Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales-Q-Sort


Assessment name:  Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales-Q-Sort

Scale overview: The Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales-Q-Sort version (DMRS-Q) is a measure of defensemechanisms designed for clinical use. The measure assesses nonpsychotic defenses according to a seven level hierarchy of adaptiveness. Clinicians can enter data into an online resource which will score and report the results.

 Read more about defense mechanisms in psychology.

Authors: Di Giuseppe and Perry

Scale items: There are five items for each of 30 defense mechanisms for a total of 150 items. The items linked to the 30 defense mechanisms and levels are listed and described in Di Giuseppe, M., & Perry, J. C. (2021).


Psychometric data:

Interrater reliability values and criterion validity were reported in Di Giuseppe, M., & Perry, J. C. (2021).



See the DMRS-Q website at At the time of this writing, the web app was free to use. The web page includes a tutorial and additional information about the measures.

 Read more about the 7 Level Hierarchy of Defense Mechanisms.

Reference for the scale

Di Giuseppe, M., & Perry, J. C. (2021). The Hierarchy of Defense Mechanisms: Assessing Defensive Functioning With the Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales Q-Sort. Frontiers in psychology12, 718440.


Di Giuseppe, M., Perry, J. C., Petraglia, J., Janzen, J., & Lingiardi, V.(2014). Development of a Q-Sort version of the Defense Mechanism Rating Scales (DMRS-Q) for clinical use. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 70(5), 452–465.


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Reference for clinicians on understanding assessment

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Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index



Related measure

Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales-Self-Report-30 (DMRS-SR-30)



The information about scales and measures is provided for clinicians and researchers based on professional publications. The links to authors, materials, and references can change. You may be able to locate details by contacting the main author of the original article or another author on the article list.


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