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01-10-2010 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2010

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 5/2010

The Regulating Role of Negative Emotions in Children’s Coping with Peer Rejection

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 5/2010
Auteurs:
Kimberly L. Goodman, Michael A. Southam-Gerow
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This research was supported in part by a College Scholarship Enhancement Award from the College of Humanities & Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University and by the National Institute of Mental Health (T32 MH18834). This study also served as a portion of the first author’s master’s thesis.

Abstract

This study examined the role of emotions as predictors of children’s coping responses to peer rejection experiences. Children ages 7–12 (N = 79) completed questionnaires to assess emotional and coping responses to peer rejection scenarios. This study examined three coping factors specific to peer rejection (positive reappraisal, ruminative coping, and aggressive coping) and examined results separately for two negative peer experiences (teasing and exclusion). Children’s emotions predicted coping responses after controlling for peer experiences. Specifically, anger was associated with aggressive coping, whereas sadness was associated with ruminative coping, supporting theory that emotions have distinct motivational-behavioral properties. Peer experiences were also important, as victimization was associated with aggressive coping, and receipt of prosocial peer behaviors was associated with positive reappraisal. These findings provide an empirical foundation for future research and the development of interventions to facilitate adaptive reactions to peer rejection.

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