Defense Mechanisms in Adolescence

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journal abstract

Previous studies with adults have found that males and females differ in their choice of defense mechanisms in a manner consistent with Erikson's theory. Males use defenses that externalize the conflict, whereas females are more likely to deal with conflict internally. The present study found that a tendency toward such differentiation in defense choice is present in young adolescents (M age = 14.2 years) and is clearly established by the last 2 years of high school (M age = 16.2 years). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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