Defense style predicts subjective well-being in a non-clinical sample

Volume 4 - Issue 1
Jennifer Lyke
Pages: 62-71 Download Count : 2657 View Count: 3140 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley


A wealth of literature has established that psychotherapeutic and psychiatric treatment corresponds to increased use of mature defense mechanisms and decreased use of immature defense mechanisms in clinical samples, but little research has investigated correlates of defense style in untreated populations. In addition, almost no literature has established the link between use of more mature defense mechanisms and positive aspects of life experience in non-clinical populations. This investigation tested the hypotheses that 1) defense style (mature, neurotic, immature) would significantly predict happiness and satisfaction with life in a non-clinical sample, and 2) an interaction between mature and immature defense styles would affect both happiness and life satisfaction. Participants (N = 173) were community members who completed three self-report instruments. Two hierarchical multiple regressions were performed to investigate whether life satisfaction or happiness could be significantly predicted by any of the defense styles, or interactions between any two of the defense styles after controlling for age and gender. Results indicated that mature, neurotic, and immature defense styles and gender were each significantly associated with happiness. However, only mature and immature defense styles were predictive of life satisfaction. No interactions were significant. Implications for future research are discussed.


  • Defense Style
  • subjective well-being
  • happiness
  • life satisfaction Özet
Download PDF