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Defense styles in internalizing and externalizing disorders

Elsevier Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.047
  • Internalizing Disorders
  • Externalizing Disorders
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Adolescents
  • Medicine


Abstract This study investigated the relationship between defense mechanism styles and internalizing/ externalizing disorders in adolescents. 150 undergraduate students (55 males, 95 females) completed Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40) in order to examine defense styles and Youth Self-report (YSR) for diagnosing internalizing or externalizing disorder. The results revealed that internalizing disorders primarily were associated with neurotic and mature defenses whereas externalizing disorders were associated with immature and neurotic defenses and comparing to normal participants, both participants with internalizing and externalizing disorders were significantly different in immature defenses. It can be concluded that immature defenses can predict and differentiate externalizing disorder while comparing to people with internalizing disorder which has theoretical and clinical implications

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