The Life Style Index (LSI) was designed to assess defense mechanisms, assuming that their use is relatedto specific emotional states and diagnostic concepts. Aiming to further investigate the psychometricproperties of the Greek version of the LSI, the aim of the present study was to investigate the relationshipof specific defense mechanisms with dimensions of psychological distress and hostility featuresin three different populations. The sample comprised 1261 adults (410 healthy participants, 723medical patients and 128 psychiatric patients). Along with defense mechanisms (LSI), PsychologicalDistress (General Health Questionnaire, GHQ-28) and Hostility features (Hostility and Direction ofHostility Questionnaire, HDHQ) were also assessed. The results showed that increased psychologicaldistress is related with increased use of all defenses except Denial, with which psychological distressis negatively associated. Regression is constantly related with psychological distress and differentiatespsychiatric patients from the other groups of participants, while Compensation and ReactionFormation are related to depressive symptomatology. In medical patients, Repression was found toincrease the physical dimension of psychological distress and the social dysfunction. On the contrary,Denial was negatively associated with these dimensions of psychological distress. In the psychiatricpatient and healthy participant samples, Projection plays the most detrimental role. Regarding hostilityand direction of hostility, those who were found to introvert their hostility presented with higherscores in Denial, indicating that they possibly ‘deny’ their hostility, and the degree of the Denialwas found to be negatively associated with the degree of Introverted Hostility. Those who directedtheir hostility towards the others, presented with higher rates of Projection, while neither Denial norReaction Formation seemed sufficient enough to temper the degree of Extroverted Hostility. In conclusion,the present results strengthen further the validity of the Greek version of the LSI and provideadditional evidence about the relation of defence mechanisms with dimensions of psychological distressand the direction of hostility in different populations, indicating that the empirical assessment ofdefense mechanisms can contribute significantly in the study of the factors that mediate or moderatethe course or the outcome of medical or psychiatric disorders.

Key words: Ego defenses, Life Style Index, hostility, aggression, psychological distress

T. Hyphantis, G.D. Floros, P. Goulia, G. Iconomou, K. Assimakopoulos (page 207) - Full article in Greek