Coping and defence mechanisms: What are we assessing?

Laurentiu P. Maricutoiu, Danut I. Crasovan
Published Online:
22 Nov 2014
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 51 Issue 2

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The present research study addresses the disparity between theoretical considerations and empirical evidence regarding the relationships between coping strategies and defence mechanisms. Self‐reported measures of coping and defences were administered to a Romanian adult sample (N = 542; 74.53% female, mean age = 31.28). Using structural equation modelling, models that assumed independence between coping and defences were compared with models that assumed the existence of relationships between the two concepts. Findings identified strong relationships between coping and defences, indicating large common variance between the two concepts. Furthermore, results suggested that coping and defences can be classified into two independent types of adaptation processes. Results of this research study suggested that coping and defences are facets of common adaptation processes.

© 2014 International Union of Psychological Science