Whilst there is good evidence for the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural
anger treatment in populations of men, there is very little literature on the nature of
anger in clinical populations of women, and little by way of individual anger treatment
in people with a developmental disability. There has been considerable criticism of the
assumptions made within forensic services that women can be treated in the same ways
as men. The purpose of this study was twofold: firstly, it explored the nature of
women's anger in a small sample (n=28) with a developmental disability in a hospital
forensic service, and compared them with men in a study based in the same setting;
secondly, it evaluated treatment outcome for those meeting inclusion criteria for an
eighteen session individual treatment programme. The design of the outcome study
(n=9) was a multiple baseline study with participants acting as their own controls.
Some qualitative material is presented in relation to three case studies in order to
illustrate process and because this has been a consistent recommendation regarding
research into women in forensic services.
Results showed that there were virtually no differences in self reported or staff
reported anger, but more women had assaulted than men during their admission.
Results also showed that the majority of women improved post treatment and through
follow up. It was concluded that women in this service experienced similar anger to the
men and could benefit from the same cognitive behavioural treatment programme.