Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Defensive Mechanisms and Their Role in Youth Social Health

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Defensive Mechanisms and Their Role in Youth Social Health

Article excerpt

Health is an important issue in all cultures and its definition reflects the public common sense of health and their culture. However, when people talk about health they usually mean physical health which the community's growth and excellence depends on physical, psychological, and social health. According to World Health Organization (WHO), health refers to a state of fall physical, psychological, and social wellbeing rather than the absence of illness (WHO, 1979). Therefore, health is a concept which is defined by relying upon its antithesis, which is illness and WHO defines health as the absence of illness and defect and as a type of physical, psychological, and social wellbeing. Social health as one aspect of general health is important as physical, mental, and spiritual health. As such health is no longer seen as being free from illness but as the way one acts in terms of social relations and thinks in the society as the indicator of his health at the community's macro level (Sam Aram, 2009: 3). People with high social health are able to perform their social activities and role in a normal way and develop a sense of attachment to the society and social norms. According to Keys, the quality of life and individual performance cannot be assessed without considering social norms. Besides, good performance in life is not beyond physical, psychological, and social health and it encompasses social tasks and challenges. He also maintains that social health is one's evaluation of his function in the society (Hakiminia, 2011: 3 ). Having a sound social thinking and a positive mindset to the community is the most important factor of having a better social life and is the main stage of social health. Social health is important in terms of the nature of human life and challenges it creates. Besides, physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of social health should not be ignored. On the other hand, the youth health is the main priority in all countries. The youth health requirements in the context of social changes at the national and international levels indicate many shortcomings. The main shortcoming in Iran is insufficient attention to psychological aspects of the youth health which results in other social harms. The reality of social changes shows that the appearance of illnesses and disorders is changing. Epidemiologic transference is developing very rapidly and results in the incidence of diseases and disorders in the way that in 2020 it will disturb the public health throughout the world (Marandi, 2006: 2039). Student health is a vital issue that caused many challenges. The significance of the issue become evident especially as some studies showed that the problems faced by students are on the rise. As a case in point, the results of a 13 year longitudinal study indicated that today students refer to university counseling centers more frequently than in the past and their problems have become more complex (Benton et ah, 2003 ).

The results of another study by Langerland et al. (2011) showed that the quality of perceived social health improves their mental health through increasing their feeling of attachment. Blanco Diaz (2007) conducted a study entitled "Social order and mental health with an approach to social health". The author tried to explore the relationship between social health dimensions as social heath indicators and self-esteem, perceived health, deprivation, social interactions, and positive and negative feelings. Defensive mechanisms are automatic regulating processes that act to reduce cognitive disorders and minimize sudden changes in the internal and external reality through impacting on how threatening events are perceived. Andrews and colleagues classified 20 defensive mechanisms into mature, neurotic, and immature defensive styles using Vilnet's Hierarchical Classification. Mature defensive styles refer to adaptive, normal, and efficient coping strategies while neurotic and immature defensive mechanisms are maladaptive and inefficient coping strategies. …

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