Date of Completion


Embargo Period



anger, adolescents, self-distancing, high school students, aggression

Major Advisor

Thomas J. Kehle

Associate Advisor

Melissa Bray

Associate Advisor

Hariharan Swaminathan

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The present study employed an experimental design to examine the efficacy of self-distancing as an intervention in a sample of high school students for promoting reflective adaptation to anger inducing events relative to a control group using self-reflection/self-immersion. Despite the prevalent assumption that self-reflection facilitates the resolution of negative emotions, evidence demonstrates that self-reflection often leads to anger rumination. Recent experimental studies on college students, elementary school students, and couples have found that self-distancing interventions, as compared to self-immersion/reflection interventions or a no-treatment control, lead to adaptive responses to anger and reductions in future aggression. As adolescents are particularly prone to intense experiences of anger and are at high-risk of being the perpetrators and victims of aggression, examining the potential of self-distancing to reduce anger has important implications for adults serving this population. However, contrary to the results of the literature examining self-distancing in adult and child populations, self-distancing was not found to reduce, and may have increased, implicit aggressive cognition, anger, and negative affect in the adolescent sample. Implications for future research are discussed.