PDF 36-56 (Українська)


psychical defense
psychological defense mechanism
socio-psychological adaptation
internal self-regulation
misrepresenting of information

How to Cite





The article analyses theoretically the phenomena of mental defense mechanisms and coping in psychology, their importance for self-regulation and an individual’s socio-psychological adaptation.

The examined problem is not entirely new, but the huge number of scientific works indicates its importance, immensity, interest for scientists and absence of its final solution.

The study of mental defenses and coping strategies, their features and main types, which number is still increasing, continues since the time when S. Freud introduced the "mental defense" concept into science and A. Freud described the main defense psyche mechanisms (as for coping strategies, the works started from its interpretation by R. Lazarus and S. Folkman), however, their generalized understanding is absent today, so their further analysis is needed.

An individual’s mental defense is understood as a system of mental mechanisms protecting him/her from negative and psycho-traumatic emotions and feelings caused by different life difficulties, problems and various conflicts that lead to a crisis in self-acceptance and self-respect because of changed perceptions or attitudes to anxious events and situations; thus the received information is transformed and a pseudo-reality is created in order to weaken destructive influence of the reality on the individual’s social and psychological adaptation and the stability of their internal regulation; and coping as a process of relatively long-term conscious overcoming by the individual of the impacts of psychologically traumatic situations or events; such process copes with the problem / threat causing the psychological trauma.

We stress that, on the background of scientists’ constant, long-term attempts to distinguish the concepts of mental defense and coping and to find out which of them is more general, we focus on their common characteristics: 1) they help an individual to adapt to the problematic situation and save their mental well-being; 2) they may have a complex structure, shape styles and strategies (defense and coping) as a system combining the interrelated protection or coping mechanisms. However, we consider the psychic defense mechanisms and coping are situational in their essence: their effective application in one situation does not mean their similar effectiveness in another; but a choice of coping strategies and mental defenses depends on a particular individual.

Even taking into account the obvious difference between coping and mental defense mechanisms, we conclude that they are related mental phenomena and are combined into a certain systemic integrity in order to restore an individual’s mental balance and socio-psychological adaptation by the way inherent for the each examined phenomenon.
PDF 36-56 (Українська)


Abramov, V. V. (2013). Teoretyko-metodologichni pidhody do doslidzhennja koping povedinky [Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of coping behavior]. Aktual'ni problemy sociologii', psyhologii', pedagogiky, 4 (21),108–114 [in Ukrainian].

Andrushko, Ja. (2016). Psyhologichni zahysty v strukturi profesijnoi' identychnosti majbutn'ogo pracivnyka organiv vnutrishnih sprav [Psychological defences in the structure of professional identity of the future police officer]. Lviv: L'vDUVS [in Ukrainian].

Andrushko, Ja. S. (2014). Rezul'taty empirychnogo analizu dominujuchyh psyhologichnyh zahystiv u majbutnih pracivnykiv OVS [The results of an empirical analysis of the dominant psychological defenses in future police officers]. Fundamental'nye i prikladnye issledovanija v praktikah vedushhih nauchnyh shkol, 4, 18–31. Retrieved from: [in Ukrainian].

Bassin, F. V. (2000). O sile «Ja» i psihologicheskoj zashhite [On the power of "I" and psychological defence]. In Samosoznanie i zashhitnye mehanizmy lichnosti [Self-awareness and defense mechanisms of personality] (pp. 3–13). Samara: BAHRAH-M [in Russian].

Baumeister, R. F., Dale, K., & Sommer, K.L . (1998). Freudian Defense Mechanisms and Empirical Findings in Modern Social Psychology: Reaction Formation, Projection, Displacement, Undoing, Isolation, Sublimation, and Denial. Journal of Personality, 66 (6), 1081–1124. DOI: 10.1111/1467-6494.00043.

Bitjuckaja, E. V. (2011). Sovremennye podhody k izucheniju sovladanija s trudnymi zhiznennymi situacijami [Modern approaches to the study of coping with difficult life situations]. Vestn. MGU. Ser. 14. Psihologija, 1,100-111 [in Russian].

