Peer Rejection in Adolescence

Clues that lead to depression and future implications

What can Peer Rejection lead to?

Peer rejection is a huge factor of stress in adolescence. The relationships between peer rejection and the depressive symptoms shown across one’s adolescence can have a large influence on their future. Some children can have a negative interpretive bias from the start and take things the wrong way. This will permit them to put judgement on themselves sometimes right from the beginning, that in turn is actually not there. No matter how these judgments are felt, children can start to dissociate from their peers and float towards loneliness. Loneliness will stunt their social habits and natural need to be around others. Companionship is a necessary component in life. Sure, there is nothing wrong with having imaginary friends as an adolescent, but if that is a child's only friend then there can be some kinds of rejection present. As a child grows up into a teen, their thoughts may become more severe leading to depression. It can start a snowball effect, and in turn create drug problems, juvenile delinquency, and problems with authority as well.

How peer rejection can start.

It can all start from any problems at home, that will later translate into problems at school. The opposite can also be true too though. Children must have the proper circumstances at an early age to fully be able to understand the necessity of other people and proper relationships. Cues to determine peer rejection can range anywhere from broken marriages, to single parenting, and many other stresses at home. Being different is good, but children must learn how to fit in and not only how to be accepted, but also how to be accepting of others. Anxiety problems can also lead to rejection due to the fact of racing thoughts or nervousness around others. It is hard for children at an early age to handle their own self-esteem problems, so negative reinforcement is never a means for motivating them towards improvement.

Can I prevent peer rejection?

Yes. Stopping it early is one of the most essential parts of prevention. Parents must be able to be open with their children and find out the truth about how life at school really is for them. If there are any cues of unhappiness, then you must handle the situation appropriately. Kids can be mean, but also all the other kids are looking for friends too. Your child is not the only one going through this, but it is important to always be there for them. Being able to talk with your kids about their feelings requires a comfortable living space, which will lead to trust and honesty. Dealing with any sort of behavioral problems is an important step as well because it will allow children to understand their emotions more clearly. Not only that but it will give them the ability to handle these emotions and having a better control over them. Children are going to need to understand why they think the things they are thinking.

Andrew Patti

Platt, B., Kadosh, K., & Lau, J. F. (2013). The role of peer rejection in adolescent depression. Depression And Anxiety, 30(9), 809-821