Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Southam-Gerow


The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the role of emotions as predictors of children's coping responses to peer rejection experiences. This study also explored how children's emotional experience and coping behaviors were related to gender, peer socialization (i.e., receiving prosocial acts by peers and previous victimization experiences), and indices of psychopathology. Children ages 7-12 (N=53) completed questionnaires to assess emotional and coping responses to hypothetical peer rejection scenarios, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and peer experiences. Overall, findings suggested that emotion-related factors (emotion states and more stable "emotional tendencies" such as psychological symptoms) and social context (i.e., children's prosocial peer experiences and victimization) are important predictors of children's coping with peer rejection. Children's emotions predicted coping responses after controlling for peer experiences. Discrete emotions were uniquely associated with coping responses, indicating that coping responses are emotionally-driven. Finally, gender emerged as a predictor of children's emotions in response to rejection experiences. Girls were more likely than boys to anticipate feeling sad or worried inresponse to rejection. These findings provide an empirical foundation for future research and the development of interventions to facilitate adaptive reactions to peer rejection.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons