Is That Vein Going To Pop?

Anger and stress management class keeps students blood pressure down

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) You may know someone who has been to anger management classes. Typically these people have a history of emotional instability, but should classes be limited to these people? You might benefit from these classes too.

A recent study reports that high school students enrolled in an anger and stress management class have lower blood pressure and better emotional awareness.

Students selected for the program did not have a history of anger issues or emotional distress.

Researchers found that the group of students in the classes showed better anger management skills and lower anxiety levels than the students in regular health classes.

"Ask a mental health professional which therapy is best for you."

"We believe we have an effective method that any school could use to help curtail violence and keep adolescents out of trouble with an improved mental state that benefits their physical well-being," says Vernon A. Barnes, physiologist at the Institute of Public and Preventive Health at Georgia Health Sciences University.

The high school course consisted of 12 classes that were 50 minutes in length. The classes were designed to fit into a normal high school curriculum and included topics of emotional awareness, better listening skills, and getting over an emotional difficulty.

There were 159 students in the study. Of those, 86 were given the Williams Lifeskills course (WLS). The remaining 73 students took a standard health class.

All participants were subject to anger assessments and blood pressure readings during the classes. Researchers used the Spielberger Anger Expression Scale and the Basic Assessment System for Children to rate anxiety and anger in the adolescents.

Students wore a blood pressure monitor for extended periods of time while taking the classes.

Additionally, the WLS class showed blood pressure readings which lowered by two points in those students who had the highest blood pressure at the beginning of the study.

The study was published online September 2012 in the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine and was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

Study co-authors Redford and Virginia Williams are founders and major stockholders in Williams LifeSkills, Inc.

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Review Date: 
September 17, 2012
Last Updated:
June 17, 2013