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NCJ Number: 204961 
Title: Rejection Sensitivity and Girls' Aggression (From Girls and Aggression: Contributing Factors and Intervention Principles, P 7-25, 2004, Marlene M. Moretti, Candice L. Odgers, and Margaret A. Jackson, eds. -- See NCJ-204960)
Author(s): Geraldine Downey; Lauren Irwin; Melissa Ramsay; Ozlem Ayduk
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter describes the Rejection Sensitivity (RS) model as an explanation for why some women show high levels of aggression toward people they care about most, and it discusses the role of self-control in moderating the maladaptive effects of RS.
Abstract: This chapter argues that HRS women--those that experience severe, prolonged, and unchanging rejection from significant others--are conditioned to expect that rejection cannot be avoided or reversed, such that hostility and vengeful defenses are the only recourse. The chapter posits, however, that cognitive-behavioral interventions that provide insight into the dynamics of hostile behavior and generalized expectations of rejection can foster self-control and revised expectations of how people will react to them when they control their aggression. The RS model proposes that severe, prolonged rejection stimulates the development of defensive (i.e., anxious or angry) expectations that others will reject them. They are prone to interpret even slightly negative responses from others as total rejection that triggers hostile thoughts and actions toward the person. This, in turn, produces overt actual rejection by the targets of the hostility, reinforcing the expectation of rejection and the validity of the maladaptive defense mechanisms. Following an explanation of these principles of the RS model, a section of the chapter reviews evidence that supports the RS model. The focus is on the defensive expectations of rejection, perceptions of rejection, and reactions to rejection. Although the studies cited show the links in the RS-hostility cycle, they do not explain why women who expect rejection from others react with hostile behaviors that elicit the rejection they fear. In examining this issue, the chapter distinguishes between women who have high rejection sensitivity (HRS) and those with low rejection sensitivity (LRS). 69 references
Main Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; Aggression; Juvenile delinquency theory; Models; Violence causes; Violent females
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