Zoccali, Rocco A. and Muscatello, Maria R. A. and Bruno, Antonio and Cedro, Clemente and Campolo, Domenica and Pandolfo, Gianluca and Meduri, Mario (2007) The role of defense mechanisms in the modulation of
anger experience and expression: Gender differences and
influence on self-report measures. Personality and Individual Differences, 43 (3). pp. 1426-1436. ISSN 0191-8869
Based on the background that defense mechanisms might contaminate personality evaluation measures,
the present study was performed with the aim of verifying the influence of defense mechanisms on a selfevaluation
instrument for anger.
A total of 100 healthy subjects (44 males and 56 females) completed the STAXI Â– State-Trait Anger
Expression Inventory and the DMI Â– Defense Mechanisms Inventory.
Data were analyzed through t test for independent samples, correlation analysis (PearsonÂ’s correlation
coefficients), and stepwise regression models. The means for anger experience and expression resulted all in
the normal range and no gender differences were observed; no gender differences were found in the use of
defense mechanisms. The interference of defense mechanisms on anger self-evaluation was more prominent
in males. In both sexes, TAO predicts anger experience and expression.
The Â‘Â‘contaminationÂ’Â’ of self-report data by defense mechanisms can lead to oversimplified, unrealistic
models of human behavior. The assessment of defense mechanisms associated to self-report instruments
may conduce to a more realistic evaluation of anger.
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