Bergevin, Tanya A (2003) Approaching rejection sensitivity from a multidimensional perspective : predicting romantic maladjustment, targets of romantic attraction and depression in middle adolescence. PhD thesis, Concordia University.
The associations between rejection sensitivity and romantic maladjustment were examined along three lines of inquiry. The first addressed whether the various dimensions of rejection sensitivity (i.e., reactive anxiety, reactive anger, and harboring the expectation of rejection) were differentially associated with the use of physical coercion, verbal/emotional coercion, and compliance in romantic relationships. The second examined whether patterns of assortative romantic attraction were present among rejection-sensitive and other at-risk youth. Finally, the third line of inquiry explored whether the associations between rejection sensitivity and depression were mediated by adolescents' involvement in maladjusted romantic relationships. Three hundred and thirty-two senior high school students (188 girls, mean age = 16.7 years) completed questionnaires assessing (a) attachment style with parents and peers, (b) rejection sensitivity with parents and peers, (c) the use of coercion and compliance in romantic relationships, (d) targets of romantic attraction, and (e) depression. Results indicated that, above and beyond the effects of attachment, angry rejection sensitivity with peers positively predicted the use of physical and verbal/emotional coercion in romantic relationships. On the contrary, anxious rejection sensitivity with peers was found to negatively predict the use of physical and verbal/emotional coercion in romance. The use of compliance in romantic relationships was not associated with rejection sensitivity with either parents or peers. In examining the second series of questions, results revealed that adolescents who expected rejection within the peer domain were increasingly attracted to others who shared similar rejection concerns. Moreover, boys who employed physical coercion in romance were increasingly attracted to girls who employed physical as well as verbal/emotional coercion in romantic relationships. Girls, however, regardless of their own level of maladjustment, did not show a preference for maladjusted boys. Finally, regarding the third line of inquiry, results indicated that the associations between rejection sensitivity and depression were partially mediated by adolescents' involvement in maladjusted romantic relationships. Findings support approaching the construct of rejection sensitivity from a multidimensional perspective to fruitfully predict romantic maladjustment, assortative patterns of romantic attraction among at-risk youth, and the increased likelihood of depressive outcomes in middle adolescence. Results are discussed in terms of a unifying model of socialization across development.
|Divisions:||Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology|
|Item Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Authors:||Bergevin, Tanya A|
|Pagination:||xi, 168 leaves : ill., tables ; 29 cm.|
|Degree Name:||Theses (Ph.D.)|
|Thesis Supervisor(s):||Bukowski, William M|
|Deposited By:||Concordia University Libraries|
|Deposited On:||27 Aug 2009 17:26|
|Last Modified:||08 Dec 2010 15:25|
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