Phebe Cramer

Professor of Psychology, Emerita

Department of Psychology
Bronfman Science Center
Williams College
Williamstown, MA 01267
Office Phone: (413) 597-2463
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: (413) 597-2085

Scholarship/Creative Work


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Protecting the Self: Defense Mechanisms in Action. (2006) New York: Guilford Press
Story-telling, Narrative and the Thematic Apperception Test. (1996) New York: Guilford Press.

The Development of Defense Mechanisms: Theory, Research and Assessment. (1991) New York: Springer-Verlag.

Understanding Intellectual Development: Three Approaches to Theory and Practice (with P. Ammon & W. Rohwer) (1974) Chicago: Dryden Press

Word Association. (1968) New York: Academic Press.


Cramer, Phebe (2017). Using the TAT to assess the relation between gender identity and the use of defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality Assessment, 99, 265-274.

Cramer, Phebe (2017). Defense mechanism card pull in TAT stories. Journal of Personality Assessment, 99, 15-24.

Cramer, Phebe (2017). Identity change between late adolescence and early adulthood. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 538-543.

Cramer, Phebe. (2016). Childhood precursors of adult borderline personality disorder features. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 204, 494-499.

Cramer, Phebe. (2016). Working with Sidney Blatt: Developing interactions. Journal of Personality Assessment, 98, 26-29.

Cramer, Phebe and Porcerelli, John. (2016). Defense mechanisms. In: Howard S. Friedman (Editor in Chief), Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 2nd edition, vol. 2, Waltham, MA: Academic Press, 13-17.

Cramer, Phebe. (2015). IQ and defense mechanisms assessed with the TAT. Rorschachiana, 36, 40-57.

Cramer, Phebe. (2015). Defense mechanisms. In The Encyclopedia of  Adulthood and Aging. Ed. S.K. Whitbourne, vol. 1, New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Cramer, Phebe. (2015). Adolescent parenting, identification, and maladaptive narcissism. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 32, 559-579.

Cramer, Phebe. (2015). Understanding defense mechanisms. Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43, 523-552.

Cramer, Phebe. (2015). Change in children’s externalizing and internalizing behavior problems: The role of defense mechanisms. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 203, 215-221.

Cramer, Phebe. (2015). Defense mechanisms: 40 years of empirical research. Journal of Personality Assessment, 97, 114-122.

Cramer, Phebe. (2012). Psychological maturity and change in adult defense mechanisms. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 306-316.

Cramer, Phebe. (2011). Narcissism through the ages: What happens when narcissists grow older? Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 479-492.

Cramer, Phebe. (2011). Young adult narcissism: A 20 year longitudinal study of the contribution of parenting styles, preschool precursors of narcissism, and denial. Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 19-28.

Cramer, Phebe & Kelly, Francis D. (2010). Attachment styles and defense mechanisms in parents who abuse their children. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 198, 619-627.

Cramer, Phebe. (2009). Defense mechanisms and self-doubt. In R.M. Arkin, K.C. Oleson & P.J. Carroll (Eds.) Handbook of the Uncertain Self. New York: Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis.

Cramer, Phebe. (2009). An increase in early adolescent undercontrol is associated with the use of denial. Journal of Personality Assessment. 91, 331-339.

Cramer, Phebe. (2009). The development of defense mechanisms from pre-adolescence to early adulthood: Do IQ and social class matter? A longitudinal study. Journal of Research in Personality. 43, 464-471.

Cramer, Phebe & Jones, Constance J. (2008). Narcissism, identification, and longitudinal change in psychological health: Dynamic predictions. Journal of Research in Personality. 42, 1148-1159.

Cramer, Phebe. (2008). Identification and the Development of Competence: A 44-year Longitudinal Study from Late Adolescence to Late Middle Age. Psychology and Aging, 23, 410-421.

Cramer, Phebe. (2008). Seven Pillars of Defense Mechanism Theory. Social and Personality Psychology Compass , 2, 1963-1981.

Anderson-Ferguson, Gail & Cramer, Phebe. (2007). Self-esteem among Jamaican children: Exploring the impact of skin color and rural/urban residence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 28, 345-359.

Cramer, Phebe. (2007). Longitudinal study of defense mechanisms: Late childhood to late adolescence. Journal of Personality, 75, 1-24.

Cramer, Phebe. (2007). Mining archival data. In R. W. Robins, R. C. Fraley & R. F. Krueger (Eds.) Handbook of Research Methods in Personality Psychology. New York: Guilford Press.

Cramer, Phebe & Jones, Constance J. (2007). Defense mechanisms predict differential lifespan change in Self-control and Self-acceptance. Journal of Research in Personality. 41, 841-855.

Cramer, Phebe. (2005). Another “lens” for understanding therapeutic change: The interaction of IQ with defense mechanisms. In J.S. Auerbach, K.N. Levy, & C.E. Schaffer (Eds.) Relatedness, self-definition and mental representation: Essays in honor of Sidney J. Blatt. New York: Routledge. Pp. 120 – 133.

Cramer, Phebe, & Tracy, Allison. (2005). The pathway from child personality to adult adjustment: The road is not straight. Journal of Research in Personality. 39, 369 – 394.

Cramer, Phebe. (2004). Stress, autonomic nervous system reactivity, and defense mechanisms. In U. Hentschel, G. Smith, J.G. Draguns, & W. Ehlers (Eds.) Defense mechanisms: Theoretical, research and clinical perspectives. Advances in Psychology, vol. 136, pp. 325 – 349.

Cramer, Phebe. (2004). Identity change in adulthood: The contribution of defense mechanisms and life experiences. Journal of Research in Personality, 38, 280-316.

