ArticlePDF Available


Over 20 years of research has shown that social exclusion is a pervasive and powerful form of social threat. Social exclusion causes a wide variety of negative outcomes including negative emotions and threats to fundamental human needs (i.e., self‐esteem). Most importantly, experiencing exclusion during childhood or adolescence can provoke long‐term negative effects such as depression and anxiety disorders. Despite the growing interest in this domain, only recent studies have started to examine possible coping strategies to contrast the negative effects of exclusion. In this article, we first review the empirical findings concerning the consequences of social exclusion in children and adolescent populations. Second, we focus on cognitive and socio‐emotional strategies that children and adolescents can use to deal with exclusion when it has occurred. Implications and future directions are discussed.
J Appl Beh av Res. 2 019; 00 :e12173.
1 of 17
© 2019 Wiley Per iodica ls, Inc.
Received: 18 July 2018 
  Revised: 15 August 2019 
  Accepted: 3 September 2019
DOI : 10.1111 /ja br.1217 3
Learning to cope with everyday instances of social
exclusion: A review of emotional and cognitive
strategies for children and adolescents
Susanna Timeo1| Paolo Riva2| Maria Paola Paladino1
1Department of Psychology and Cognitive
Science , University of Trento, Rovereto,
2Depar tment of Psychology, University of
Milano‐Bicocca, Milano, Italy
Susann a Timeo, D epartment of Ps ycholog y
and Cognitive Science, University of Trento,
Corso Bettini 8 4, 380 68 Rovereto ( TN),
Funding information
Carit ro Foundation, Gr ant/Award Number:
Over 20 years of research has shown that social exclusion is
a pervasive and powerful form of social threat. Social exclu
sion causes a wide variety of negative outcomes including
negative emotions and threats to fundamental human needs
(i.e., self‐esteem). Most importantly, experiencing exclusion
during childhood or adolescence can provoke long‐term
negative effects such as depression and anxiety disorders.
Despite the growing interest in this domain, only recent
studies have started to examine possible coping strategies
to contrast the negative effects of exclusion. In this article,
we first review the empirical findings concerning the conse‐
quences of social exclusion in children and adolescent popu
lations. Second, we focus on cognitive and socio‐emotional
strategies that children and adolescents can use to deal with
exclusion when it has occurred. Implications and future di‐
rections are discussed.
adolescence, childhood, emotion regulation, psychological coping
strategies, social exclusion
Having meaningful social connections is perhaps the most fundament al psychological human need Baumeister
& Leary, 1995). The need to belong is expressed throughout the life c ycle, including the first phases of life. The
2 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
newborn turns in search of a face, for human contact (Valenza, Simion, Cassia, & Umiltà, 1996) and prefers a
warm caregiver, independently of food supply (for monkeys, Harlow, 1958). During infancy and adolescence, the
orientation toward social relationships shifts from caregivers to peers. In this period, children are faced with new
challenges. They start to interact with same‐age companions and not only with more mature and compliant adult
figures. In this context, dysfunc tional interactions may arise (Asher, & Coie, 1990), among these experiences of
social exclusion. Importantly, for children these relational challenges represent oppor tunities to learn how to reg
ulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, and to adjust to the social environment.
Social exclusion has been broadly defined as the experience of being kept apart from others physically (e.g.,
social isolation) or emotionally (e.g., being ignored or told one is not wanted; see Riva & Eck, 2016). According to
recent work in this area (see also Wesselmann et al., 2016), social exclusion can be further distinguished into two
main phenomena, rejection and ostracism.1 Although rejection involves an overt refuse to interact, ostracism is
primarily characterized by the act of ignoring a person (Wesselmann et al., 2016). Both rejection and ostracism can
have detrimental effects on children and adolescents’ well‐being, and, if prolonged, may lead to psychopathologi
cal disorders (Gazelle & Ladd, 2003; Ladd, 2006).
In this article, we will first review principal empirical findings concerning the negative consequences of being
excluded in typically developing children and adolescents (Abrams, Weick, Thomas, Colbe, & Franklin, 2011;
Sebastian, Viding, Williams, & Blakemore, 2010). Traditionally developmental studies have investigated peer re
jection and exclusion occurring in real‐life contex ts (i.e., students being rejected at school; Bierman, Miller, &
Stabb, 1987; Buhs & Ladd, 2001; Buhs, Ladd, & Herald, 2006; Gazelle & Ladd, 2003; Ladd, 2006; Pedersen, Vitaro,
Barker, & Borge, 2007; for a review see Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 1998). Only recently, and based on findings
on adults (Riva & Eck, 2016), research has started to examine experimentally the emotional, cognitive, behavioral,
and health‐related effects of the experience of exclusion, especially ostracism. These studies are relevant as they
have identified causal pathways (e.g., being aggressive is a consequence and not only an antecedent of exclusion),
and established that an experience of exclusion—even when subtle (e.g., being ignored) and unique—elicit s a series
of—proximal and downstream—consequences (Williams, 2009). Like all methodological approaches, experiments
have advantages and disadvantages. An undoubted advantage over correlational studies is the possibility of mea
suring the effect s of an independent on a dependent variable net of confounding variables. Given their relevance
for the field and that recent review is missing, in this article, we will mostly focus on the principal findings in which
exclusion has been experimentally manipulated in the developmental population.
Second, we will turn our attention to psychological strategies that could be used in order to cope with the
negative effects of the exclusion situation. Specifically, we will rely on a classification recently proposed as a
framework to organize empirical evidence on adults (Timeo, Riva, & Paladino, 2019) and discuss its applicability to
children and adolescents who are experiencing exclusion.
