Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40): factors, validity and reliability

László Martin, Rita Hargitai, Ernö Hupuczi, S. Rózsa, Béla Birkás, József Varga, István Tiringer, István Hartung, János Kállai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


INTRODUCTION: Empirical research in defense mechanisms - a concept that stem from the work of Sigmund and Anna Freud and gave rise to a number of thematic approaches - dates back to the mid-20th century. From the psychometric measure instruments developed since that time, the present investigation was aimed to assess the short form of Defense Style Questionnaire that can be efficiently applied in clinical practice and that was supposed to be used as the sixth diagnostic factor of the new version of DSM. A multi-level validity analysis of DSQ-40 was carried out. METHODS: We applied trait assessing measures for anxiety, avoidant behavior, schizotypal traits and personality disorder diagnostic measures developed for DSM-5. To evaluate discriminant validity we applied instruments that assess the stability of self-esteem and the state of self and that can measure the clarity of self-representations. 670 healthy university students volunteered to participate in the investigation. RESULTS: Based on the applied questionnaires, it was revealed that its inner consistency and validity measures are adequate. Its factors that discriminate neurotic and immature defense styles can be applied to identify persons inclined to use either adaptive or maladaptive defense mechanisms. Our findings correspond to other international research results. CONCLUSION: Our results attest that DSQ-40 is a reliable instrument to assess defense style.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalPsychiatria Hungarica : A Magyar Pszichiatriai Tarsasag tudomanyos folyoirata
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Martin, L., Hargitai, R., Hupuczi, E., Rózsa, S., Birkás, B., Varga, J., Tiringer, I., Hartung, I., & Kállai, J. (2019). Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40): factors, validity and reliability. Psychiatria Hungarica : A Magyar Pszichiatriai Tarsasag tudomanyos folyoirata, 34(1), 19-33.