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


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).

 Read more about defense mechanisms in psychology.

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


Scale items

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





Reaction formation



Autistic fantasy


3. Depressive and Immature defenses





Projective identification

Splitting of other’s image

Splitting of self-image

Passive aggression

Help-rejecting complaining

Acting out



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.

 Related measure

Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales Q-Sort

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.


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.


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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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.


Post Author

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


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