A Comparison of Three Psychological Defense Questionnaires as Predictors of Clinical Ratings of Defenses.
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
Pagination or Media Count:
A prior study showed that measures from the Defense Mechanisms Inventory DMI, the Coping Operations Preference Enquiry COPE, and scales developed by Joffe and Naditch 1977 were not highly correlated across instruments. These scales are clearly not interchangeable and may have differences in validity which would be critical to making choices between them for future research. If valid, defense scales should be related to clinical judgments of defenses based on the type of observations used in developing and defining defense concepts. To determine the association between the questionnaire scales and clinical judgments, clinical assessments of defenses were made for 26 young men who had just failed to complete basic training. The defensive assessments focused on this experience. Five of nine JN scales had validity coefficients greater than r .32. A sixth showed a trend in the expected direction which may have been limited by a few atypical cases. The DMI and COPE showed no comparable evidence of validity. The present findings combine with those from other studies to indicate reasonable concurrent validity for the JN scales. These scales are limited, however, by a low discriminant validity which may be due in part to inadequate conceptual distinctions between defenses. The JN scales appear preferable to the DMI or COPE as approximations of clinical judgments of defenses.