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Hope and dysphoria: the moderating role of defense mechanisms

, : Hope and dysphoria: the moderating role of defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality 68(2): 199-223

It was hypothesized that the adaptive value of hope cognitions would be dependent upon the quality of an individual's defense style. Undergraduate students completed measures of hope, defense mechanisms, and dysphoria in two studies. As predicted, defense mechanisms significantly moderated the relation between hope and dysphoria. In addition, both hope and defense mechanisms predicted dysphoria as main effects. Individuals who had low hope and an immature defense style had particularly high levels of dysphoria. Low hope was not maladaptive for individuals with a mature defense style, suggesting that a subtype of low hope ("defensive hopelessness") may exist that is analogous to defensive pessimism. Individuals with high hope had low levels of dysphoria regardless of defense style. Overall, the present study suggests that an integration of psychodynamic and cognitive perspectives on hope may be productive.


PMID: 10820685

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