Social exclusion is a painful experience and can cause a wide variety of negative effects. According to the Temporal
Need‐Threat model (Williams, 2009), the effects of ostracism occur in three stages: reflexive, reflective, and res
ignation. The reflexive stage refers to the first reaction to ostracism, that is characterized by an increase in nega
tive emotions and a decrease in fundamental psychological needs satisfac tion (i.e., self‐esteem, belong, control,
and the need for a meaningful existence). According to Williams (20 09), this first negative response will always
occur, as humans have an intrinsic need to be accepted. Only in the second phase, the reflective one, the victim of
1 In other l ines of researc h in development al psycholog y, rejection an d exclusion are us ed to refer t o negati ve interp ersona l peer experie nces based
on pers onality char acteristic s or behaviors (r ejection) an d to based on e thnic, gende r, or other b iases (exclusio n), respe ctivel y (see Killen, Ru tland, &
Jampol , 2009 for det ails on thi s distinctio n).
 3 of 17
ostracism will start to deal with its negative effects and individual differences will emerge. Finally, when ostracism
is prolonged and cann ot be overcome, there is the resignation stage, where the victim becomes apathetic and un
able to react (Riva, Montali, Wir th, Curioni, & Williams, 2017). Here we will review effect s observed at reflexive
2.1 | Effects on emotions
Correlational studies on children and adolescents have shown that being excluded by peers triggers negative
emotions, lessens self‐esteem, and is linked to internalizing problems like depression and social anxiety (Gazelle &
Ladd, 2003; Ladd, 2006; Pedersen et al., 2007), along with externalizing behavior problems (Abrams et al., 2011).
With children and adolescents, exclusion has been manipulated by giving bogus feedback of not being chosen (or
being rejected) by others for doing an activity (Reijntjes, Stegge, Terwogt, Kamphuis, & Telch, 2006) or being left
out during the Cyberball, an online ball‐tossing game (Abrams et al., 2011). These studies have confirmed that chil
dren exposed to exclusion report an increase in negative effects (Reijntjes et al., 2006). More importantly, follow
ing ostracism, children and adolescents seem to suffer a greater threat to their fundamental needs (self‐esteem,
belong, control, and meaningful existence) and to show more negative emotions compared to their excluded adult
counterpart (Abrams et al., 2011). Specifically, Abrams et al. (2011) showed an age‐related need threat. In their
sample, self‐esteem was threatened more by ostracism at 8–9 years of age while belonging was threatened more
at 13–14 years of age. These results highlight the developmental changes that might occur both in the importance
of different needs at different ages and in the various ef fect s that social exclusion might have on children's and
adolescents’ well‐being.
2.2 | Effects on cognitive functions
Beyond the emotional domain, social exclusion seems to influence also cognitive abilities. Whereas some stud
ies found a link between peer rejection and academic performance (Buhs & Ladd, 2001; Buhs et al., 2006), few
studies were able to provide causal evidence of the negative impact of exclusion on cognitive functioning. In one
study, Hawes et al. (2012) found that 8–13‐year‐old girls (but not boys) exposed to an ostracism condition scored
significantly lower in a working memory test than those in the inclusion condition. The authors interpreted this
gender effect either to be related to anger (girls were angrier than boys were af ter exclusion) or to the interfer
ence of rumination (girls tend to ruminate more than boys do). Another study (Tobia, Riva, & Caprin, 2017) tested
9–12‐year‐old children’s performance on a logical reasoning test after ostracism. Results revealed that, following
exclusion, children who were low in popularity, self‐esteem, and nonverbal intelligence showed poorer perfor
mances in the test than their included counterpart.
2.3 | Effects on behavior
Social exclusion also causes a wide variety of relational outcomes. One well‐known behavioral response to exclu
sion is pro‐sociality and conformism. Various studies have shown that also children as young as 4 years of age en
gage in affiliative and imitative behavior after being primed with vicarious exclusion (i.e., Song, Over, & Carpenter,
2015; Wat son‐Jones, Legare, Whitehouse, & Clegg, 2014). In ef fect, the primary function of exclusion is social
control. Social groups can use exclusion to punish individuals that undertook some deviant behavior (Williams,
2009). By engaging in prosocial and conformist behavior, the individual is communicating his/her intention to fol
low the group rules. This type of response has been considered the best‐fitting type of reaction to re‐establish the
preceding relationship. It could be useful for young children when they respond to punitive exclusion from adults,
and they will be immediately re‐included after conforming to the social norm that is required. However, this type
of response might be not so adaptive if exclusion is used in a malicious manner, to maintain some group division.
4 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
Exclusion and hostility can also be used in order to maintain the social hierarchy and boundaries in preadolescent
cliques (Adler & Adler, 1995).
Another common response to exclusion is aggression. Although it does not seem a convenient response to make
new bonding with peers, this response is frequently obser ved in children who have repeatedly been rejected (i.e.,
Asher, Rose, & Gabriel, 2001). Experimental studies also found that children and adolescents exposed to rejection
manipulation responded more aggressively than their included counterparts (Reijntjes et al., 2010; Sandstrom &
Herlan, 2007) and adolescents diminished their prosocial behavior when faced with ostracism (Coyne, Gundersen,
Nelson, & Stockdale, 2011). Although the reasons for the aggressive response could be numerous, that is, the lack
of self‐regulation or the perception of exclusion as a threat for the self (i.e., Leary, Twenge, & Quinlivan, 2006), one
study has found that the attribution of hostile intentions mediated the relationship between rejection and aggres
sion in a sample of preadolescents (Reijntjes et al., 2011). The more participants attributed hostile intention to their
perpetrator, the more they were inclined to behave aggressively. In this perspective, although aggression does not
seem the best way to deal with social exclusion, it might be a defensive reaction when the victim perceives that
exclusion is malicious and the relationship unrepairable so that pro‐sociality would only bring new threats.
