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Ego defense mechanisms in Pakistani medical students: a cross sectional analysis.

Parekh MA, Majeed H, Khan TR, Khan AB, Khalid S, Khwaja NM, Khalid R, Khan MA, Rizqui IM, Jehan I - BMC Psychiatry (2010)

Bottom Line: Neurotic and Immature defenses were significantly more prevalent in first and second year students.Mature mechanisms were significantly higher in students enrolled in Government colleges than Private institutions (p < 0.05).Employment of these mechanisms was associated with female gender, enrollment in a private medical college, and students enrolled in the first 2 years of medical school.

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Affiliation: Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. maria_afridi1193@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Ego defense mechanisms (or factors), defined by Freud as unconscious resources used by the ego to reduce conflict between the id and superego, are a reflection of how an individual deals with conflict and stress. This study assesses the prevalence of various ego defense mechanisms employed by medical students of Karachi, which is a group with higher stress levels than the general population.

Methods: A questionnaire based cross-sectional study was conducted on 682 students from five major medical colleges of Karachi over 4 weeks in November 2006. Ego defense mechanisms were assessed using the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40) individually and as grouped under Mature, Immature, and Neurotic factors.

Results: Lower mean scores of Immature defense mechanisms (4.78) were identified than those for Neurotic (5.62) and Mature (5.60) mechanisms among medical students of Karachi. Immature mechanisms were more commonly employed by males whereas females employed more Neurotic mechanisms than males. Neurotic and Immature defenses were significantly more prevalent in first and second year students. Mature mechanisms were significantly higher in students enrolled in Government colleges than Private institutions (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Immature defense mechanisms were less commonly employed than Neurotic and Mature mechanisms among medical students of Karachi. The greater employment of Neurotic defenses may reflect greater stress levels than the general population. Employment of these mechanisms was associated with female gender, enrollment in a private medical college, and students enrolled in the first 2 years of medical school.

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Gender Differences in the Prevalence of EDM using Independent Sample T-test.
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Figure 1: Gender Differences in the Prevalence of EDM using Independent Sample T-test.

Mentions: There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of mature defense mechanisms amongst the two groups. However, the mean score of neurotic mechanisms was higher in females (5.72 vs 5.44; p < 0.05) than males. On comparison of individual defense mechanisms, the authors observed that Undoing, Idealization, and Somatization were significantly more prevalent in female medical students, whereas Isolation, Devaluation, Denial, and Dissociation were commonly employed by the male population (Figure 1)


Ego defense mechanisms in Pakistani medical students: a cross sectional analysis.

Parekh MA, Majeed H, Khan TR, Khan AB, Khalid S, Khwaja NM, Khalid R, Khan MA, Rizqui IM, Jehan I - BMC Psychiatry (2010)

Gender Differences in the Prevalence of EDM using Independent Sample T-test.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2836996&req=5

Figure 1: Gender Differences in the Prevalence of EDM using Independent Sample T-test.
Mentions: There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of mature defense mechanisms amongst the two groups. However, the mean score of neurotic mechanisms was higher in females (5.72 vs 5.44; p < 0.05) than males. On comparison of individual defense mechanisms, the authors observed that Undoing, Idealization, and Somatization were significantly more prevalent in female medical students, whereas Isolation, Devaluation, Denial, and Dissociation were commonly employed by the male population (Figure 1)

Bottom Line: Neurotic and Immature defenses were significantly more prevalent in first and second year students.Mature mechanisms were significantly higher in students enrolled in Government colleges than Private institutions (p < 0.05).Employment of these mechanisms was associated with female gender, enrollment in a private medical college, and students enrolled in the first 2 years of medical school.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. maria_afridi1193@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Ego defense mechanisms (or factors), defined by Freud as unconscious resources used by the ego to reduce conflict between the id and superego, are a reflection of how an individual deals with conflict and stress. This study assesses the prevalence of various ego defense mechanisms employed by medical students of Karachi, which is a group with higher stress levels than the general population.

Methods: A questionnaire based cross-sectional study was conducted on 682 students from five major medical colleges of Karachi over 4 weeks in November 2006. Ego defense mechanisms were assessed using the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40) individually and as grouped under Mature, Immature, and Neurotic factors.

Results: Lower mean scores of Immature defense mechanisms (4.78) were identified than those for Neurotic (5.62) and Mature (5.60) mechanisms among medical students of Karachi. Immature mechanisms were more commonly employed by males whereas females employed more Neurotic mechanisms than males. Neurotic and Immature defenses were significantly more prevalent in first and second year students. Mature mechanisms were significantly higher in students enrolled in Government colleges than Private institutions (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Immature defense mechanisms were less commonly employed than Neurotic and Mature mechanisms among medical students of Karachi. The greater employment of Neurotic defenses may reflect greater stress levels than the general population. Employment of these mechanisms was associated with female gender, enrollment in a private medical college, and students enrolled in the first 2 years of medical school.

Show MeSH