Defensive and repressive coping styles: Self presentation, leisure activities and assessment

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The purpose of this study was to (1) extend previous research demonstrating the positive self-presentation styles of defensive and repressive subjects; (2) investigate the types and amounts of exercise and hobby activities as possible coping mechanisms among repressors; and (3) compare the Marlowe-Crowne (MC) and the EPI Lie (L) scales as measures of defensiveness. Personality, life stress, exercise, and hobby questionnaires were administered to 110 male college students. A structured telephone interview was also conducted to assess the reliability of their exercise and hobby self-report information and to further refine the assessment of these variables. Overall, the results support the notion that defensiveness and repression are associated with positive self-presentation styles and with types and amount of time spent in leisure activities. The results support the notion that the MC scale and L scale should not be used interchangeably to assess defensiveness. It is hypothesized that the MC and L scales measure different levels and aspects of defensiveness. Directions for future research are discussed.