The last (and least) studied behavioral response to exclusion is self‐isolation (Ren, Wesselmann, & Williams, 2016).
At sc hool, chil dren who exp erience peer reject io n in class te nd to re du ce classroom par ti ci pa ti on (Bu hs & Lad d, 2001;
Buhs et al., 2006), which in turn may affect their academic achievement. Some recent experimental studies with
adults (Ren et al., 2016) found that participants, especially those who were introverts, might choose to play alone in
a task following ostracism. This behavior might not only be the result of the motivation to avoid painful situations but
also as an opportunity to reflect upon and cope with the exclusion experience. Future studies should be carried out
to understand the motivation, so as well as the benefits and the backlashes of these behavioral effects.
2.4 | Effects on health
Although it may assume various forms, exclusion remains hurtful. The pain connected with exclusion, defined as
social pain, has been associated with the experience of physical pain (Eisenberger & Lieberman, 2004) and identi
fied as a cause of distress for the human mind (Baum, Lee, & Dougall, 2011). At the behavioral level, many studies
have confirmed chronic rejection and ostracism to be linked with depression and anxiet y among adolescents
(Abrams et al., 2011; Ladd, 2006; Pedersen et al., 20 07). In addition, neuroimaging studies investigated brain re
sponses to social pain in children and adolescents (i.e., Crowley, Wu, Molfese, & Mayes, 2010; Masten et al., 2009).
A recent meta‐analysis of fMRI studies compared age‐related neural responses to ostracism from childhood to
young adulthood (Vijayakumar, Cheng, & Pfeifer, 2017). The authors found an activation within the Anterior
Cingulate Cortex (ACC), which is considered one marker for socio‐emotional distress, the ventrolateral Prefrontal
Cortex (PFC) and lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC), involved in emotion regulation and precuneus and poste
rior cingulate cortices, that support mentalizing processes. However, children and adolescents showed different
activations in the PFC compared to young adults (ventrolateral vs. medial PFC). Moreover, only the developmen
tal sample showed activation in the ventral striatum (VS). These differences made the authors hypothesize that
children and adolescents are still developing their mechanisms of emotion regulation and coping with exclusion.
Moreover, another function that seems disrupted by social exclusion is the inhibition of impulses and the
fundamental capacit y to self‐regulate. Salvy et al. (2011) showed that overweight adolescent s ate more cookies
following an exclusion than an inclusion manipulation. Another study (Barkley, Salvy, & Roemmich, 2012) found
that 8–12‐year‐old children engaged in less physical activity following exclusion. Although the mechanisms ac
counting for the link between exclusion and self‐regulation are yet to be tested, one potential candidate is ru
mination. E xcluded people tend to linger in the elaboration of the hurtful experience; therefore, some of their
cognitive resources are already allocated in the situation that caused one's distress. One study has demonstrated
rumination to be detrimental for the recover y after exclusion (Wesselmann, Ren, Swim, & Williams, 2013). Others
studies also showed that excluded people pay more attention to social cues (i.e., distinguish between real or fake
 5 of 17
facial emotional expressions, Bernstein, Young, Brown, Sacco, & Claypool, 2008). In this perspective, the cognitive
resources of the person may be more strongly devoted to the social domain, probably in search of a re‐inclusion
or other incoming threats, consuming resources from the self‐regulatory abilities.
Being excluded can have a series of negative emotional, cognitive, and behavioral consequences. However, people
can cope with this experience alleviating its negative effects. In this section, we will focus on coping strategies for
experiences of exclusion. According to Williams model (2009), coping strategies generally intervene in the window
between the reflexive and the reflec tive stage. After the first painful response (i.e., reflexive stage), victims of
exclusion start to deal with it, coping strategies might be used, and their efficacy would emerge in the reflective
stage in terms of faster emotional and needs threat recovery or reduced negative and maladaptive responses.
Only recently researchers have started to experimentally investigate the efficacy of these strategies (Riva,
2016; Timeo et al., 2019). Studies have been especially carried out in the adult population (for a review see Timeo
et al., 2019); rarely does research focus on children and adolescents. Past developmental research on peer exclu
sion and rejection has in fact mainly focused on inter ventions that prevent or diminish the occurrence of exclusion
for children and adolescents. These interventions typically act on the context (i.e., classroom climate, Mikami,
Boucher, & Humphreys, 2005) or on the individual's abilities of victims of exclusion (i.e., development of social
skills; Bierman et al., 1987) and are ultimately designed to remove the antecedents of exclusion. Dif ferently, cop
ing strategies refer to the—spontaneous or intentional—psychological process that children and adolescents can
use to cope with exclusion when it has occurred. The few studies conducted with children and adolescents repre
sent an important omission, given the greater psychological impact of social exclusion on developmental samples
(Abrams et al., 2011) and the immaturity of their emotion regulation abilities (Baumeister, DeWall, Ciarocco, &
Twenge, 2005). In addition, nowadays, sources of exclusion have multiplied, as children and adolescents are ex
posed to many social contexts besides their family and friends (i.e., classes, spor ts team, and extra‐school groups),
both in the real and in the virtual world (Allen, Ryan, Gray, McInerney, & Waters, 2014).