Bowins, B. (2004). Psychological defense mechanisms: a new perspective. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 64 (1), 1–26. DOI: 10.1023/B:TAJP.0000017989.72521.26.

Cherenjova, E. A. (2013). Zashhitnye mehanizmy povedenija kak faktor adaptivnogo povedenija lichnosti [Defense mechanisms of behavior as a factor in the adaptive behavior of the individual]. Vestnik TGPU, 6 (134), 122–126. [in Russian].

Chujko, G. V. (2019). Kontrfaktychne myslennja [Counterfactual thinking]. «Social''na psyhologija s''ogodni: zdobutky i perspektyvy»: materialy II Vseukrai'ns'kyj Kongres iz social'noi' psyhologii' (рр.376–378). Kiev: ISPP NAPN Ukrai'ny. DOI: 10.33120/UCSPProceedings-2019. Retrieved from: [in Ukrainian].

Chujko, G. V. Koltunovych, T. A., Lukashhuk, I. (2008). Osobystisnyj harakter mehanizmiv psyhologichnogo zahystu [The personal nature of the mechanisms of psychological defense]. Nowoczesnych naukowych osiągnięć – 2008: materiały IV Między-narodowej naukowi-praktycznej konferencji. Tym 10. Pedagogiczne nauki. Psychologia i socjologia. Filozofia (pp.58–62). Przemyśl: Nauka i studia [in Ukrainian].

Cramer, P. (2015). Understanding Defense Mechanisms. Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(4), 523–552. DOI: 10.1521/pdps.2015.43.4.523.

Dmytrenko, A. K. Chujko, G. V. (2002). Osnovy gumanistychnoi' psyhologii' [Foundations of humanistic psychology]. Chernivci: Prut [in Ukrainian].

Dombeck, M. (2007). Coping Strategies and Defense Mechanisms: Questions to Ask Oneself. The European Journal of Psychiatry, 21(4). Retrieved from:

Drapeau, M., Thompson, K., Petraglia, J., Thygesen, K. L., & Lecours, S. (2011). Defense mechanisms and gender: An examination of two models of defensive functioning derived from the Defense Style Questionnaire. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 11(1), 149–155.

Filipcheva, G. O., Jasyns'ka, A. V. (2009). Doslidzhennja zahysnyh mehanizmiv ta koping-strategij u studentiv-psyhologiv [Research of defence mechanisms and coping strategies in students of psychology]. Visnyk Dnipropetrovs'kogo universytetu. Serija «Pedagogika i psyhologija», 15, 115–122 [in Ukrainian].

Frejd, A. (2020). Psihologija Ja i zashhitnye mehanizmy [Psychology of I and defense mechanisms]. St. Petersburg: Piter [in Russian].

Frejdzher, R., Fejdimen, Dzh. (2002). Lichnost': teorii, jeksperimenty, uprazhnenija [Personality and personal growth]. St. Petersburg : prajm-EVROZNAK [in Russian].

Goncharenko, Je. (2016). Evoljucija mehanizmiv psyhologichnogo zahystu u studentiv-psyhologiv protjagom navchannja [Evolution of mechanisms of psychological defence in students-psychologists during training]. Psyhologichni vymiry kul'tury, ekonomiky, upravlinnja, 9. 28–38 [in Ukrainian].

Grabovs'ka, S., Jesyp, M. (2010). Problema kopingu v suchasnyh psyhologichnyh doslidzhennjah [The problem of coping in modern psychological research]. Sociogumanitarni problemy ljudyny, 4, 188–199 [in Ukrainian].

Granieri, A., La Marca, L., Mannino, G. et al. (2017). The Relationship between Defense Patterns and DSM-5 Maladaptive Personality Domains. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1926. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01926.

Kocijan-Lovko, S., Gregurek R., & Karlovic, D. (2007). Stress and ego-defense mechanisms in medical staff at oncology and physical medicine departments. The European Journal of Psychiatry, 21(4), 279-286. DOI: 10.4321/S0213-61632007000400005.

