An empirically validated hierarchy of defense mechanisms.

  title={An empirically validated hierarchy of defense mechanisms.},
  author={George E. Vaillant and Malcolm Bond and Charlotte Vaillant},
  journal={Archives of general psychiatry},
  volume={43 8},
We empirically examined the validity of ego mechanisms of defense as an explanatory concept for psychological health in 307 middle-aged men who were prospectively followed up for 40 years. Assessed on the basis of a two-hour interview when the men were 47 years old, the maturity (health) of the men's defenses correlated highly with independently assessed outcome measures. Evidence is offered that defensive style provides an independent dimension of mental health. First, childhood variables… CONTINUE READING