- B. I shout at others more now than I used to.
- C. I shout at people all the time now.
- D. I shout at others so often that sometimes I just can't stop.
- A. Things are not more irritating to me now than usual.
- B. I feel slightly more irritated now than usual.
- C. I feel irritated a good deal of the time.
- D. I'm irritated all the time now.
- A. My anger does not interfere with my interest in other people.
- B. My anger sometimes interferes with my interest in others.
- C. I am becoming so angry that I don't want to be around others.
- D. I'm so angry that I can't stand being around people.
- A. I don't have any persistent angry feelings that influence my ability to make decisions.
- B. My feelings of anger occasionally undermine my ability to make decisions.
- C. I am angry to the extent that it interferes with my making good decisions.
- D. I'm so angry that I can't make good decisions anymore.
- A. I'm not so angry and hostile that others dislike me.
- B. People sometimes dislike being around me since I become angry.
- C. More often than not, people stay away from me because I'm so hostile and angry.
- D. People don't like me anymore because I'm constantly angry all the time.
- A. My feelings of anger do not interfere with my work.
- B. From time to time my feelings of anger interfere with my work.
- C. I feel so angry that it interferes with my capacity to work.
- D. My feelings of anger prevent me from doing any work at all.
- A. My anger does not interfere with my sleep.
- B. Sometimes I don't sleep very well because I'm feeling angry.
- C. My anger is so great that I stay awake 1-2 hours later than usual.
- D. I am so intensely angry that I can't get much sleep during the night.
- A. My anger does not make me feel anymore tired than usual.
- B. My feelings of anger are beginning to tire me out.
- C. My anger is intense enough that it makes me feel very tired.
- D. My feelings of anger leave me too tired to do anything.
- A. My appetite does not suffer because of my feelings of anger.
- B. My feelings of anger are beginning to affect my appetite.
- C. My feelings of anger leave me without much of an appetite.
- D. My anger is so intense that it has taken away my appetite.
- A. My feelings of anger don't interfere with my health.
- B. My feelings of anger are beginning to interfere with my health.
- C. My anger prevents me from devoting much time and attention to my health.
- D. I'm so angry at everything these days that I pay no attention to my health and well-being.
- A. My ability to think clearly is unaffected by my feelings of anger.
- B. Sometimes my feelings of anger prevent me from thinking in a clear-headed way.
- C. My anger makes it hard for me to think of anything else.
- D. I'm so intensely angry and hostile that it completely interferes with my thinking.
- A. I don't feel so angry that it interferes with my interest in sex.
- B. My feelings of anger leave me less interested in sex than I used to be.
- C. My current feelings of anger undermine my interest in sex.
- D. I'm so angry about my life that I've completely lost interest in sex.

l: cas_score
t: set
- sum $cas

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the Clinical Anger Scale is {$cas_score}.<br>
Scores range between 0 and 63 points.<br>
In the original study by Snell (1995), students scored around 10 points.<br>

References

  • Snell, W. E., Jr., Gum, S., Shuck, R. L., Mosley, J. A., & Kite, T. L. (1995). The clinical anger scale: Preliminary reliability and validity. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51(2), 215-226.

  • Snell, W. E., Jr. (2002). Chapter 1: Clinical anger: Construct, measurement, reliability, and validity. In W. E. Snell, Jr. (Ed.), Progress in the study of physical and psychological health. Cape Girardeau, MO: Snell Publications. WEB: http://cstl-cla.semo.edu/snell/books/health/health.htm.