Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 279–292 | Cite as

The Emotional Experience and Expression of Anger: Children’s Perspectives

  • Craig Oolup
  • Jason Brown
  • Elizabeth Nowicki
  • Danielle Aziz


The purpose of this study was to explore and identify key themes related to a child’s experience of anger. The existing literature on children’s emotional experiences stems from adult perceptions and interpretations; this study was envisioned to investigate the experience of anger among children using their own words. Furthermore, this study was designed to illustrate a contextual perspective of children’s emotional knowledge, so that teachers, social workers, counsellors and other child mental health professionals may be able to relate and interpret children’s emotional experiences. Participants were male and female students, aged 8–9 years and in a regular grade three classroom within a community school. Through the use of semi-structured interview focus groups conducted over a span of 10 weeks, participants were invited to disclose their understandings of anger and how they experienced it. Results were analyzed via a content analysis that resulted in five themes. These themes consisted of understanding anger, origins of anger, consequences of anger, regulation and resolution of anger, and finally relations with others. Results and implications of the findings were discussed.


Anger Emotional understanding Behavior Experience Regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig Oolup
    • 1
  • Jason Brown
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Nowicki
    • 1
  • Danielle Aziz
    • 2
  1. 1.Western UniversityLondonCanada
  2. 2.Onward Social Skills TrainingLondonCanada

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