Given the rare studies on children and adolescents, we rely on a theoretical classification recently proposed
as organizing framework for the results emerging on adults (Timeo, Riva, & Paladino, 2019). Coping strategies we
will discuss are grouped into two categories—the “Changing perspective strategies” and the “Strategies to restore
the threatened needs”—based on the different perspectives they take with respect to the exclusion situation. The
Changing perspective strategies are cognitive approaches that help victims to reinterpret exclusion, to put it into
a broader perspective or to change their beliefs about the meaning and effects of this experience. Strategies to
restore the threatened needs aim at reinforcing the self and are intended to make the person stronger, more self
confident, to deal with different social and personal challenges. Here, we make a parallel between the use of these
strategies in the adult population and the possible application with children and adolescents. We are aware of the
fact that models of adult cognition and emotional world cannot simply be translated to those of children and ad‐
olescent s. Some psychological strategies used successfully with adults may not be appropriate for the developing
mind. In this respect, when a coping strateg y has not been tested with children or adolescents in the context of
exclusion yet, we present studies that tested the efficacy of the same strategy to cope with similar negative events
in developmental populations (i.e., peer victimization, stressful events).
3.1 | Changing perspective strategies
In this category are listed all the strategies that make the victim think differently about the situation. They act in
different ways by helping the victim to detach him/herself from the threat and relativize it s importance (detached
6 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
perspective), by finding positive aspec ts in the negative event (positive reappraisal), acknowledging the flowing of
the experiences and accepting that, sometimes, bad things can happen (mindfulness) and redirecting attention to
less negative things (refocusing).
3.1.1| Detached perspective
Putting a negative event into perspective helps to downsize its seriousness by emphasizing the relativity of its
effects and comparing one's own experience to one of others. For instance, in a social psychological intervention
on freshman universit y students, research helped participants to reflect upon the difficulties of the first year of
college. In the intervention, older student s told participants that they had experienced the same problems and
fears, but, that, in the end, they overcame the situation, and things started to get better (Walton & Cohen, 2011).
Another way of putting the situation into perspective is self‐distancing, which consists of looking at one's own
experience by taking the perspective of an external obser ver. By distancing, people reframe the negative situation
with less emotional arousal, because self‐protection mechanisms are less involved, and they can give a rational
meaning and closure to the event. In effect, with adults, self‐distancing has shown positive effects when coping
with negative experiences (Kross, Ayduk, & Mischel, 20 05).
In the context of social exclusion no studies have tested self‐distancing strategies, neither with children nor
with adults. However, studies on coping with negative events have found that when children and adolescents
recall an unpleasant situation from a self‐distanced perspec tive, they recall less “hot” emotional cues than when
they recall it from a self‐immersed perspective. This reconstruction allowed them to blame the other person less
and to react less emotionally (Kross, Duckworth, Ayduk, Tsukayama, & Mischel, 2011; White, Kross, & Duckworth,
2015). Another experimental study with children, adolescents, and young adults have shown that negative affect
was diminished when distancing from than when immersing with negative stimuli (Silvers et al., 2012). Moreover,
a recent study found that self‐distancing improves executive functioning and t ask persistence in a group of pre‐
school children (White & Carlson, 2016).
To test whether self‐distancing might also help children and adolescents to cope against the negative ef
fects of social exclusion, we conducted a study on 106 preadolescents (Mage = 12.05 years). We manipulated
the exclusion condition through the number of “likes” participants received on their profile ( Wolf et al., 2015),
so that in the inclusion condition participants receive a number of “likes” comparable to other profiles, while
in the exclusion condition they receive only one “like.” The self‐distancing strategy was implemented using the
thi rd‐pe rs on p er spective (e.g. , se e Wh ite & Ca rlson, 2016), so that par ti cipants in the self‐dis tanc ing con dition
were asked to write down their exclusion experience using the third‐person perspective, while participants in
the self‐immersion condition were asked to use a first‐person perspective and to focus on their emotions and
feelings. Finally, participants in th e control condition were asked to write down present‐mome nt th oughts. An
analysis of the text writ ten by the participants showed that only 11 of 25 par ticipants in the self‐distancing
condition cou ld follow the instructions and used the third‐person per spe ctive to recall their expe rience, while
the rest used the first‐person perspective. However, adolescents that were able to use the third‐person per
spective showed a greater recovery of the depleted needs than those in control, and marginally than those in
the immersion condition.
This study is a first attempt to test the efficacy of a self‐distancing strategy to cope against social exclusion in
a cohort of preadolescents. Although there is limited power, results seem to suggest this strategy may be effective
in restoring the depleted need satisfaction after an episode of exclusion (belong, self‐esteem, control, and mean
ingful existence), at least for some children. However, this study also sheds light on a possible obstacle of using this
cognitive emotion‐regulation strategy with children and adolescents, namely the maturation of cognitive abilities.
In effect, our sample of preadolescents struggled in following the self‐distancing instruction, so that less than a
half managed to use it. Because during the entire adolescence, people are still developing their regulation abilities
(Silvers et al., 2012), they may not be able to implement some of these cognitive strategies successfully.
