A Comparison Study of Ego Defense Mechanisms between Conduct Adolescents and Normal Adolescents

품행장애 청소년과 정상 청소년의 자아방어기제에 관한 비교 연구

  • Song, Jae-Ho (Department of Psychiatry, Sanggye Paik Hospital, College of Medicine Inje University) ;
  • Jhin, Hea-Kyung (Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Seoul National Hospital) ;
  • Kim, Bong-Seog (Department of Psychiatry, Sanggye Paik Hospital, College of Medicine Inje University)
  • 송재호 (인제대학교 상계백병원 정신과학교실) ;
  • 진혜경 (국립서울병원 소아청소년 정신과) ;
  • 김봉석 (인제대학교 상계백병원 정신과학교실)
  • Received : 2009.05.11
  • Accepted : 2009.07.21
  • Published : 2009.10.30


Objectives : This study explored the differences in their ego defense mechanisms between adolescents with conduct disorder and normal adolescents. Methods : Subjects were 35 adolescents with conduct disorder and 44 normal adolescents. The Ewha Defense Mechanism Test (EDMT), consisting of 200 items and 20 scales, was administered, to examine the defense mechanisms of both groups of adolescents. Results : Normal adolescents presented statistically significantly higher scores on the reaction formation, controlling, suppression, anticipation, dissociation, and distortion scales than did adolescents with conduct disorder. Zn addition, adolescents with conduct disorder used neurotic defense mechanisms of both neurotic and mature levels less frequently than normal adolescents did. Factor analysis revealed that, normal adolescents had higher scores on ego-expansive factor scales and behavior control factor scales thanadolescents with conduct disorder did. Conclusion : The results suggest adolescents with conduct disorder use mature and ego-expansive defense mechanisms less frequently than do normal adolescents.



  1. Stone LJ, Church J. Childhood and Adolescence. 2nd ed. New York: Random House;1968.
  2. Hall GS. Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relation to Physiology, Anthropology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education. New York: Appleton and Company;1904.
  3. Erickson EH. Identity and the Life Cycle. New York: International Univ. Press;1959.
  4. Blos P. On Adolescence. New York: Free Press;1961.
  5. Schafer R. The mechanism of defense. Int J Psychoanal 1968;49:49-62.
  6. Caplan RD, Naidu RK, Tripathi RC. Coping and defense: constellations vs. components. J Health Soc Behav 1984;25:303-320. https://doi.org/10.2307/2136427
  7. Vaillant GE. Theoretical Hierarchy adaptive ego mechanism. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1971;25:107-118.
  8. Madi SR. Personality theories, 4th ed. Illinois: Dorsey Press;1980.
  9. Kaplan JI, Sadock BJ. Synopsis of Psychiatry. 6th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins;1991. p.181-184.
  10. Sapiro D. Neurotic styles. New york: Basic Book;1965.
  11. Lee IG, Rhee KH. A Study of Ego Defense Mechanism in Schizophrenic Patients: By the Korean Defense Mechanism Test Based on the Traditional Proverbs. Kor J Neuropsychiatr Assoc 1991;30:198-206.
  12. Brems C. Defense mechanisms in clients and non-clients as mediated by gender and sex-role. J Clin Psychol 1990;46:669-675. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-4679(199009)46:5<669::AID-JCLP2270460520>3.0.CO;2-Z
  13. Min SK, Park CS, Han JO. Defense Mechanisms and Coping Strategies in Hwabyung. Kor J Neuropsychiatr Assoc 1993;32:506-515.
  14. Freud A. The ego and the mechanisms of defense. New York: International Univ. Press;1966. p.31-53.
  15. Bond MB, Gardner ST, Christian J, Gigal JJ. Empirical study self-rated defense style. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1983;40:333-338. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790030103013
  16. Vaillant GE. Natural history of male psychological health II: Some antecedents of healthy adult adjustment. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1974;31:15-22. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760130005001
  17. Vaillant GE. The natural history of male psychological health V: The relation of choice ego mechanism defense to adult. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1976;33:535-545. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770050003001
  18. Vaillant GE. Natural history of male psychological health IV: Correlates of successful marriage and fatherhood. Am J Psychiatry 1978;135:653-659. https://doi.org/10.1176/ajp.135.6.653
  19. Vaillant GE. The natural history of male psychological health X: Work as a predictor of positive mental health. Am J Psychiatry 1981;138:1433-1440. https://doi.org/10.1176/ajp.138.11.1433
  20. Vaillant GE. Empirical Studies of Ego Mechanisms of Defenses. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press;1986.
  21. Kim JU, Rhee KH, Kim JK, Park YS. Ewha Diagnostic Test of Defense Mechanism. Seoul: Hana medical publishing company; 1991.
  22. Anthony EJ. Carmichael's Manual of child Psychology. 3rd ed. New York: Wiley;1970. p.667-764.
  23. Park KW. A study the defense mechanism of Koreans. Seoul: Ewha Womans Univ.;1991.
  24. You YS. The Effect of ego mechanisms of defense and Job Stress on the Mental Health of Workers. Seoul: Ewha Womans Univ.; 1995.
  25. Kyeh EJ. The use of defense mechanism depending on the level of trait anxiety and depression. Seoul: Ewha Womans Univ.;2001