Rejection sensitivity and adolescents’ perceptions of romantic interactions
Rejection sensitivity – the tendency to expect, perceive, and overreact to rejection by others – is linked with individuals' expectations that their romantic partners' behaviors have negative intent, even if, perhaps, such behaviors could be considered neutral when observed by another. The aim of the present study was to test this proposition, derived from rejection sensitivity theory, using a Video-Recall Procedure with adolescent couples in the US (N = 386 adolescents, 50% girls). We examined whether adolescents who were more sensitive to rejection perceived their romantic partners' behaviors as more conflictual than when viewed by trained, third-party observers. Findings suggest that, at the micro-analytic level, higher rejection sensitivity is associated with adolescents' heightened perception of their romantic partners as conflictual when compared to observers, who more often coded the same behaviors as neutral rather than conflictual. Implications for adolescent mental health and well-being are discussed.
Norona, J.C., J.F. Salvatore, D.P. Welsh, and N. Darling. December 2014. “Rejection sensitivity and adolescents’ perceptions of romantic interactions.“ Journal of Adolescence 37(8): 1257-1267.
Journal of Adolescence
Rejection sensitivity, Adolescence, Romantic relationships, Conflict, Video-recall procedure.