 7 of 17
3.1. 2 | Positive reappraisal
Positive reappraisal is an emotion regulation strategy that consists of reframing a negative situation in positive
terms, as an occasion of learning and personal growth (Gross, 1998). In the context of social exclusion, some stud
ies with adults have proved positive reappraisal to reduce aggressiveness af ter exclusion (Poon & Chen, 2016;
Sethi, Moulds, & Richardson, 2013). For children and adolescents, some studies have focused on the implicit
theory of personality and mindset as buffers against the effects of exclusion (Yeager, Trzesniewski, & Dweck,
2013; Yeager, Trzesniewski, Tirri, Nokelainen, & Dweck, 2011). Specifically, researchers have compared the en
tity theory of personality, which states that personality is a stable attribute that cannot be changed, against the
incremental theory of personality, which is open to the possibilit y that personal characteristics can be changed.
Results showed that adolescents with an increment al theory of personality showed less desire for vengeance after
a recalled peer conflict than those with and entity theory (Yeager et al., 2011). Most importantly, results showed
that this perspective might be taught (positive reappraisal), so that, after inducing a belief of incremental theory,
adolescents showed less aggressive responses after exclusion (Yeager et al., 2011).
Other studies have found a correlation between less use of positive reappraisal with internalizing problems
like depression and anxiety disorders (Carthy, Horesh, Apter, Edge, & Gross, 2010; Garnefski, Rieffe, Jellesma,
Terwogt, & Kraaij, 2007; Legerstee, Garnefski, Jellesma, Verhulst, & Utens, 2010). At the experimental level, one
study with adolescents has compared the efficacy of different types of emotion regulation strategies (positive
reappraisal, mindful acceptance, distancing, and rumination) to cope against a general stressful situation (Rood,
Roelofs, Bögels, & Arntz, 2012). Positive reappraisal has shown the largest effect in increasing positive affect
and decreasing negative affect, when thinking about a recent stressful situation. Moreover, cognitive reappraisal
seems to be linked with cognitive performance. A study showed that children who were taught reappraisal tech
niques reported attenuated emotional processing and displayed better memory for educational material (Davis
& Levine, 2013). Overall, positive reappraisal can be a beneficial technique to train children and adolescents to
cope with social exclusion. High levels of reappraisal have been linked with adaptive regulation capabilities; these
abilities are still emerging through childhood and adolescence (Silvers et al., 2012) and may then be improved
with training. However, studies involving mindset have shown that already at younger age children may be taught
positive reappraisal techniques (Schroder et al., 2017).
3.1.3 | Mindfulness
Mindfulness has been defined as the “awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the pre
sent moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” (Kabat‐Zinn, 20 03). The
two core elements of this approach are focused attention on the present moment and acceptance of the events
and thoughts without judgment. On one side, focused attention consists of being aware of the present moment
(i.e., focusing attention on the breath; Germer, 2005). On the other side, acceptance consists of welcoming any
situation or feeling that occurs, without judgment, recognizing that not ever y experience can be pleasant and
positive (Germer, 2005).
In the context of exclusion, some studies with adult s and college students investigated the effects of brief
mindfulness training (Chan, 2012; Heppner, 2005; Molet, Macquet, Lefebvre, & Williams, 2013) finding promising
results of this strategy in diminishing negative emotions and fostering recovery after rejection. Moreover, other
studies have found trait mindfulness (Jones, Wirth, Ramsey, & Wynsma, 2019) and mindfulness‐based inter ven
tion (Ramsey & Jones, 2015) to reduce the propensity to commit ostracism.
A mindfulness‐based strategy has never been studied in the context of social exclusion with children and
adolescents. However, various studies with children and adolescents have highlighted beneficial effects of mind
fulness on stress resilience, anxiety, depression and cognitive performance (for a review see, Zenner, Herrnleben‐
Kurz, & Walach, 2014). In this perspective, if young populations learn to accept exclusion as one of the possible
8 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
negative (but common) interactions that they might encounter during their days, they will not charge this episode
with much anxiety, but they will instead focus their attention on their subsequent experience. This, in turn, may
lead to a bet ter recover y from this stressful situation.
3.1.4 | Refocusing
Refocusing or distraction consists of turning the at tention away from the unpleasant situation into something
less negative. Among other types, positive refocusing specifically guides attention toward positive thought s and
is considered a cognitive emotion‐regulation strategy (Garnefski, Kraaij, & Spinhoven, 2001). This type of strat
egy can be compared with the opposite response that is rumination, which consists of overthinking the negative
experience (Garnefski et al., 20 04). Rumination is considered a negative strategy to cope with as it does not allow
the person to move forward the negative situation. In effect, rumination has been linked to internalizing problems
in adolescents (Li, DiGiuseppe, & Froh, 2006). On the other side, refocusing has revealed promising result s in
controlling physical pain. For example, children who were distracted during a blood draw repor ted significantly
less pain and anxiety than the control group (Inal & Kelleci, 2012). In the field of social exclusion, few stud
ies have tested the effects of refocusing only with adults. Findings have shown this strategy to reduce distress
after exclusion more than rumination (Wesselmann et al., 2013) and similarly to self‐affirmation strategy (Hales,
Wesselmann, & Williams, 2016).
Children and adolescents may probably use refocusing more easily than other cognitive strategies (i.e., de
tached perspective or reappraisal) as it probably requires less cognitive ef fort. In effect, they already use refo
cusing when they play video games, go chatting on social networks, or watch T V, after having a bad day at school.
However, some authors have questioned the ef fectiveness of refocusing in the long term (i.e., Linehan, 1993). If a
chi ld gets a bad grade or ha s been dero gated at sc hool, wou ld it be usef ul to play video games? Pro bably at th e be
ginning, this would help to cool down the child's arousal. However, also, in this case, a study showed that excluded
people tend to choose aggressive video games after exclusion and that this choice fosters their aggressiveness
toward their perpetrators (Gabbiadini & Riva, 2018). Refocusing in the long term would likely not allow children
to deal with the situation, to learn how to cope with their negative feelings, and, most importantly, to engage in
behaviors that could improve their relationships.
