The action-thought dimension, social competence, and defense effectiveness

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

*Adaptation, Psychological; *Defense Mechanisms; Humans; Male; *Mental Disorders; Rorschach Test; *Social Adjustment




Assigned 60 male psychiatric patients to 4 groups matched for diagnosis and length of hospitalization. The 4 groups represented thought and action symptom groupings and high and low social competence (SC). Ss' responses to the Rorschach were scored for defense demand (DD) and defense effectiveness (DE). Better DE was associated with thought symptom Ss at the high SC level, than with symptom Ss at the lower SC level. Other differences were not significant. Results "suggest that greater maturity may require a thought-oriented behavior style to successfully serve adaptation, while a thought-oriented behavior style may not only be unnecessary, but perhaps detrimental to the adaptive success of individuals of less maturity." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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Citation: J Consult Clin Psychol. 1971 Jun;36(3):448.

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