In Control

A Skill-Building Program for Teaching Young Adolescents to Manage Anger
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9780878224630
Item Number: 5132

$23.99You save $6.00 (20.01%)

This user-friendly manual shows how to teach effective anger management skills to middle school students. The step-by-step approach is designed for use with the entire class.

This book can be readily adapted for small group settings. The program is especially beneficial for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. The author provides teaching guidelines, lists of required materials, leaders’ scripts, and connecting activities to help reinforce and strengthen learning. The training sessions and activities can be adapted to meet students’ needs, abilities, and interests.

Book Reviews

In Control is a complete skill-building program . . . . The 10 sessions follow a succinct, interactive methodology that tempts even the most guarded youngster into participation . . . . Each lesson can be modified by the user to reach a variety of populations in a multitude of settings (i.e., classroom, behavioral health facility, therapy session, detention facility, etc.).”

—Ann E. Hackerman, Counseling Today

“Kellner’s In Control program is thorough and easy to implement. . . . Readers are equipped with the session outlines as well as a basic connecting activity, review sheet, checklist, and ‘anger log’ for each session.”

Youth Today

“The book, written with an extremely supportive tone is genuine in its desire to help and offers the children various activities that make learning about anger management fun.”

New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies News


  • Conducting the Sessions
  • The Anger Log: A Step-by-Step Approach
  • Preparing for and Leading Sessions
  • Considerations in Implementing the Program
  • Evaluation: Pretest and Posttest
  • A Final Word


  1. Anger Is a Normal Human Feeling
  2. Anger Log/Physiology of Anger
  3. Anger Triggers and Settings
  4. Degrees of Anger/Other Anger Management Tools
  5. Anger Management Criteria/Self-Evaluation
  6. Thinking and Behavioral Tools
  7. Final Anger Log/Individual Anger Management Plans
  8. In Control Studios
  9. Sharpening Anger Management Evaluation
  10. Review and Graduation

Appendix A

  1. In Control: Ten Points in Anger Management
  2. Anger Triggers and Settings
  3. Proceudres for Role-Playing

Appendix B: Booster Sessions

  1. Anger Management Skill Checkup
  2. Anger, Alcohol, and Drugs

Appendix C: Program Evaluation

Appendix D: Organizing a Schoolwide Nonviolence Week

Awards and Research Information

In Control received the 2003 Innovations in Special Education Award from the NJ School Boards Association and ASAH. It was among 10 interventions selected for creative, successful programming for students with special needs.

The Sharing Success Techinical Assistance Center has determined that In Control meets their criteria as a results-based research program. Visit their website at: for a program profile and research summary.

Anger Management Effects on Middle School Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: Anger Log Use, Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior
Child & Family Behavior Therapy, Vol. 30(3) 2008, pages 215-230
Available on-line at

This study examined the impact of In Control, a classroom-based, 10-week, cognitive-behavioral, anger management program plus booster sessions on middle school students with emotional disorders attending a therapeutic day school. Forty-five students were in the study; 20 received the program. The program group completed significantly more anger logs compared to the nonprogram group in both program and follow-up periods. Program students were observed to exhibit significantly more prosocial behaviors toward their teachers and showed a trend toward exhibiting fewer negative behaviors toward peers than nonprogram students at the end of the program. Program students also showed a trend toward fewer aggressive incidents than their nonprogram peers during follow-up. Findings may suggest mechanisms of change in anger management.

Increasing Anger Log Use During School Among Middle School Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
Child & Family Behavior Therapy, Vol. 25(3) 2003, pages 7-21
Available on-line at

Although anger management programs often promote the use of anger logs as an alternative to aggressive behavior, researchers have not studied whether or not these programs actually increase anger log use. Thus, this study examines the impact of a classroom-based curriculum with 10 weekly 30-minute sessions, on the frequency of anger log use between sessions. Study participants were all of the students attending a middle school for emotional/behavioral disorders. Twenty-seven students received the In Control program, and 19 equivalent students did not. While anger logs were visibly available in all of the classrooms, the students who received the In Control program completed significantly more logs between sessions than did the nonprogram students. During a 4-month follow-up, the 19 program students who received monthly booster sessions continued to fill out significantly more logs than did the nonprogram students. These finding suggest that In Control can increase the use of a log to record anger-provoking episodes by middle school students with serious emotional/behavioral disorders, both in between training sessions and during follow-up, if booster sessions are provided.

Teaching Anger Management Skills to Students with Severe Emotional or Behavioral Disorders
Behavioral Disorders, Vol. 27(4) 2002, pages 400-407
Available on-line at

A 10-session anger management program, using a whole-class format was offered in a therapeutic day school for early adolescents with serious emotional or behavioral problems. Booster sessions to help students maintain achieved gains were integral to the program. Participants exhibited a reduction in peer fighting, an increase in talking things out with a counselor when angry, and an increase in using anger logs. At the 4-month follow-up, students who received booster sessions continued to make more use of the log than all of the other students. The researchers concluded that more students with difficulties were reached by this approach than small groups would have afforded. Students with such serious behavioral problems may need a program with more intensive staff support and fewer time restrictions to maintain behavioral gains.

In-service training, consultation, or workshops by the author of this program can be provided for your school, facility, or organization. For more information and available dates, please contact:

Millicent H. Kellner, Ph.D., LCSW
School Climate Improvement Specialist
Inclusive Schools Climate Initiative
Rutgers University
112 Paterson Street, Suite 102
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Office: 848-932-5906 / Fax: 732-932-5910

Workshop Critique

“Your program at the New Jersey Association of School Social Workers (NJASSW) Fall Workshop was outstanding. You presented our audience with a comprehensive, hands-on method to help our students deal with very real problems of anger management.

The methodologies were adaptable to groups, classrooms, and individual programs. The audience was able to return to their schools with a complete program, ready to be implemented.”

—Doris Kaplan, President, NJASSW

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