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Psychiatry Res. 2013 Oct 30;209(3):535-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.06.035. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

Immature psychological defense mechanisms are associated with greater personal importance of junk food, alcohol, and television.

Author information

1
School of Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Immature psychological defense mechanisms are psychological processes that play an important role in suppressing emotional awareness and contribute to psychopathology. In addition, unhealthy food, television viewing, and alcohol consumption can be among the means to escape self-awareness. In contrast, engaging in, and responding fully to specifically penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) is associated with indices of better emotional regulation, including less use of immature defense mechanisms. There was a lack of research on the association of immature defense mechanisms with personal importance of junk food, alcohol, television, PVI, and noncoital sex. In an online survey, 334 primarily Scottish women completed the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40), and rated the personal importance of junk food, alcohol, television, PVI, and noncoital sex. Immature defense mechanisms correlated with importance of junk food, alcohol, and television. Importance of PVI correlated with mature defenses, and less use of some component immature defenses. Importance of alcohol correlated with importance of junk food, television, and noncoital sex. Importance of junk food was correlated with importance of television and noncoital sex. The findings are discussed in terms of persons with poorer self-regulatory abilities having more interest in junk food, television, and alcohol, and less interest in PVI.

KEYWORDS:

Defensive functioning; Emotion regulation; Health behaviors; Sexual behavior

PMID:
23866675
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2013.06.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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