Objective: The aim of the present study was to analyze the psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Response Evaluation Measure (REM-71), a 71-item self-report measure previously developed for the assessment of defenses in adults and adolescents. The authors also examined the differences in the use of defenses based on sex and age (early adolescence, late adolescence, and early adulthood), and the association between defenses, psychosocial health, and psychologic distress in a large community sample.
Method: The Italian version of REM-71 was obtained through back-translation and administered to 1648 (1020 female subjects, mean age = 19.5 years, SD = +/-5.77) community subjects, aged between 13 and 68 years, voluntarily recruited among high school and university students in Milan, Italy, and the surrounding area. All subjects completed a self-report measure to assess demographic variables and satisfaction with life. A subsample (n = 1197) completed the Italian version of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised to assess symptoms of psychologic distress.
Results: Results were highly consistent with those obtained in the original English version of the REM-71 and included satisfactory internal consistency of the measure. Factor analyses yielded 2 principal factors that showed overall stability across age and sex subgroups. Factor 1 and factor 2 defenses were significantly correlated, in line with theoretical expectations, with positive and negative aspects of various domains of life.
Conclusions: Results provide further support for the structure and validity of the REM-71 as a useful instrument for the assessment of defenses in adolescents and adults and suggest no major cross-cultural differences in the organization of these defenses.