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Adaptive Mental Mechanisms

Adaptive Mental Mechanisms Psychology needs a metric for positive mental health that would be analogous to the IQ tests that measure above-average intelligence. The Defensive Function Scale of the DSM-IV offers a possible metric. In the present article the author links the transformational qualities of defenses at the mature end of the Defensive Function Scale—altruism, suppression, humor, anticipation, and sublimation—to positive psychology. First, the methodological problems involved in the reliable assessment of defenses are acknowledged. Next, the use of prospective longitudinal study to overcome such difficulties and to provide more reliable definition and measurement of defenses is outlined. Evidence is also offered that, unlike many psychological measures, the maturity of defenses is quite independent of social class, education, and IQ. Last, evidence is offered to illustrate the validity of mature defenses and their contribution to positive psychology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Psychologist American Psychological Association

Adaptive Mental Mechanisms

American Psychologist , Volume 55 (1): 10 – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0003-066x
eISSN
1935-990X
DOI
10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.89
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Psychology needs a metric for positive mental health that would be analogous to the IQ tests that measure above-average intelligence. The Defensive Function Scale of the DSM-IV offers a possible metric. In the present article the author links the transformational qualities of defenses at the mature end of the Defensive Function Scale—altruism, suppression, humor, anticipation, and sublimation—to positive psychology. First, the methodological problems involved in the reliable assessment of defenses are acknowledged. Next, the use of prospective longitudinal study to overcome such difficulties and to provide more reliable definition and measurement of defenses is outlined. Evidence is also offered that, unlike many psychological measures, the maturity of defenses is quite independent of social class, education, and IQ. Last, evidence is offered to illustrate the validity of mature defenses and their contribution to positive psychology.

Journal

American PsychologistAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Jan 1, 2000

There are no references for this article.