Psychological Defense Mechanisms And Coping Behavior: Parenting Of Young Children With Psychological Developmental Disorders


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The study was carried out to investigate the psychological defense mechanisms and the coping behavior of parents raising children with psychological developmental disorders. 190 parents of children under the age of 3 with psychological developmental disorders participated in the study. Developmental  and psychomotor retardation levels in children was confirmed by the result of psycho diagnostic examination which made it possible to determine features of motor, speech, cognitive, socio- emotional spheres  and every day adaptation. To investigate the defense mechanism of parents of children with developmental retardation, the following techniques where use: Psychological diagnostics of lifestyle index; Diagnostic methodology of coping behavior in stressful situations; Strategic diagnostics of impunity behavior in conflict situations. The analysis of the results showed that the most typical was the mechanism of psychological defense such as projection for all parents regardless of their children’s degree of mental retardation. A comparative analysis made it possible to establish that the parents of children with a high degree of mental retardation were significantly more inherent to use unconsciously such mechanisms of psychological protection like denial, displacement and reaction formation. Parents whose children have a high level of mental retardation were more likely to use coping behavior that reflects orientation towards avoidance



Charity Justin Takyun and Agatha Ogwo
Department of Psychology,
Nasarawa State University, Keffi

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