Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Linda Webster

First Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Second Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Third Committee Member

Nancy Brison-Moll


A child's internalized regulatory system and development of defenses is patterned after the parent-child attachment system. Therefore, measuring defenses can provide information about the quality of the internalized attachment relationship. This study examined the correlation of defenses in mother-son pairs. It examined defensive behaviors utilizing the Rorschach Test, as responses to the Rorschach are useful in describing a person's basic defensive functions. The study found that the defenses of regression, repression, avoidance, a personal defense stance and the quality of inner resources were positively correlated between mothers and sons. These correlations were .74, .53, .50, .48, and .44 respectively. This data indicates that, for this sample, a mother and son's defensive behaviors were correlated across several variables. These results suggest the Rorschach may be a useful instrument in studying the sequelae of the attachment relationship. This method may also offer the family therapist insights into what defenses are currently activated in the parent-child relationship.




9780496117857 , 0496117858

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in PacificSearch Find in ProQuest



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email