Prospective observations of the defense styles of normal individuals suggest that the quality of the childhood family environment may influence the maturity of defense styles used in adulthood. In this study, 106 female adolescent psychiatric patients completed the Defense Style Questionnaire, and the Family Environment Scale (FES). Positive family characteristics such as cohesion and expressiveness, as measured by the FES, were correlated with the report of Mature Defenses. Negative family characteristics such as conflict were correlated with the report of Immature Defenses. Similar although weaker correlations were found after controlling for the effects of depression and defensiveness on the self-report measures.