A disgraceful sign of the times?


By Mizue Nakamura

March 9, 2001

Air Rage

Tourettic Rage

Child Rage

Workpolace Rage

Parents’ Sports Rage

Computer Rage



The following is a list of summaries of rage related sites found on the Internet and personal reaction to the articles contained in each site.  The categories of the rage sites are, air rage, tourettic rage, child rage, workplace rage, parents’ sports rage, and computer rage.


Air Rage  

Summary of contents

A former airline safety analyst with Boeing, Dr. Todd Curtis, Ph.D., of Aviation Risk Assessment, created and published in 1996. A number of links about aviation safety and policy related sites are provided. The links are divided by each category, such as, "Regulation and Policy", and "Subject List." Clicking on "Air Rage", under the "Passenger Issues", a viewer can find a list of air rage information resources categorized, such as online resources, suggested books, organizations, and media coverage.

The site contains sections, such as, "Products" and "Advice Pages" that provide advice on safely traveling on aboard. The sections "Accidents and Incidents" and "Fatal Events" provide collections of recorded fatal events from over 100 airlines. They also include a section that provides a guide to making complaints to airlines.


The section "Online Resources" shows a document of complaint filed by the United State District Court, eastern distinct of New York against a passenger on a flight on United Airlines from Buenos Aires to John F. Kennedy International Airport. This can be seen on "An extreme case of passenger misbehavior."

According to the complaint, on October 19, 1995, a passenger of a special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States was already drunk when he got on the airplane, continued to drink after getting on the airplane, and started to serve himself alcohol. In spite of receiving a warning by a flight attendant that serving himself alcohol was against regulations, and was advised not to drink anymore, he kept on drinking.

Then, when he was refused another alcohol beverage, he verbally threatened the attendant. He interrupted another flight attendant who was on his way to get first aid kit for an ill feeling passenger by demanding more alcohol. When he was refused another alcohol beverage by a female flight attendant, he pushed her on her chest, causing her to fall into one of the seats. Then he defecated on a service cart used by the flight crew. He used linen napkins as toilet paper and wiped his hands on various service counters and service implements used by the crew.

Notified of these incidents, the captain of the airplane suspended all food and beverage service on the flight due to the possibility of infection. The captain also suspended FAA required rest periods for the flight crew so that they could continue to attend to him.

After I read this complaint, I thought safety and the right of the flight crew to pursue their duty without interruption and fear should be advocated. I was not familiar with air rage until now, but it is easy to imagine that cases similar to this one happen very often.


The Skyrage Foundation

Summary of contents

A flight attendant, Renee Sheffer, who had been injured by an out of control passenger while she served aboard in 1997, founded the SKYRAGE Foundation. She and her husband, Michael Sheffer, worked to get a public attention to the problem of in-flight violence. The goal of the SKYRAGE Foundation is to reduce the occurrence of in-flight disruption and violence toward crewmembers and passengers.

The site contains sections, as "Rage Page" that provides the latest air rage related archives collected from various news media, and "Research" that displays a list of past researches conducted by a professor, graduate students, individuals, and organizations, such as Flight Safety Foundation. A list of the titles of these will direct you to the research available in each. The "Research" section contains aviation regulations in different countries and different aviation laws in the U.S.A.

In addition, there are several related site underneath the list of content on the left. I found one of the sites, called Sky Help, useful. It introduces a trauma intervention for airline crewmembers. There is also a list of common reactions to traumatic events, distinct by categories, such as physical, mental, and emotional. Finally, concrete advice on what to do after an event is listed.


Under the "Research" section, in an article, Michael P. Sheffer of The SKYRAE Foundation, dated March 10, 2000, titled The Problem Passenger: A History of Airline Disruption 1947 to Present, states that:

In the spring of 1997, the Airline Pilot’s Association (ALPA), supported by the Air Transport Association (ATA) discussed the issue at the first International Conference on Disruptive Passengers in Washington, DC.  The conference was attended by over 200 people from diverse organizations in order to gain a better understanding of the problem, and determine how best to address the issue.  Cited as possible causes of such incidents were the following:

25% related to alcohol intoxication

15% involved seat assignments.

12% due to hostile, abusive, or threatening behavior.

10% in regard to tobacco issues.

9% carry on luggage.

8% passenger perception.

5% food complaints.

15% undetermined.