In the end, refocusing might be easy to implement in the first phases after exclusion has occurred, as a tempo
rary measure, and it may probably work bet ter when exclusion occurs sporadically.
3.2 | Strategies to restore the threatened needs
Social exclusion is a direct threat to the self. In effect, exclusion threats individual fundamental needs such as self‐
esteem, belong, control, and meaningful existence (Williams, 2009). When a threat to the self is perceived, ways
to cope with it include reaffirming one's value or dismiss the source of the threat (self‐affirmation or derogation of
the perpetrators), thinking about other positive interpersonal or idealistic realationships (reminders of social bonds
or surrogates), and reaffirming one's own control or power over the situation.
3.2.1 | Self‐affirmation and derogation of the perpetrators
Self‐affirmation consists of reminding oneself values and positive characteristics (Steele, 1999). In the context of
social exclusion, self‐affirmation strategies have been used in the adult population with promising results (Burson,
Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012; Hales et al., 2016). For children and adolescents, to our knowledge, only one
study has indirectly implemented a strategy connected to self‐affirmation against exclusion (Baldwin, Baccus, &
Milyavskaya, 2010). In their experiment, the authors used a conditioning intervention. In a computer‐like game,
participants saw names connected to the self (i.e., “I” or “me”) or other self‐irrelevant names (i.e., unfamiliar
 9 of 17
names). When participant s clicked on names, a face appeared. The face could be smiling, frowning, or neutral. In
the positive condition, smiling faces were only paired with self‐relevant words. In the control condition, smiling
faces were randomly paired with self‐relevant or irrelevant words. Participants were then presented with a rejec‐
tion scenario (a person does not want the participant to sit next to them), and their aggressive intentions were
collected. Participant s in the positive condition were less likely to behave aggressively toward the perpetrator
than their control counterparts, especially those with low self‐esteem.
Other studies have used self‐affirmation with minorit y groups at school. Students of these minorities often
experience threats to their identit y because of negative stereotypes connected with their group. This stereo
type threat has negative consequences on their school achievement. Latino‐American (Sherman et al., 2013) and
African‐American stu dents (Cohen, Garcia, Apfel, & Master, 200 6) who followed a regular self‐af firmation assign
ment achieved higher grades than their control counterpar ts did. In this perspe ctive, authors believe self‐affirma
tion to be an ef fective strategy against identity threat in childhood and adolescence. Effects of self‐affirmation
lasted after 3 years in the Latino group (Sherman et al., 2013).
On the opposite, but complementary side, of self‐affirmation, there is the derogation of the perpetrators.
This strategy consists of diminishing the value of a personal threat (Murray, Rose, Bellavia, Holmes, & Kusche,
2002), and it is a spontaneous reaction used by people to defend themselves from negative feedbacks. For
example, studies showed that when participants scored poorly on a task, they subsequently rated the task
as less satisf ying and accurate (Eagly, 1967; Korman, 1968). Moreover, when participants received negative
feedback from an external evaluator, they thought s/he knew them less well than par ticipants receiving pos
itive feedback (Shrauger & Lund, 1975). Bourgeois and Leary (2001) extended these results to the context of
exclusion, by showing that rejected participant s derogated the other person more than the included counter
parts did. However, derogation can be thought as an impulsive reaction to protect the person's self‐esteem.
In ef fect, one study has shown that the use of derogation was predicted by increased cortisol levels after a
rejection episode (Ford & Collins, 2010). This neuroendocrine component is part of the physiological stress
response of the body and has been connected to the perception of a social threat to the self (Dickerson &
Kemeny, 2004).
In the context of children and preadolescents, it might be investigated if the spontaneous use of this strategy
helps people to maintain a positive mood and need satisfaction after social exclusion, thus preserving their devel
oping personalit y from external threats.
3.2.2 | Reminders of social bonds or surrogates
Reminders of social bonds help people to focus on positive social relationships (i.e., a friend or a family member). In
adults, the use of a social bond strategy after being excluded, made them behave less aggressively (Twenge et al.,
2007) and maintain a good level of need satisfaction (McConnell, Brown, Shoda, Stayton, & Martin, 2011). Social
surrogates consist of thinking of an imagined relationship either with a person (i.e., a famous figure) or with a more
abstract entit y (i.e., nature, God). These figures rely on the same mechanisms of social bonds, although they gen
erally have weaker efficacy in recovering from exclusion (Twenge et al., 2007), likely as they are only substituting
for real human interactions.
Despite the interest in the adult research, to our knowledge, these strategies have not been tested in the
context of social exclusion with children and adolescents. However, studies have shown the impor tance of social
bonds for mental and physical health in the developing populations. In fact, social bonds were negatively related
to low self‐control (McConnell et al., 2011) and negatively related to delinquency (Longshore, Chang, Hsieh, &
Messina, 2004). Moreover, poor school connectedness has been linked to more anxiety and depression symptoms
and substance use (Li, 200 4). Finally, studies on imaginar y friends also showed that these entities are created to
satisfy a need for companionship and acceptances in lonely children (Gleason, Sebanc, & Hartup, 2000; Taylor,
10 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
3.2.3 | Control and power
This strateg y helps to restore the sense of control people feel to have on events, which has been threatened by so
cial exclusion. In effect, a meta‐analysis has shown that the more excluded people feel they have lost their control,
the more they prefer to behave aggressively (Gerber & Wheeler, 2009). For the adult population, strategies aiming
at restoring the sense of control or power, as priming powerful positions (Kuehn, Chen, & Gordon, 2015; Schoel,
Eck, & Greifeneder, 2014), using money as a symbol of high status (Lelieveld, Moor, Crone, Karremans, & Beest,
2013; Zhou, Vohs, & Baumeister, 20 09) or even thinking of being physically invulnerable (Huang, Ackerman, &
Bargh, 2013) have shown positive effects in recovering from exclusion.
