Volume 18 Num. 3 - October 2018
Differentiation between Defensive Personality Functioning and Psychopathology as Measured by the DSQ-42 and MMPI-2-RF
Volume 18 Num. 3 - October 2018 - Pages 331-343
Louis De Page , Paul T van der Heijden , Mercedes De Weerdt , Jos IM Egger , Gina Rossi
Defensive functioning is considered one of the core aspects of personality functioning and its maturity level is regarded an important predictor of psychopathology and more specific personality pathology. The current investigation assesses the relation between overall defensive functioning, as measured by the Defense Style Questionnaire-42 (DSQ-42), and higher order models of psychopathology as measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF). The DSQ-42 and MMPI-2-RF was completed by 383 patients. We analysed the MMPI-2-RF personality and psychopathology as measured with the Restructured Clinical scales and the Personality Psychopathology Five-revised scales using Goldberg’s Bass Ackwards Method. Higher order dimensions of personality and psychopathology in the current investigation demonstrated structural similarity with previously reported higher order models. Next we examined the optimal level of differentiation of defensive functioning, as measured by the DSQ-42 Total and Overall Defensive Functioning scores, to personality and psychopathology at each succeeding level of the hierarchical factor structures. Results indicated that immature defense mechanisms exemplify strong correlations with internalizing pathology (i.e., Demoralisation and Introversion), but not with externalizing pathology and thought disorder. The differentiation of defensive functioning from higher order models of psychopathology and maladaptive personality traits seems to be limited, based on the current results. The DSQ-42 appeared to have a large overlap and correlations with internalizing pathology, which appeared to be due to its item content: mostly intrapsychic and immature defenses. Theoretical and clinical implications considering the use of the DSQ are discussed.
How to cite this paper: De Page L, van der Heijden PT, De Weerdt M, Egger JIM, & Rossi G (2018). Differentiation between Defensive Personality Functioning and Psychopathology as Measured by the DSQ-42 and MMPI-2-RF. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 18, 3, 331-343.
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