Cramer, Phebe, & Kelly, Francis D. (2004). Defense mechanisms in adolescent conduct disorder and adjustment reaction. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 192, 139-145.

Sandstrom, Marlene, & Cramer, Phebe. (2003). Defense mechanisms and psychological adjustment in childhood. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 191, 487-495

Cramer, Phebe. (2003). Defense mechanisms and physiological reactivity to stress. Journal of personality, 71, 221-244.

Cramer, Phebe. (2003). Personality change in later adulthood is predicted by defense mechanism use in early adulthood. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 76-104.

Cramer, Phebe & Anderson, Gail. (2003). Ethnic/racial attitides and self-identification of black Jamaican and white New England children. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology. 34, 395-416.

Sandstrom, Marlene, & Cramer, Phebe. (2003). Girls’ use of defense mechanisms following peer rejection. Journal of Personality, 71, 605-627.

Cramer, Phebe. (2002). Defense mechanisms, behavior and affect in young adulthood. Journal of Personality, 70, 103-126.

Cramer, Phebe. (2002). The study of defense mechanisms: Gender implications. In R.F. Bornstein & J.M. Masling (Eds.), The Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender Role. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. pp. 81-127..

Cramer, Phebe. (2001). Identification and its relation to identity development. Journal of Personality, 69, 667-688.

Cramer, Phebe, and Brilliant, Melissa. (2001). Defense use and defense understanding in children. Journal of Personality, 69, 291-321.

Cramer, Phebe. (2000). Defense mechanisms in Psychology today: Further processes for adaptation. American Psychologist, 55, 637-646.

Cramer, Phebe. (2000). The development of identity: Gender makes a difference. Journal of Research in Personality, 34, 42-72.

Cramer, Phebe. (1999). Ego functions and ego development: Defense mechanisms and intelligence as predictors of ego level. Journal of Personality, 67, 735-760.

Cramer, Phebe. (1999). Change in defense mechanisms during psychoanalysis and psychotherapy: A case study. In The Psychoanalytic Study of Lives Over Time: Clinical and Research Perspective on Children Who Return to Treatment in Adulthood. (Eds. B. Cohler & J. Cohen). Academic Press. pp. 309-330.

Cramer, Phebe & Westergren, Heather. (1999). Gender identity: Affected by social change? Journal of Personality Assessment, 73, 19-30.

Cramer, Phebe. (1999). Personality, personality disorders, and defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality, 67, 535-554.

Cramer, Phebe. (1999). Future directions for the Thematic Apperception Test. Journal of Personality Assessment, 72, 74-92.

Cramer, Phebe, & Davidson, Karina. (Eds.)(1998). Defense mechanisms in current personality research. Special Issue, Journal of Personality, 66, 879-1157.

Cramer, Phebe. (1998). Coping and defense mechanisms: What’s the difference? Journal of Personality, 66, 919-946.

Cramer, Phebe. (1998). Defensiveness and defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality, 66, 879-894.

Cramer, Phebe, & Steinwert, Tiffany. (1998). Thin is good, fat is bad: How early does it begin? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 19, 417-439.

Cramer, Phebe. (1998). Freshman to Senior Year: A Follow-up study of identity, narcissism and defense mechanisms. Journal of Research in Personality, 32, 156-172.

Cramer, Phebe. (1998). Threat to gender representation: Identity an identification. Journal of Personality, 66, 335-357.

Cramer, Phebe. (1998). Approaching the Thematic Apperception Test. In (L. Handler & M. Hilsenroth, Eds.) Teaching and Learning Personality Assessment. New Jersey: Erlbaum Associates. Pp. 247-265.

Cramer, Phebe & Block, Jack. (1998). Preschool antecedents of defense mechanism use in young adults. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 159-169.

Cramer, Phebe. (1997). Evidence for change in children’s use of defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality, 65, 233-247.

Cramer, Phebe. (1997). Identity, personality and defense mechanisms: An observer-based study. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 58-77.

Cramer, Phebe. (1995). Identity, narcissism and defense mechanisms in late adolescence. Journal of Research in Personality, 29, 341-361.

Cramer, Phebe, & Blatt, Sidney J. (1993). Change in defense mechanisms following intensive treatment, as related to personality organizationand gender. In W. Ehlers, U. Hentschel, G. smith, & J. G. Draguns, Eds., The Concept of Defense Mechanisms in Contemporary Psychology. New York: Springer-Verlag. Pp. 310-320.

Cramer, Phebe, & Skidd, Jody. (1992). Correlates of self-worth in pre-schoolers: The role of gender-stereotyped styles of behavior. Sex Roles, 26, 369-390.

Cramer, Phebe. (1991). Anger and the use of defense mechanisms in college students. Journal of Personality, 59, 39-55.

Cramer, Phebe, & Blatt, Sidney J. (1990). Use of TAT to measure changes in defense mechanisms following intensive psychotherapy. Journal of Personality Assessment, 54, 236-251.

Dollinger, Stephen, & Cramer, Phebe. (1990). Children’s defensive responses and emotional upset following a disaster: A projective assessment. Journal of Personality Assessment, 54, 116-127.

Cramer, Phebe, & Gaul, Robin. (1988). The effects of success and failure on children’s use of defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality, 56,729-742.

Cramer, Phebe, Blatt, Sidney J., & Ford, Richard Q. (1988). Defense mechanisms in the anacliticand introjective personality configuration. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 610-616.

Cramer, Phebe. (1988). The Defense Mechanism Inventory: A review of research and discussion of the scales. Journal of Personality Assessment, 52, 142-164.

Cramer, Phebe. (1987). The development of defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality, 55, 597-614.

Cramer, Phebe. (1986). Fantasies of college men: Then and Now. Psychoanalytic Review, 73, 567-578.