Konoval'chuk, V. I. (2008). Psyhologichni zahysty jak mehanizmy adaptacii' ljudyny do ekstremal'nyh umov navkolyshn'ogo seredovyshha [Psychological defenses as mechanisms of human adaptation to extreme environmental conditions]. Aktual'ni problemy psyhologii', 7 (15), 132–136. Retrieved from: [in Ukrainian].

Konstantinov, A. V. (2004). Zashhítnye mehanízmy líchnosti [Personal defence mechanisms]. In Bol'shaja rossijskaja jenciklopedija Retrieved from: [in Russian].

Korsun, S. I., Tkachuk, T. A. (2013). Psyhologija dijal'nosti pracivnykiv podatkovoi' milicii' [Psychology of tax police officers]. Kyiv, Centr uchbovoi' literatury. Retrieved from: [in Ukrainian].

Kruzhkova, O. V. (2012). Psihologicheskaja zashhita i sovladanie: fenomenologicheskoe sootnoshenie i struktura [Psychological defense and coping: phenomenological relationship and structure]. Vestnik Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta im. A.S. Pushkina, 5 (1), 36–47 [in Russian].

Kuftjak, E. V. (2016). Psihologicheskoe zdorov'e i zashhitnye mehanizmy (psihologicheskie zashhity i sovladanie) v detskom vozraste [Psychological health and defense mechanisms (psychological defense and coping) in childhood]. Psihologicheskie issledovanija, 9 (49), 4. Retrieved from: [in Russian].

Kuznecov, M. A., Zotova, L. N. (2016). Psihologicheskie mehanizmy i determinanty podderzhanija zdorov'ja cheloveka [Psychological mechanisms and determinants of maintaining human health]. Visnyk HNPU imeni G.S. Skovorody. Psyhologija, 53 (53), 102–125 [in Russian].

Lapkina, E. V. (2011). Psihologicheskaja zashhita i sovladanie: zashhitnaja sistema lichnosti [Psychological defense and coping: the defense system of the personality]. Jaroslavskij pedagogicheskij vestnik (Psihologo-pedagogicheskie nauki), 2(2), 232–236 [in Russian].

Ljahovec', L. O. (2011). Osoblyvosti projavu mehanizmiv zahystu u studentiv-psyhologiv [Peculiarities of manifestation of defense mechanisms in students-psychologists]. Aktual'ni problemy psyhologii': psyhologija osobystosti. Psyhologichna dopomoga osobystosti, 11 (4), part 1, 427–433 [in Ukrainian].

Makarenko, S. (2013). Metody i sposoby psyhologichnogo zahystu osobystosti v umovah ekstremal'nyh sytuacij [Methods and ways of psychological defence of the person in the conditions of extreme situations]. Problemy ekstremal'noi' ta kryzovoi' psyhologii', 14, part I, 203–211 [in Ukrainian].

Marčinko, D., Jakovljević, M., Jakšić, N., Bjedov, S., & Drakulić, A. M. (2020). The importance of psychodynamic approach during covid-19 pandemic. Psychiatria Danubina, 32(1), 15–21. DOI: 10.24869/psyd.2020.15.

Mrochko, I. O., Levyc'ka, L. V. (2017). Teoretychnyj analiz suchasnyh pidhodiv u doslidzhenni mehanizmiv psyhologichnogo zahystu [Theoretical analysis of modern approaches in the study of mechanisms of psychological defence]. Zbirnyk naukovyh prac' HIST Universytetu «Ukrai'na», 14, 232–235. Retrieved from: [in Ukrainian].

Myhal's'ka, Ju. A., Renke, S. O. (2015). Osoblyvosti mehanizmiv psyhologichnogo zahystu osobystosti [The peculiarities of mechanisms of personality psychological protection]. Problemy suchasnoi' psyhologii', 30, 417–427 [in Ukrainian].

Nartova-Bochaver, S. (2001). Psihologija lichnosti i mezhlichnosnyh otnoshenij [Psychology of personality and interpersonal relationships]. Moscow: JeKSMO-Press [in Russian].