Social power in the form of social dominance or popularity may be prominent for children and adolescents as
well. In effect, at least since elementary school, children form status hierarchies in class, and high popularit y has
been linked to more aggression (Cillessen & Mayeux, 20 04; Vaillancourt & Hymel, 20 06). Moreover, maintaining
a dominant st atus might be one reason for peer victimization (see, Smart, Richman, & Leary, 2009). In the context
of exclusion, a recent study (Tobia et al., 2017) showed that only unpopular children suffered a reduction of cog
nitive performance after ostracism. Moreover, there might be a plausible relation between power and exclusion,
with children in a powerless situation being more excluded. Finally, since the loss of control seems to produce
aggressive behavior, children who find themselves in a powerless situation may use more aggression, thus being
rejected. Overall, acting on the sense of power and control may help to break this vicious circle, thus lessening the
negative impact of social exclusion.
The goal of this article was twofold: provide an overview of the studies experimentally testing the consequences
of exclusion on children and adolescents and present a new perspective on how to cope with its negative effects.
In fact, exclusion has proven to be a pervasive and yet hur tful form of interaction, which may provoke even long‐
lasting maladjustment during the development (Abrams et al., 2011; Ladd, 2006). In the first part, we reviewed
experimental evidence indicating exclusion to affect various areas of young people's life with consequences on
psychological well‐being, cognition, brain, health, and behavior. In the present review, we did not take into account
the role of the context of the exclusionary event. This limitation mirrors the state of art of the research in social
exclusion. Only recently studies have started to acknowledge that the situation matters as children take several
variables into account (e.g., setting of the event—school vs. peers; criteria of the exclusion—socioeconomic status,
geographical location, religion) when reasoning on social exclusion (Alsamih & Tenenbaum, 2018; Tenenbaum,
Leman, Aznar, Duthie, & Killen, 2018). To the best of our knowledge, these studies, however, have mostly focused
on the social acceptability (from an external perspective) rather than on the emotional and health consequences
of being excluded. Future research is thus needed to empirically establish the role of the social context in the tar‐
get's consequences and the strategies to help the victim to overcome these negative effects. These studies would
contribute to bridge eventual gap between lab and the real‐life exclusion.
In the second part, moving from a reflection started elsewhere in adult populations (Timeo et al., 2019), we
considered different approaches for children and adolescents to cope with episodes of social exclusion. Although
well‐est ablished lines of research have for long examined programs to help prevent or diminish experiences of
exclusion for children and adolescents (Bierman et al., 1987; Mikami et al., 2005), to date, ver y few studies have
investigated strategies to help them cope with the negative effects derived from it. Examining the current litera‐
ture, we became aware of the noticeable lack of studies regarding this topic. To find some starting point for future
investigations, we relied mostly on strategies investigated in adult research on social exclusion (with sporadic hints
to developmental studies). Among these strategies, we identified some underlying common thread that unified
coping mechanisms based on their approach to the negative situation. On one side, there are Changing perspective
 11 of 17
strategies that help victims to change their perspective toward exclusion. This approach helps people to focus
more on the specific episode and to acknowledge the fact that ever y person can experience daily both positive
and negative interactions. By taking this perspective, people perceive the situation as less threatening, and this
lowers the intensity of the experience of social exclusion. Such cognitive emotion regulation may, in turn, favor
a response to functionally deal with this situation. For example, depending on the gravity and importance of the
relationship, a person may decide to let go or to face the perpetrator ( Tang & Richardson, 2013). Anyway, these
strategies diminish the probabilities of overreactions. The Changing perspective strategies include looking at the
episode from a broader perspective (detached perspective), framing it in a more positive way (positive reappraisal),
focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment (mindfulness), or turning at tention from the
negative event to something more positive (refocusing).
On the other side, there are Strategies to restore the threatened needs that aim at reinforcing the self, to whom
value has been threatened by social exclusion. In this perspective, the victim concentrates on his/her inner feel
ings and reactions toward the threat received, rather than analyzing the external situation. These strategies in
clude focusing on one's positive aspects or lessen those of the perpetrator (self‐affirmation and derogation of the
perpetrators), remembering real or imagined positive social relationship (social bonds and social surrogates), and
increase one's power or control.
For children and adolescents, the use of these strategies can have both positive and negative sides. The
Strategies to restore the threatened needs can help children and adolescents to preserve a positive image of them
selves, then maintain good self‐esteem and self‐efficacy in the social domain, which are fundamental ingredients
for developing psychological well‐being. Moreover, these strategies (e.g., thinking of a friend or counting down
some positive characteristics of oneself) do not seem to require much cognitive effor t to be used, which makes
them easily suitable for the implementation at school and in other educational contexts. Most importantly, as
shown by Abrams (2011), social exclusion threatens self‐esteem to a greater extent in children than adolescents
or adu lt s. In this pe rs pe cti ve , se lf‐af fi rmation or so cial bon ds cou ld be par ti cu la rly helpf ul str ateg ie s for children to
cope with social exclusion. Moreover, as they are specifically meant to repair the needs threatened by exclusion,
they can be especially effective in addressing the effects of this negative social than other events (i.e., social bonds
specifically fulfill the need to belong, which is particularly threatened when ignored or rejected).
