Assessment name: Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales-Self-Report-30 (DMRS-SR-30)
Scale overview: The Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales-Self-Report-30 (DMRS-SR-30) is a 30-item self-administered measure of psychological defense mechanisms that assesses overall defensive functioning. The 30-items were developed based on the Q-Sort version known as the DMRS-Q (Di Giuseppe et al., 2014).
Authors: Tracy A. Prout, Mariagrazia Di Giuseppe, Sigal Zilcha-Mano, J. Christopher
Perry & Ciro Conversano
Response Type: Items are rated on a scale of frequency as follows:
0 = Not at all
1 = Rarely/slightly
2 = Sometimes/somewhat
3 = Often/ a lot
4 = Very often/ much
There are 30 items related to defense mechanisms. The items represent defense mechanisms and are organized into categories based on three factors.
Factor 1. Mature Defenses in the High-Adaptive level
Factor 2: Mental Inhibition and Avoidance – Obsessional, Neurotic and Disavowal levels
Isolation of affects
3. Depressive and Immature defenses
Splitting of other’s image
Splitting of self-image
Reliability and Validity
See Di Giuseppe et al. (2020) and Prout et al. (2022) articles below for psychometric data on the DMRS-30-SR scale. The researchers have provided the results of a factor analysis, coefficient alpha values, and correlations with other measures.
The results yield several scores. The ODF (Overall Defensive Functioning) score is based on all 30 items. Prout et al. (2022) reported ODF (M = 5.43, SD = 0.61) alpha .90 in their sample of 1,549 participants.
The full text of the English and Italian versions can be found in the Di Giuseppe et al. (2020) article below.
Read more about defense mechanisms in psychology
Di Giuseppe, M., Perry, J. C., Lucchesi, M., Michelini, M., Vitiello, S.,
Piantanida, A., Fabiani, M., Maffei, S., & Conversano, C. (2020).
Preliminary validity and reliability of the novel self-report based on
the Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales (DMRS-SR-30). Frontiers in
Psychiatry, 11, 870. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00870
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. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22089
Prout, T. A., Di Giuseppe, M., Zilcha-Mano, S., Perry, J. C. & Ciro C. (2022) Psychometric Properties of the Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales-Self-Report-30 (DMRS-SR-30): Internal Consistency, Validity and Factor Structure, Journal of Personality Assessment, 104, 6, 833-843, DOI: 10.1080/00223891.2021.2019053
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Geoffrey S. Sutton is a retired psychologist with post-doctoral credentials in neuropsychology and psychopharmacology. He is also Professor Emeritus of Psychology where he taught research methods and statistics to undergraduate and graduate psychology students. His website is www.suttong.com
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