A British study finds that single adults are more likely to be angry than those with partners and that women are more ill-tempered than men.
Eirini Flouri and Heather Joshi of the Institute of Education, University of London, put together data from surveys that recorded levels of anger in thousands of people, in both childhood and adulthood. Their study is part of an Economic and Social Research Council report, Seven Deadly Sins, published to kick off Social Science Week 2005.
Flouri and Joshi found that both men and women calm down as they get older. But they also discovered that those who are old now were less angry when they were young than those who matured in 1970 or later.
The researchers say that in childhood boys tend to be angrier than girls.
They suggest two reasons why singles tend to be angrier. One is that calmer people are more likely to be selected as mates, while the other is that couples are forced to learn alternative ways of dealing with conflict.