Interpersonal rejection sensitivity mediates the associations between peer victimization and two high-risk outcomes.

Clinical child psychology and psychiatry

PubMedID: 28617047

Williams CA, Doorley JD, Esposito-Smythers C. Interpersonal rejection sensitivity mediates the associations between peer victimization and two high-risk outcomes. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2017;1359104517712041.
BACKGROUND
Previous research has demonstrated a strong link between peer victimization and suicidal ideation and aggression. This study examined interpersonal rejection sensitivity as a mediator of these associations.

METHOD
Diagnostic interviews and assessments were administered to 80 psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents and their parents.

RESULTS
Interpersonal rejection sensitivity mediated the association between peer victimization and suicidal ideation as well as aggression after controlling for participant sex and mood disorder diagnosis.

CONCLUSION
Interpersonal rejection sensitivity influences the relation between peer victimization and mental health symptoms, including suicidal ideation and aggression. Assessing for and addressing heightened interpersonal rejection sensitivity among adolescents who have been victimized by peers may decrease the likelihood of negative mental health outcomes. Implications, especially for clinicians, are further discussed.