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Anger and Black identity development: Construction and validation of a theoretical model

Evelyn Victoria Brooks, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Researchers in the field of Counseling Psychology have devoted extensive efforts in developing theories and models which investigate the cognitive correlates of Black identity development. Affective correlates of identity development, however, have received little attention. Anger, the emotional response to injustice, is a specific emotion which is of particular relevance to the oppression experienced by Black Americans, and which has been identified as central in the process of identity development. This dissertation outlines a three stage theoretical model of the development of anger in Black identity, and validates that model. The Black Anger Scale (BAS), which assesses anger experience and expression as a function of Black identity development, was developed to reflect that model. An item analysis of the three subscales of the BAS was completed using Cronbach's alpha procedure to test the reliability of this instrument. To provide validation of the BAS, correlational analyses were computed for the BAS and its' subscales with each of the following three instruments and their respective subscales: The Black Racial Identity Attitudes Scale (BRIAS), which assesses stage of Black identity development; the anger expression subscale of the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI), which identifies the respondents style of anger expression; and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), which identifies psychological symptomatic distress. Subjects were 150 Black adults, ages 18 to 79. Subjects were administered the BAS, BRIAS, STAXI and BSI. In addition, to obtain qualitative data, two subjects identified at each of the three stages of Black anger development were administered a short structured interview in which they were asked to recall their cognitive and affective responses to a recent instance of racial injustice. Each BAS subscale was found to had acceptable reliability. While the BRIAS, STAXI and BSI provided construct validity for the Pre-encounter and Immersion scales of the BAS, the Internalization stage appears to be somewhat more complex than originally hypothesized.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Developmental psychology|African Americans|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Brooks, Evelyn Victoria, "Anger and Black identity development: Construction and validation of a theoretical model" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9721435.