Interestingly, "RagePage-Guest Editional" section contains the article, titled "Passengers Viewpoint", written by a guest editor in this site. The occupation of the author, Karen Tatom, is not mentioned, but she states in her article her opinion of the potential causes of passenger rage on board from a passengers point of view. She insists that she sees customers irritated because the pre boarding process has been less than efficient. For example, she says, "too many times I see passengers allowed to proceed to departure and then be stopped at the gate. Also, she states that besides airplane delay, frustration caused by lack of sleep, seat assignment, stretching space, and lower standards of service provided by crewmembers were other reasons the passenger rage.

If the crewmembers view of the causes of disruption and the view of passengers’ are similar, it seems that something can be done to work out the situation from both sides.




Summary of contents

The site contains “AirWise News” index, which introduces the latest news related to airlines. It also contains flight schedules, flight information, travel resources, and airline web sites. There is a discussion forum that had a topic on air rage, but it did not seem to be informative as a research source.

There is a search engine to look for a related topic provided within the site. As a result of searching articles that contained the word "rage", the article, "Priest Dies in Air Rage Incident", came out on the top of a list of 10 on the first page. The following is the article from the web page.


Feb3, 2001

A priest tried to break into an airliner cockpit then died in his seat from a heart attack after he was restrained by other passengers and crew.

It is alleged that Nicaraguan Father William Gonzales, 34, had several drinks on the international Brazilian flight to the capital Brasilia. He then tried to enter the cockpit before being stopped by the crew and passengers and tied to his chair, said Vasp Airlines. He suffered a heart attack in his chair, the airline said.

"First he tried to enter the cockpit, then he tried to open the door and jump out of the plane. He was contained by the crew," said passenger Therezinha Labuna.

Father Gonzales was based in Brasilia and was returning from a visit to a seminary in Sao Luis.

I thought, "What if he had succeeded in opening the door and jumping out of the plane?" Whether his conduct was motivated by alcohol consumption or not has remained mystery, but it is clear that one drunken passenger could have killed hundreds of other passengers and crewmembers.


Tourettic Rage     



Summary of contents

As the author states, "rage attacks" is not a term that is used in the formal diagnostic systems of the DSM-IV or ICD-10, and as such, is not a diagnosis. A person who has rage attacks has several discrete episodes of failure to resist aggressive impulses that result in serious assaultive acts or destruction of property.

On the front page, there is a statement that distinguishes rage attacks from tantrums, and a brief explanation on what each section of the site is about. Thus the viewer can navigate to their primary interest in this site.

The author of this site is Leslie E. Packer PhD, a licensed psychologist who specializes in Tourette syndrome and its associated conditions. The purpose of this site is to provide practical information to the family members and educators of people with this syndrome.


I found it interesting to take a look at the "Non-medication Strategies" section. In it the author gives ways to prevent rage attacks from happening.

1)     To create an environment that reduces exposure to the stimulus that triggers a rage attack.

2)     Start by assuming that there is a cause, and then review past episodes.

3)     Make a list of triggers or antecedents and take action to change the environment by either avoiding altogether, reduce exposure to the trigger or antecedent conditions.

The author says, in stead of teaching them a skill to cope with a stressful situation, family members and educators needs to let them avoid the situation that leads them having rage attacks.

I assume there must be a situation that is not avoidable in our every day life, so this strategy may not be perfectly applied to everybody at any time.


Child Rage          


Selfhelp Magazine

Summary of contents

Self-help Magazine is written by mental health professionals, behavioral health-care professionals, students and the authors relations. This month, a psychologist introduces on the front page.

There is an "Articles" section to click on the first page. This leads a viewer to many articles with titles listed in alphabetical order. I found the article, "Bullies Spend More Time Watching TV Violence, Less Time with Adults" interesting.

There is a search engine that is engaged the "Search" section on the front page is clicked. Using the key word, "aggressive child", I found many articles available within this site.


There is a list of titles of interest on the front page, such as "Children & Violence", and "Mass Hysteria". Clicking the "Children & Violence", the article, "Children and Violence" written by the American Psychological Association Press was introduced. The following is a citation of the article.

Research has shown a connection between exposure to media violence and aggressive attitudes. The American Psychological Association has presented testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the released report of the Federal Trade Commission on entertainment marketing aimed at young people.

