Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Dawn E. BoumanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2075


A psychological coping mechanism used to protect against stressful events. Early conceptualizations by Freud, as well as recent references such as DSM-V, describe “mechanisms that mediate the individual’s reaction to emotional conflicts and to external stressors” (American Psychiatric Association 2013). Denial can be adaptive or maladaptive, depending upon the context and extent to which it is used. In neurological impairments, denial of disability is contrasted with anosognosia and unawareness. Simplified conceptualizations view denial as a psychological process that occurs independently of cognitive impairment, while anosognosia is viewed as a problem of insight that is neurologically and cognitively mediated. More comprehensive conceptualizations consider both denial and impaired self-awareness as “continuous variables which may interact in a given individual” following brain damage (Prigatano and Klonoff 1998). One scale used to tease apart and describe the constructs...

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References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuropsychology and Medical Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation MedicineCincinnatiUSA