The “Need for Harmony” Defence Mechanisms as Co-Factor in Stress Sensitivity Producing Sadness and Depression

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DOI: 10.4236/ojd.2014.35021    4,099 Downloads   5,031 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The aim of this investigation is to develop useful research toolsfor assessingpsychological traits and defence mechanisms towardnegative emotions. The present study examined 124 young women adults (19 - 39 years) participating in short-term stress sessions conducted with a non-invasive procedure called “Drawing Recollection” of real personal stressful life experiences (Biasi & Bonaiuto, 1997a, 1997b, 2007). This treatment lasts 20 minutes and is as effective as the heavier traditional techniques. Emotional and motivational changes are documented by pre- and post- treatment bipolar “Self-Appraisal Scales” (Biasi, Bonaiuto, & Giannini, 2010). With the LDM Inventory, the participants were selected and divided into two contrasting extreme groups, according to their very high or very low Need for Harmony (N/H) sub-scale scores. We identified favourable and unfavourable personality traits for developing specific negative emotions under stress: in particular the N/H, concerning the tendency to avoid interpersonal conflicts at the cost of self-sacrifice and self-punishment (Spielberger, 1988; Spielberger & Reheiser, 2000). Participants who obtained high “Sadness” scores under stress (measured by “Self-Appraisal Scales”), had significantly higher scores on N/H scales compared to the opposite group (p < 0.001). The N/H defence mechanism and negative emotion of “Sadness” (“Depression”) combination represents significant co-factors of stress sensitivity.

Cite this paper

Biasi, V. and Bonaiuto, P. (2014) The “Need for Harmony” Defence Mechanisms as Co-Factor in Stress Sensitivity Producing Sadness and Depression. Open Journal of Depression, 3, 173-183. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2014.35021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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