In the testimony, Jeff McIntyre, a legislative and federal affairs officer in the Public Policy Office of the American Psychological Association (APA), addressed the state of psychological research pertaining to developmental issues in advertising to children and the impact of media violence on children.

Over three decades of research has shown that children's exposure to violence in the mass media may desensitize them to violence, lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behaviors and may have long-lasting effects on behavior and personality.


Child Development Information

Summary of contents

Robert Myers, PhD, a clinical child psychologist, founded the Child Development Institute.

Clicking on "Research", a page with the title "Research Center" appears, and many of child development related links are available. There is an alphabetical index of topics and an article by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, entitled, "Dealing with the Angry Child" is available.

Also, there is a section where viewers can look up past scientific research on different topics, such as attention deficit disorder, education & school issues, health issues for children & teens, and parenting issues. There is a forum discussion corner on the site, under "Discussion Group". Main issues that are discussed there are about child development, and participants seem to be parents seeking advice from professionals and other parents with the same problems. Dr. Myers sometimes responds to the messages that have been posted.

Using a search engine, several aggressive behavior related articles can be found. For example, "Video Games and Children".


According to an article "Violence in Childrens sports" by Ismat Abdal-Haqq, there are five things coaches and physical educators can do to curb violence in youth sports.

  1. Put sports in perspective- Coaches should not emphasize winning at all cost. Enjoyment and the development of individual skills should be the objective.
  2. Stress participation- Many children 9-14 drop out of sports because they spend too much time on the bench and not enough on the field. They perceive themselves as unsuccessful because their level of performance doesnt earn them more playing time.
  3. Present positive role models- Sports violence is most prevalent in professional sports. Coaches should avoid symbolic associations with professional teamse.g. manes, logos.
  4. Integrate values- Oriented intervention strategies into the curriculum- Teachers and coaches should commit themselves to actively teaching positive sports-related values, and devise curricula that do so.
  5. Involve parents- Parents can have a critical impact on a child’s attitudes towards sports.  Physical educators and coaches should inform parents of curricular activities and goals, alert them to signs of anxiety or aggressive behavior, encourage positive attitudes toward competition and physical activity, and promote realistic expectations for performance.

Summary of contents

The author of this site is Dr. Richard Niolon, but further information about him was not available because the page which introduces the author and this site was still under construction. However, this site was still able to provide various fields of psychological links and articles.

For example, in "Problem and Help" section, there is a mental health category in it, and you can find many links about child abuse issues and domestic violence issues under the "Violence in the Family" category. Also, for students majoring in psychology, there are some useful sites to refer to for researching papers. You can easily find it under "Professional Resources" on the front page. Under "General Psychology", there are links to APA and Psychology Documents on Line for help finding documents on the Web.

Links to articles about child abuse and domestic violence are available by clicking "Problems and Help" on the front page. Then click "Mental Health" and "Violence in the Family".

Clicking "Site Map" on the front page, "Search the site" will appear. By clicking it, "Search Psychpage" appears. After clicking it, a search engine of the site appears.


I found the article, "Dealing with anger and children" by Dr.Richard Niolon, interesting. He states that what is important is to explain to a child that getting angry is OK, but aggression (hitting his brother, for example) is not OK. Telling children that they should not engage in an aggressive behavior is not efficient. Adults need to tell them what they should do when they got angry. Punishment is not effective way to communicate to children what we expect of them. Explaining, modeling, and setting rules are. Then he presents eight tips for dealing with the angry child, which he referred from other authors’ work.


Workplace Rage     


Summary of contents

On the front page of this site, many articles of workplace violence and many links to other web sites are displayed. The author of the site is Larry J. Chavez, B.A., M.P.A. A general search engines, as Yahoo, Lycos, and so on are available, but no search engine that allows viewers to search articles within this site is available.

On the page of "Search", there is a definition of workplace violence. Workplace violence is that which arises out of disputes or adverse interpersonal relations between employees and employers and around their place of employment.


According to the "Workplace Violence Statistics" on the front page, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and d Health (NIOSH) reported that employees murdered over 100 bosses and co-workers in 1997. Homicide, due to workplace violence, is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace and the second leading cause of death for men. The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (July 1994), states that those victimized due to assaults occurring in the workplace costs about a half million employees 1,751,100 days of work each year, and average of 3.5 days per crime. This missed work resulted in over $55,000,000 in lost wages annually, not including days covered by sick and annual leave.

