J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2004 May;43(3):345-353.

The Ego Defense Mechanism of North Korean Defectors in South Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
The purpose of present study was to explore the differences of ego defense mechanisms between South Koreans, North Korean defectors in South Korea and Korean-Chinese in South Korea, and the correlations between ego defense mechanisms and perceptions of socio-cultural characteristics of these three groups.
METHODS
The Defense Style Questionnaire and the Socio-Cultural Characteristic Questionnaire were administered to 100 South Koreans, 93 North Korean defectors and 86 Korean-Chinese. 21 North Korean defectors and 10 Korean-Chinese in South Korea were interviewed regarding the questionnaire results of the study.
RESULTS
North Korean defectors used more active defense styles and emotion repressive defense styles than South Koreans. Korean-Chinese used more passive defense styles than North Korean defectors and South Koreans. North Korean defectors scored significantly higher than South Koreans on 'denial', 'splitting', 'withdrawal', 'suppression', 'altruism', 'task orientation' and 'anticipation' in the Defense Style Questionnaire. The defense styles were significantly related to the socio-cultural characteristics of the three countries.
CONCLUSION
From our results it was inferred that there are differences in the defense styles among three groups, and the socio-cultural characteristics have effects on defense mechanisms. On the gasis of the results of this study, the direction of future study was discussed.

Keyword

North Korean defectors; Defense mechanism; Socio-cultural characteristic

MeSH Terms

Defense Mechanisms
Ego*
Korea*
Surveys and Questionnaires
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