This study examined the associations between mothers’ predisposition to show rejection sensitivity and children’s cognitions regarding peer rejection and their social self-perceptions. It also explored whether these associations were mediated by mothers’ behaviors in situations that might suggest their children were rejected by peers. Participants were 122 Jewish Israeli mothers and their kindergarten children (50.82% female; MChild age in months = 67.52, SD = 6.35). Mothers completed the Adult Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire and reported their likely behaviors in scenarios suggesting the rejection of their children by peers. Children were interviewed using the response evaluation scale for the rejection stories in the Social Information Processing Interview–Preschool Version and the peer acceptance subscale of the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children. Results revealed indirect links between mothers’ rejection sensitivity and children’s maladaptive response evaluations and lower social self-perceptions, through fewer supportive maternal behaviors. These findings highlight the need to consider parents’ dispositions and behaviors in the context of their children’s peer interactions for a more complete understanding of the development of children’s social competence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by grant number 492/16 to Yair Ziv from the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF).
© The Author(s) 2022.
- maternal behaviors
- peer rejection
- Rejection sensitivity
- social information processing
- social self perception
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science