The importance of this study is to understand personality psychology theories, based on different patterns like, feeling, thoughts and behaviour (Furnham, 2012). This research ensures to develop scientific knowledge, analytic and communication skills. It aims to share the information to the scientists and other people who are interested in the topic, and increases their understanding levels about the topic, which helps to understand defense mechanism for psychotherapy (Mc Nichols, 2014). Because, the defense mechanisms helps in aiding poor mental health of the patient (Cramer, 2015) (Drapeau et al., 2011) (Tapp et al., 2017).
The general area that is investigated in this study includes, does males and females differ in the types of defence mechanism they use? The arguments includes conflicting evidences in this area. Based on the past research evidence, it is observed that, today it is necessary to test whether males and females differ in their selection of adaptive or maladaptive defence mechanism, or they do not differ. Thus, this allows to build an argument, about the research area and helps to find relevance for the ideas presented by Freud (Wilkinson and Ritchie, 2015).
Therefore, personality is determined as a limitation or gap in the past research, which has been considered as the foundation for this study. Henceforth, this research aims to determine a major area of Freud’s personality development theory and how the participants respond to conflict and anxiety. The problem will be addressed by investigating the potential for gender differences in the use of adaptive and maladaptive defence mechanisms (Mohammadlou, Elahi and Morovat, 2016).
Past research represents conflicting evidence for gender differences. It is assumed from the past literature that, this research will show relevance of personality defined by Freud and avoid the conflicting evidences. Personality variables define the psychological orientations of the genders (Zoccali et al., 2007).
Apparently, Khan and Gul (2016) concentrated on participants who were depressed and no-depressed, for identifying the defense mechanism used, which is completely different from what Watson and Sinha researched. This efforts of Khan and Gul were to highlight the gender relation.
According to the previous research, it was hypothesized that participants’ adaptive defence mechanism must be identified, to predict the scores of the gender. It was also predicted that participants’ maladaptive defence mechanisms must be focused to predict which gender will represent higher or lower scores.
The explanation of the theory will lead to observe the hypotheses/ testable predictions as follows:
H1: The difference of males and females impact more on the mature (or adaptive) style defence mechanisms?
H2: The difference of males and females have less significant impact on immature (or mal-adaptive) style defence mechanisms?
The plan for investigation revolves around justifying the importance of the investigation, where the data is gathered in terms of responses from the participants. The plan is to create awareness about psychiatric therapy, which is addressed in the University to gather more number of participants, for effectively evaluating the results. The key concept is to increase or address their lack of knowledge (among the students) and make them aware about its impact on their career and old age. This ensures to create a logical coherence for the research. Moreover, the past research determined that, there is gender difference in defense mechanism.
The previous researches used rating, interviewing, defense assessment and Defense style questionnaire (DSQ) methods for addressing the issues and for analyzing the gap (Jonathan et al., 2009). Initially DSM-III-R was relabeled as DSQ into following groups- Normal population, family practice patients, and patients with anxiety disorders.
The past research was conducted with an aim to determine the impact of mature or immature defense style mechanism that significantly impacts on male and female psychiatric therapy. The researcher utilized DSQ methodology on 213 participants, where SPSS statistics was utilized for analyzing the data. Thus, there exists coherence with the past and current research, because the past research showed gender difference in defense mechanism.
Watson and Sinha (1998) performed research on the age, gender and cultural differences on Defence Style Questionnaire for the Canadian and Australian University students. But, they focused on differential socialization patterns for coping with stress. However, various psychological tests has proved the difference between the gender and culture.
Cramer (2015) mainly focuses on defence as unconscious mental mechanism that allows to safeguard once ego, and its usage difference on males and females.
Shehata and Ramadan (2016) determined just immature defense mechanism, where the female gender depend more when compared to male.
Further, Khan and Gul (2016) focused their study around the use of defence mechanisms, on depressed and non-depressed participants. These researchers explored interested facts about gender.
It is observed that each time new facts are found that interests the researchers (Szajnberg, 2008). Therefore, despite of enough research being carried out, this particular research will help in providing additional knowledge and understanding, on the defense mechanism used by the males and females, in terms of personality (Foto-Özdemir, Akdemir and Çuhadaro?lu-Çetin, 2016). The significant impact of males and females on the mature and immature defense style mechanisms are evaluated to support depression (Hovanesian, Isakov and Cervellione, 2009).
Totally 213 participants participated in the online questionnaire. The participants were friends and family members, of the students from Deakin University. The students’ voluntarily participated in the online questionnaire with the help of a provided online link. The questions were completed based on their personal use of defence mechanisms, and general demographic questions such as age, gender, student status (R., 2016). Totally, 66 males and 142 females participated. Among whom, the number of student were 103 and non-students were 109. Their age group ranged between 18 to 72 years (M = 32.86 years, SD = 14.11 years).
