AN INVESTIGATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ATTACHMENT STYLES AND DEFENSE MECHANISMS
 
Besharat, M.A., Mahmoud, I. and Mandana S., Tehran University, Iran
 
3 One of the basic premises of attachment theory is that attachment style shapes the way people cope with, and adjust to, stressful situations using defense mechanisms. To examine the relationship between attachment styles and defense mechanisms, 214 Tehran University students were studied. Subjects were asked to complete the Adult Attachment Inventory and the Defense Styles Questionnaire. The results revealed that the defense styles are significantly related to attachment styles: 1) subjects with secure attachment style used mature defense mechanisms more than subjects with insecure attachment style; 2) subjects with insecure attachment style used neurotic and immature defense mechanisms more than subjects with secure attachment style; 3) subjects with ambivalent attachment style used neurotic and immature defense mechanisms more than subjects with avoidant attachment style. Results and implications of this innovative study are discussed in terms of attachment theory. Key Words: attachment style, defense style, defense mechanism.