Rejection Sensitivity in Late Adolescence: Social and Emotional Sequelae


(2010). Rejection Sensitivity in Late Adolescence: Social and Emotional Sequelae. Journal of Research on Adolescence , 20 (4), 959-982.


This study used longitudinal, multi-reporter data, in a community sample, to examine the role of rejection sensitivity in late adolescents’ social and emotional development. Rejection sensitivity was linked to a relative increase in adolescent depressive and anxiety symptoms over a three-year period, even after accounting for teens’ baseline level of social competence. Additionally, reciprocal relationships emerged between rejection sensitivity and internalizing symptoms. Rejection sensitivity was also linked to relative decreases in peer-reports of teens’ social competence over a three-year period. Consistent with research on gendered socialization, males reported higher levels of rejection sensitivity than females at age 16 and 17. Results are interpreted as highlighting the importance of rejection sensitivity in understanding late adolescent social and emotional development.