In the current study, the Defense Style Questionnaire (40 item version) was used. Participant’s age and gender were asked. SPSS statistics are used for replicating the understanding of the gathered data. The participants are gathered, where they voluntarily take part in completing the questionnaire. The t-test is analyzed, the p value is interpreted. The data analysis ensures to determine whether the results have statistical significance or it has no statistical significance.
The online links were shared for participation, Defense Style Questionnaire (40 item version) was used. The research is based on Australian sample. Participant’s age and gender were asked. After collecting the information the participants were separated in two categories or groups as students and non-students. The participants effectively responded to the asked questionnaires. The responses were scaled from 1 to 7.
DSQ questionnaire were related to mature defense mechanism and immature defense mechanism. Mature defense mechanism included anticipation, humor, sublimation and suppression. Whereas the immature defense mechanism included, Acting out, autistic fantasy, denial, devaluation, displacement, dissociation, isolation, passive aggression, projection, rationalization, somatization and splitting.
All the participants were asked to complete the demographic details along with the 40 item version of the Defence Styles Questionnaire. Data was collected and analyzed with the help of SPSS Statistics. The hypothesis test helps to analyze the t-test analysis and interprets the p-value. Then, based on the DSQ, average score was found for using the mature and immature defense mechanisms. The results of t-test results decide the statistical significance. The next step includes deciding which defence styles was found to be significant, in association with probability of less than 5%. The responses were gathered as data, for analyzing the results.
- Would males and females differ significantly on mature (or adaptive) style defence mechanisms?
In statistical point of view, this study’s results denote the following,
The independent measures t-test was performed for determining where there exists any difference in the usage of mature defence styles for different gender (males and females). Thus, the results represented that the males scored an average of mature defense style (SD = 0.58), while females scored an average of mature defense style (SD=0.75). Therefore, such difference is was not significant.
- Would males and females differ significantly on immature (or mal-adaptive) style defence mechanisms?
In statistical point of view, this study’s results denote the following,
The independent measures t-test was performed for determining where there exists any difference in the usage of immature defence styles for different gender (males and females). Thus, the results represented that the males scored an average of immature defense style (SD = 0.92), while females scored an average of immature defense style (SD=0.07). Therefore, such difference is was not significant.
The below mentioned table, Table-1 summarizes the gathered data, from the research. The independent measures used t-test, for identifying the differences in the usage of styles. i.e., to find its significance.
Mean use of defence mechanisms by gender
Style M SD M SD
Mature 4.80 0.58 4.65 0.75
Immature 4.56 0.92 3.42 0.07
The following are the used statistics, for testing the hypothesis:
Mature: t(211) = 1.404, p>.05
Immature: t(211) = 8.452, p<.001
Where, the total number of participants are subtracted by 2 i.e., 213-2 = 211
Therefore, t-test for 211 i.e., t(211) is determined, to scale between the males and females. The p-value helps to evaluate the probability of the results occurring by chance verses the experimental manipulation of the study.
The results of t-test analysis and interprets the p-value as follows,
As the mature defense style mechanism denotes p value greater than ".05", it means that it is likely that the findings of the results have occurred by chance and it is interpreted as “not statistically significant”. Thus, there is no significant difference in the mean scores on the DV for the two groups (students and non-students). Henceforth, the results are common and unlikely.
The aim of the current study is to evaluate significant impact due to difference of gender, on mature and immature defense style mechanism. The aim is determined, and two related hypotheses are determined, to find the relation with the past research.
The hypothesis states that more or less difference of males and females impact on the mature and immature defence style mechanisms, was not supported. The statistical differences are determined. It denotes that, the hypothesized statements have no difference between the two groups. The main reason is that, there is no difference in the mean score on the DV for the two groups. It is determined that the results are common and unlikely because of the experimental manipulations.
The past research states that gender differences exist in defence mechanisms and it has certain limitations. But, the current results however did not support statistically and it can be considered just as a good effort to bring an insight on the topic, to help the physiatrist therapy. From this research, the researcher found Freud's ideas as outdated, because it no more shows any relevance. Thus, the hypotheses are not supported. There is no difference in the average score for the two groups.
The t-test analysis was conducted and p value was predicted. The t-test for t(211) was determined, which helps in scaling the difference between the males and females. The p-value helped to evaluate the probability of the results occurring by chance verses the experimental manipulation of the study. The mature defense style mechanism was observed with p value i.e., greater than ".05", which means that it is likely that the findings of the results have occurred by chance and it is interpreted as “not statistically significant”. Hence, there is no significant difference in the mean scores on the DV for the two groups (students and non-students). Henceforth, the results are common and unlikely.
In conclusion, it is found that there is no significant difference in the mean scores on the DV for the two students group and non-students group, for defense style. The results are considered as common and occurred due to experimental manipulations. This study’s efforts has helped in determining another impact’s results on the males and females for helping the psychotherapy field. The results clarify that there is no significant impact of using the mature and immature defense style mechanism on the males and females (Abid and Riaz, 2017). The results provide suggestions for recognizing and understanding the factors which help their patients.
The future research could investigate in-depth about the uncontrolled variables. This study’s results determine that no significant difference was found.
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