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Choice of Defense Mechanism

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Do we get a choice as to which defense mechanism we use? Why or why not?

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Solution Summary

This solution explores the question of whether individual have a choice in using defense mechanisms.

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Research suggests that ego mechanisms have adaptive styles along a continuum of several factors including: (a) immaturity-maturity, (b) psychopathology, and (c) mental health (Valliant, 1976). For instance, a study was conducted in which the validity of ego mechanisms of defense were examined for psychological heath among middle-aged men. The results showed that the maturity of the men' defenses correlated highly with outcomes for mental states. These results suggest that the defense style provided an independent dimension of mental health.
In his study, Ainslie (1982) presented the view that the mechanisms of defense is at the core of Freud's ...

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