Anger and Impulsivity Among Japanese Adolescents: A Nationwide Representative Survey

Objective: This study aimed to clarify the prevalence of anger and impulsivity and its associated factors through a nationwide survey of junior and senior high school adolescent students in Japan.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire covering (1) personal data, (2) lifestyle, (3) mental health status, and (4) feelings of anger and impulsivity was distributed to junior and senior high school students in Japan. Among the total of 10,955 junior high schools and 5,115 senior high schools nationwide, 130 and 110 were randomly selected, respectively. Of those, 92 junior and 80 senior high schools participated in the survey. The survey period was from December 2008 to the end of January 2009. A total of 95,680 questionnaires were collected. After excluding invalid responses, the remaining 94,777 responses (response rate: 62.3%) were analyzed.

Results: From the questions regarding anger and impulsivity, 8.7% (95% CI, 8.5%–8.9%) and 7.5% (95% CI, 7.3%–7.7%) of the participants were considered to have experienced intense anger and impulsivity, respectively. Logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds ratios for experiencing intense feelings of anger were significantly higher (all P values < .05) among students who smoked, consumed alcohol, skipped breakfast, did not wish to go to university, had short sleep duration, had decreased positive feelings, had increased depressive feelings, or used mobile phones for longer hours. The odds ratios for experiencing intense impulsivity were significantly higher among students who smoked, consumed alcohol, skipped breakfast, did not participate in club activities, had short sleep duration, had decreased positive feelings, had increased depressive feelings, or used mobile phones for longer hours.

Conclusions: The results suggest that healthy lifestyle habits, good sleep habits, and improved mental health are important for preventing intense feelings of anger and impulsivity among adolescents.

J Clin Psychiatry 2016;77(7):e860–e866

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.15m10044