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 OJD  Vol.3 No.5 , November 2014
The “Need for Harmony” Defence Mechanisms as Co-Factor in Stress Sensitivity Producing Sadness and Depression
Abstract: The aim of this investigation is to develop useful research toolsfor assessingpsychological traits and defence mechanisms towardnegative emotions. The present study examined 124 young women adults (19 - 39 years) participating in short-term stress sessions conducted with a non-invasive procedure called “Drawing Recollection” of real personal stressful life experiences (Biasi & Bonaiuto, 1997a, 1997b, 2007). This treatment lasts 20 minutes and is as effective as the heavier traditional techniques. Emotional and motivational changes are documented by pre- and post- treatment bipolar “Self-Appraisal Scales” (Biasi, Bonaiuto, & Giannini, 2010). With the LDM Inventory, the participants were selected and divided into two contrasting extreme groups, according to their very high or very low Need for Harmony (N/H) sub-scale scores. We identified favourable and unfavourable personality traits for developing specific negative emotions under stress: in particular the N/H, concerning the tendency to avoid interpersonal conflicts at the cost of self-sacrifice and self-punishment (Spielberger, 1988; Spielberger & Reheiser, 2000). Participants who obtained high “Sadness” scores under stress (measured by “Self-Appraisal Scales”), had significantly higher scores on N/H scales compared to the opposite group (p < 0.001). The N/H defence mechanism and negative emotion of “Sadness” (“Depression”) combination represents significant co-factors of stress sensitivity.
Cite this paper: Biasi, V. and Bonaiuto, P. (2014) The “Need for Harmony” Defence Mechanisms as Co-Factor in Stress Sensitivity Producing Sadness and Depression. Open Journal of Depression, 3, 173-183. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2014.35021.
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