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Title: Coping and defending: Age differences in maturity of defence mechanisms and coping strategies
Authors: Whitty, Monica T.
First Published: 2003
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Aging and Mental Health, 2003, 7 (2), pp. 123-132.
Abstract: Previous studies have examined either coping strategies or defence mechanisms; however, few have considered both. This research examined age differences in the type of defence mechanisms and coping strategies that people employ. In addition, gender differences, personality, and environmental variables were taken into account. The three age groups used in this study included: 17-23 year olds, 40-47 year olds, and 63-70 year olds. The youngest participants used significantly less mature defence mechanisms and significantly more immature defence mechanisms than the middle-aged and the oldest group. However, there was no significant difference in maturity of defence mechanisms between the middle-aged and the oldest group. In contrast, there were no age differences revealed for effectiveness of coping strategies people employ. One further interesting finding was that people with a higher purpose in life were more likely to use mature defence mechanisms. This research concludes that when developing theories on stress, psychologists might benefit from considering both defence mechanisms and coping strategies.
DOI Link: 10.1080/1360786031000072277
ISSN: 1360-7863
eISSN: 1364-6915
Type: Article
Rights: © 2003 Taylor & Francis Ltd. Deposited with reference to the publisher's archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. This is an electronic version of an article published in Aging and Mental Health, 2003, 7 (2), pp. 123-132. Aging and Mental Health is available online at:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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