Here are examples of workplace violence (In "Donate To. Com", listed on “National Media articles on Workplace Violence” with professional contributions by Trainer Larry J. Chavez, Critical Incident Associates" on the front page.)

    December 26, 2000, in the Wakefield, Massachusetts’s incident, there are strong indications that the perpetrator blamed his employer, specifically the accounting section for collaborating with the IRS in a wage garnishment.  7 were killed.

    November 2, 1999, in the Xerox shootings I Honolulu, the perpetrator singled out his own work group perceiving that they were responsible for his impending termination.  7 were killed.

    April 25, 1995, at the Richmond, California Housing Authority, the perpetrator shot his two female supervisors to death and allowed three employees in the same room to live.  2 were killed.

    June 28, 2000, at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, a medical doctor who was failing an internship program blamed his mentor for his plight.  2 were killed.


Parents Sports Rage 


Summary of contents

This site provides information related to health and health care in general. Clicking on the "Self-Care", a definition and a condition of different kinds of disease and mental disorder are obtained. There is a page to provide help for people who need to choose a health insurance that satisfies their needs.

Under "Medical Library", there is a page of "Medical Encyclopedia" which provides "The ADAM Medical Encyclopedia" covers more than 4000 topics, including disease conditions, treatments, medical terms, and anatomy. There is a search engine, and many interesting articles are available. For example, "Violent Video Games Linked to Aggressive Behavior".


By putting a word "Parenting" in the search engine, an interesting article about parents raging at childrens sports events, titled "Experts Suggest Ways to Stop Parents Sports Rage’" was found.

According to the article, on July 12, 2000, one father beat another to death after the two argued over their sons hockey game in Boston. Parents invest a lot of money and time so their children may have the chance to win athletic scholarships, can be one of the reasons parents tend to be over involved in youth sports. Providing information for coaches, parents, and athletes about appropriate behavior can solve the sports rage problem. Setting an environment for the team in which it is not OK for parents to scream at officials or each other is needed.

I think I can understand the parents love their children very much, and that is why the strong love to their children blind those parents who rage at other parents or coaches and allow themselves to be engaged in such aggressive behaviors. Once they observe themselves became hot watching their childrens game, they need to step behind and cool down.


Computer Rage       



Summary of contents

This site is not particularly about a computer rage, but more like an Internet magazine, providing many kinds of information such as news, shopping, and finance. It is an online joint venture between the Microsoft Corporation and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL).

There is a search engine, and I found the article about a computer rage. It contained an industry survey below, which is on the same page of the article, shows that 54% said they have experienced a stress facing computer problems, and 7% experienced anger. According to a psychologist, Kate Baggs, the better way of handling the computer rage is to fantasize about throwing the computer out from the top of a building, rather than acting it out.


Clicking the part "industrial survey" in the article, the following appears.

What the research says about our computer rage

Reaction to computer problems

· Frustration 52%

· Concern 14%

· Helplessness 12%

· Anger 7%

· Panic 5%

· Surprise 3%

Extreme reaction to problems

· Swear at computer/scream 23%

· Hit computer - no damage 12%

· Call for help 8%

· Walk away in disgust/leave 8%

· Hit computer - causing damage 6%

· Abuse others 4%

· Throwing or damaging objects in vicinity 2%

· Attacking computer with an object 2%

· Dropping or throwing computer 2%

· Send back to manufacturer 2%

These results were gained from a national telephone study conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide for Symantec Australia, August 1999.

It seems to me that we all have experienced anger while operating a computer. Thats why when I have to work on the report by using computer, I have to get away from the computer and do something to make myself relax once in a while. Otherwise, I get cranky and inefficient.


Overall Reaction            

Searching the sites on the topic of "rage" available on Internet, I was surprised that there were various categories of rage available for us to refer to. These sites I put above are just a small number of categories that caught my attention. Is it a feature of the time we are living in that people seem to become easy to be upset and express the anger without hesitating, rather than attempting to control it? We hear the victims of an out-of-control anger through media very often in our everyday life.  Obviously, the education of anger management is needed for the people regardless of age or sex, in order to prevent a tragedy from happening.


Go to Home

Go to Report2: Self-witnessing Report on the Age of Rage

Go to 3-min Oral Presentation

Go to 15-min Oral Presentation

Go to Home Page of Dr.James

Go to Psychology409 class Home page

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E-mail: Mizue Nakamura

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