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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Sensitivity (Personality trait)-Testing, Rejection (Psychology) in adolescence, Resilience (Personality trait) in adolescence, Adaptability (Psychology), Adolescent psychology, Rejection, Sensitivity, Resilience, Mentor programs, Attachment theory, Attachment behavior in adolescence, Mentoring


Rejection sensitivity is "the disposition to defensively expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to rejection" (Downey and Purdie, 2000, p. 338). Rejection sensitivity has been studied in children and adults using rejection sensitivity measures designed for these populations. The absence of an adolescent rejection sensitivity measure, however, has prevented study of this phenomenon in adolescents. This study describes the generation and validation of a 20-item adolescent rejection sensitivity measure. Additionally this study examines the relationship between rejection sensitivity and resilience in hopes that the measure will be used to examine the effectiveness of formal mentor relationships at building resilience in adolescents. This study generated 20 adolescent rejection sensitivity items with high internal reliability and good psychometric properties. The findings from this study indicate that rejection sensitivity and resilience are negatively and significantly related. This suggests that rejection sensitivity is an important variable that underlies the development of resilience, especially the development of resilience through relationships.




76 p. Honors Project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 58-63)