A 7-year-old has begun bedwetting again after the birth of a new sibling. The child's parents ask the nurse if this is normal. The nurse teaches the parents about which ego defense mechanism?

Regression

Explanation

• Regression is when a child or adult reverts to behaviors from an earlier stage of development. This earlier time may have felt less demanding and safer, or may have been a time when the individual received more care and attention. This is common when children are exposed to stressors such as a new sibling.

Incorrect answers:

• Repression is the attempt to repel one's own desires and impulses by excluding it from one's consciousness.

• Projection is attributing one's own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts to another person.

• Dissociation is a temporary and drastic modification to one's character or identity to avoid emotional distress.

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