An achieved sense of life fullness, life filled with meaning due to interactions with the outside world can be described by the concept of psychological well-being.
Psychological well-being is a dynamic process depending on many mutually-linked external and internal factors.
An experience of subjectively grave events threats greatly personal psychological well-being; but some adaptive constructs, such as defensive-coping behaviour based on the organization of certain optimal strategies, can greatly facilitate the stress and help overcome frustration situations.
The defensive-coping behaviour consists of psychological defence mechanisms and coping strategies.
The presented empirical study analyses the difference in defensive-coping behaviour characteristic for people with different levels of psychological well-being.
The study involved 103 people aged 19 to 65 years, including 45 students of the Department of Psychology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, 39 respondents worked in various occupational fields and 9 retired people. We used qualitative and quantitative analysis (discriminatory statistics, such as measures of central tendency, frequency analysis), Student t-test and correlation analysis to process the obtained empirical data.
The results show that the intensity of defence mechanisms is higher in the group with low psychological well-being. This indicates that psychological defence of the respondents with low psychological well-being focus to a greater degree on maintenance of a once achieved positive state (or to restore the lost). In this group, adaptation to adverse events occurs through fantasizing and appropriation of the qualities of another person, as well as through the transfer of responsibility for their own inappropriate actions to other people.
In the group with high psychological well-being, the mechanisms of intellectualization and denial are more often used, which indicates that logical conclusions help to ease an unfavourable situation and its consequences threatening for personal well-being. On the one hand, this behavioural pattern is less traumatic for an individual’s inner world, but on the other one, it can also be a source of distortion of the surrounding information.
Also, the problem-oriented strategies prevail in the structure of defensive-coping behaviour of the respondents with high psychological well-being, for example, such strategies as: positive reappraisal, problem-solving planning, self-control, and distance. Coping behaviour in the group with low psychological well-being is based most often on the escape-avoidance strategy.
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