The Interrelationship between Self-Image Disparity and Social Competence, Defensive Style, and Adjustment Status

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Groups of 40 psychiatric and 40 nonpsychiatric male patients were subdivided into equal groups of high and low social competence. Each patient completed a task battery which included three measures of self-image disparity and the Byrne repression-sensitization scale. High competence patients of both types were found to have higher self-image disparities than low competence patients. Psychiatric patients were found to have higher disparity scores than nonpsychiatric patients, although some evidence indicated that this was true only for the low competence groups. Higher scores on the Byrne scale (indicating sensitization) were found for high as compared to low competence patients, and for the psychiatric as compared to nonpsychiatric groups. Defensive style correlated significantly with each of the self-image measures. The results were discussed in the context of both developmental and Rogerian formulations. It was concluded that an individual's maturational level influences both self-image and defensive style, even when the individual is judged psychologically maladjusted.

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