The book is focused on defense mechanisms as theoretical constructs as well as the possibilities of their empirical registration by different methods, and the application of these constructs in different fields of psychology with special regard to concurrent and predictive validity. It is argued that defense mechanisms are in many ways to be seen as integrative constructs, not necessarily restricted to psychoanalytic theory and that the potential fields of their application have a wide ranging scope, comprising many fields of psychology. Consequently empirical studies are presented from the fields of clinical and personality psychology, psychotherapy research and psychosomatic phenomena and diseases. Methodological questions have a heavy weight in most of these studies.

Key Features

* Provides coverage of relevant literature * Covers different fields of application * Attempts an integration of the contstruct of defense mechanisms into mainstream psychology * Provides explanations of the theoretical basis of the construct of defense mechanisms


Senior undergraduate as well as graduate students and academics in personality theory, individual differences, clinical and diagnostic psychology.


No. of pages:
© 2004
North Holland
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editors

Uwe Hentschel

Affiliations and Expertise

Leiden University, The Netherlands

Gudmund Smith

Affiliations and Expertise

Psykologiska Institutionen, Lund, Sweden

Juris G Draguns

Affiliations and Expertise

Pennsylvania State University

Wolfram Ehlers

Affiliations and Expertise

Stuttgart, Germany