Defense mechanisms as predictors of anxiety and self-esteem—A multiple regression analysis.

Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 40(4), Oct 2023, 348-353; doi:10.1037/pap0000459

Defense mechanisms are supposed to help us deal with stress by decreasing anxiety and preserving our self-esteem. The aim of the present study was to determine which defense styles and specific defense mechanisms have the strongest association with anxiety and self-esteem. Defense Style Questionnaire–40 (DSQ-40), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered in nonclinical young adults (N = 341). The structure coefficients and Johnson’s relative weights were calculated. Mature, neurotic, and immature factors of DSQ-40 explained a sizeable amount of variance in trait and state anxiety and self-esteem (36%, 19%, 21%, and 23%, respectively). Immature factor, projection, and autistic fantasy subscales were found to be particularly strong negative predictors. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

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