Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 873–885 | Cite as

Children’s Coping with In Vivo Peer Rejection: An Experimental Investigation

  • Albert Reijntjes
  • Hedy Stegge
  • Mark Meerum Terwogt
  • Jan Henk Kamphuis
  • Michael J. Telch
Original Paper


We examined children’s behavioral coping in response to an in vivo peer rejection manipulation. Participants (N=186) ranging between 10 and 13 years of age, played a computer game based on the television show Survivor and were randomized to either peer rejection (i.e., being voted out of the game) or non-rejection control. During a five-min. post-feedback waiting period children’s use of several behavioral coping strategies was assessed. Rejection elicited a marked shift toward more negative affect, but higher levels of perceived social competence attenuated the negative mood shift. Children higher in depressive symptoms were more likely to engage in passive and avoidant coping behavior. Types of coping were largely unaffected by gender and perceived social competence. Implications are discussed.


Peer rejection Coping Depressive symptoms In vivo assessment Pre-adolescent children 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Reijntjes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hedy Stegge
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark Meerum Terwogt
    • 1
  • Jan Henk Kamphuis
    • 3
  • Michael J. Telch
    • 4
  1. 1.Developmental PsychologyVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Paedologisch InstituutDuivendrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Universiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.University of TexasAustinUSA

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