The Relationship between Individual's Perception of Father's Parenting and Formation of Object Relations and Defense Mechanisms


1 Department of Families with Special Needs, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Education and Psychology, Al-Zahra University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Psychology, Allameh Tabatabae University, Tehran, Iran


This study investigated the association between Iranian university students' perception of their fathers and their object-relation and defense mechanism. Participants were 438 students between 18-22 years from Allameh Tabatabae University, who agreed to fill the Fatherhood Scale out (Dick, 2004), Bell object relation inventory and defense mechanism style, and defense style questionnaire (DSQ-40). Using stepwise regression indicated that positive Parental Engagement significantly would be able to predict alienation (ALN) and mature and immature defense mechanisms. Positive paternal engagement & negative paternal mangagement significantly predict alienation (ALN) and mature defense mechanism. Furthermore, negative paternal engagement can predict insecure attachment (IA) and egocentrism (ECG). The good provider role subscale of fathering scale can predict social incompetence (SI) of object relation factors and neurotic defense mechanism. This subscale with negative paternal engagement can predict Social incompetence (SI). As a result, current study emphasize on the critical role of fathering in forming object relation and defense mechanism during development. In this processing, fathering as a facilitator lead to appropriate representation of reality in child mental structure. So, he can practice proper object relations and mature defense mechanism.