Petrovskij, A. V., Jaroshevskij, M. G. (Eds.) (1998). Zashhita psihologicheskaja. [Psychological defence]. In Petrovskij, A.V., Jaroshevskij, M.G. (Eds.), Kratkij psihologicheskij slovar'. [A short psychological dictionary]. Rostov-on-Don: Feniks. Retrieved from: [in Russian].

Petrovskiy A. V., Jaroshevskiy, M. G. (Eds.). (1990). Psihologija. Slovar' [Psychology. Vocabulary]. Moscow: Politizdat [in Russian].

Renke, S. O. (2010). Zahysni mehanizmy osobystosti jak faktor zberezhennja cilisnosti «Ja»-struktury [Defence mechanisms of personality as a factor in preserving the integrity of the "I"-structure]. Problemy suchasnoi' psyhologii', 10, 667–676 [in Ukrainian].

Rysynec', T. P. (2012). Etymologija kategorij «mehanizmy psyhologichnogo zahystu» ta «koping-strategii'» [Etymology of the categories "mechanisms of psychological defence" and "coping strategies"]. Visnyk NTUU “KPI”. Filosofija. Psyhologija. Pedagogika, 1, 119–123 [in Ukrainian].

Shebanova, V. I. (2011). Koping-povedinka i mehanizmy podolannja stresu [Coping behavior and mechanisms for overcoming stress]. Naukovi studii' iz social'noi' ta politychnoi' psyhologii', 26, 289–296 [in Ukrainian].

Shebanova, V. I., Didenko, G. O. (2018). Koping–povedinka u suchasnyh psyhologichnyh doslidzhennjah [Coping-behavior in modern psychological researches]. Problemy suchasnoi' psyhologii', 39, 368–379. DOI10.32626/2227-6246.2018-39.368-379 [in Ukrainian].

Shuldyk, G. O. (2017). Mehanizmy psyhologichnyh zahystiv u students'koi' molodi [Mechanisms of psychological defense in student youth]. Naukovyj visnyk Hersons'kogo derzhavnogo universytetu. Serija: psyhologichni nauky, 2 (2), 127–131 [in Ukrainian].

Solozhenkin, V. V. (2020). Psihologicheskie osnovy vrachebnoj dejatel'nosti [Psychological foundations of medical practice]. Moskow: Akademicheskij proekt. Retrieved from: [in Russian].

Sotnikova, Ju. A. (2005). Zashhitnye mehanizmy v lichnostnoj organizacii pacientov s rasstrojstvami adaptacii i suicidal'nymi popytkami [Defense mechanisms in the personal organization of patients with adjustment disorders and suicidal attemps]. Extended abstract of candidate’s thesis. Moskow: MGU im. M.V. Lomonosova [in Russian].

Titarenko, D. S. (2009). Zahysni mehanizmy psyhiky ljudyny [Defense mechanisms of the human psyche]. Problemy ekstremal'noi' ta kryzovoi' psyhologii', 6,182–192 [in Ukrainian].

Waqas, A., Rehman, A., Malik, A., et al. (2015). Association of Ego Defense Mechanisms with Academic Performance, Anxiety and Depression in Medical Students: A Mixed Methods Study. Cureus, 7(9), 337. DOI: 10.7759/cureus.337.

Zinchenko, A. V. (2013). Psyhologichnyj zahyst jak mehanizm social'noi' adaptacii' hvoryh na epilepsiju [Psychological defence as a mechanism of social adaptation of patients with epilepsy]. Problemy suchasnoi' psyhologii', 19, 213–223 [in Ukrainian].

Zlepko, S. M., Sergjejeva, V. V., Koval', L. G., Azarhov, O. Ju. (2009). Typologija zahysnyh mehanizmiv psyhichnoi' adaptacii' ta shyl'nist' do psyhichnyh rozladiv [Typology of protective mechanisms of mental adaptation and predisposition to mental disorders]. Medychna informatyka ta inzhenerija, 4, 32–38 [in Ukrainian].

Copyright Notice

Articles in the Psychological Journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License International CC-BY that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. For more detailed information, please, fallow the link -