Psychological defence in adolescents and adults
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The paper contains the author's basic assumptions of her function-action approach to psychological defence, which is analysed here with reference to the tradition of system analysis in science, as well as developmental tasks and assumptions underlying the life-span development concept. This approach also includes the classification of psychological defences, which was carried out and based on two theoretical criteria. The 18 defences were divided into 4 groups, and distinguished in this article as: psychic constructive defences (mentally coping with a threat, psychic mobilisation, self-control and relaxation), psychic nonconstructive defences (emotional and physiological reactions, repression, sensitisation, cognitive reappraisal, psychic demobilisation, a sense of resentment, a sense of guilt), psycho-social constructive defences (coping-exploratory behaviour, affirmative interpersonal relations, identification with authority, intensification of routine behaviour) and psycho-social nonconstructive ones (substitute activities, intense living for the present moment, deprecatory activity, passive/avoidance behaviour). The paper includes a short characterisation of 18 defences. The data provided by the study, which involved both adolescents and adults and revealed some empirical aspects of the function-action approach to psychological defence, were analysed.
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