However, these strategies could foster the never‐ending competition for receiving others’ attention and being
popular among peers. Specifically, some of these strategies may even produce more hostility in the relationship,
as in the case of derogation of the perpetrator and search for power.
The Changing perspective strategies can be used to cool down these antagonist relationships by letting go some of
the negativity recei ved . These can be con sidered a higher form of cop ing as they promote metacognition and self‐re
flec tion instead of compensating reactions. However, these str ategies might be harder to implement, as they require
the use of high‐order cognitive abilities, which may be not fully organized in the developing mind. In addition, our
explorator y study, testing the efficacy of a detached perspective, has provided some evidence of problematic use of
this strategy with a group of preadolescents (12 years old), with less than a half of the participants being able to use
this strategy. Although the Changing perspective strategies may produce stronger and long‐lasting beneficial effects,
their implementation appears more dif ficult than the other group of strategies. In this perspective, we can speculate
that only older adolescents, who have developed higher level metacognitive abilities, could apply these strategies.
However, these types of strategies can also be simplified so as to teach children and preadolescents population
how to apply them in everyday situations. For example, White and collaborators (2015) attached a sticker with the
first name of the child on the computer where s/he was performing the task. In this way, they succeeded in making
young children (4‐ and 6 year olds) to refer to themselves in the third person, a well‐known self‐distancing strategy.
In this sense, practitioners can ground the basic principles of a psychological strategy into more comprehensible
tasks. However, we think these strategies require time and training to be employed, so they cannot serve as an ex
temporary solution to an unexpected situation. Children, who are completely not used to adopting such strategies
in arousing situations, would find it hard to adopt them when excluded. Moreover, this cluster of strategy appears
12 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
to be useful with a broader range of negative situations. In our view, Changing perspective strategies may be seen as
a psychological toolkit to overcome adversities and they could become a generalized st yle of response to negative
events. In this perspective, as social exclusion is considered one of the most hurtful social threats, we suggest these
domain general strategies to be effective in reducing its negative effects.
A separate mention should be made for the refocusing strategy that seems to work without much effort. In
effect, even though an adult can help children to shift attention, children often and spontaneously use distraction
(i.e., play or go to another place). However, as for strategies that do not need cognitive restructuring, its benefits
may be limited. Moreover, it might be appropriate only when exclusion is sporadic than prolonged and comes from
distant than close people.
All the strategies presented in the review are meant to be used by the victim of exclusion as a way of coping
with these unpleasant, but frequent situations. However, especially when talking about children or adolescents,
it is important to note that adult people around them (i.e., parents, educators, teachers) play a key role in guiding
emotional regulation and relational adjustment. External social support seems to bring some relief after exclusion
has occurred. For example, re‐inclusion in a Cyberball game has shown to have ameliorative ef fect s (Edmond &
Keefe, 2015; Zwolinski, 2014). Moreover, having a friendly conversation with an experimenter after an exclusion
episode has proven to reduce aggression (Dickerson & Kemeny, 2004). However, re‐inclusion does not seem
protective against subsequent episodes of exclusion (Zwolinski, 2014), and its positive effects do not seem to
last long (Edmond & Keefe, 2015). Another strategy that external supporters may use is to validate the emotional
experience of the victim. This technique consists of openly listening to what the other person is feeling and to
communicate comprehension to his/her sensations and thoughts. Emotion validation has shown promising result s
in the treatment of chronic physical pain (Killen, Rutland, & Jampol, 2009). Because social exclusion is often unno
ticed, it may be difficult for the person even to express his/her distress. This strategy may help the victim to feel
accepted without judgment.
Overall, also other people can use strategies to help the victim to recover quickly from social exclusion. These
strategies however always require the action of another person to be pursued. Therefore, they may provoke a
condition of dependence for the victim. This could be useful as it helps children to learn how to cope with negative
events by themselves. However, in the long term, it could diminish children's sense of control and power.
Social exclusion is a pervasive and detrimental phenomenon that may have costly effects on the development of
positive relationships and personality, especially during childhood and adolescence (Abrams et al., 2011; Pedersen
et al., 2007). Although the effects of exclusion are well documented, its importance is still undervalued in the
school context. Moreover, although some research has focused on the negative effects of exclusion in the devel
opmental population, only few research has been carried out on the coping strategies that may contrast its nega
tive outcomes. In this ar ticle, we revised coping strategies that have shown some beneficial effects with adult s,
children, or adolescents in the field of social exclusion or closer domains. We urge future studies to bridge this gap
in the literature, giving new insight for both researchers and practitioners.
This work was supported by a grant from CARITRO (2583/16).
Paolo Riva‐0002‐9855‐994X
 13 of 17
Abrams, D., Weick, M., Thomas, D., Colbe, H., & Franklin, K. M. (2011). On‐line ostr acism affects children differently from
adolescents and adults . British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29(1), 110–123. https :// /10.1348/02615
1010X 494089
Adler, P. A., & Adler, P. (1995). Dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in preadolescent cliques. Social Psychology Quarterly,
58(3), 18–31. https ://
Allen, K. A., Ryan, T., Gray, D. L ., McInerney, D. M ., & Waters, L. (2014). Social media use and social connectedness in
adolescents: The positives and the potential pitfalls. The Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 31(1), 18–31.
https ://
Alsamih, M., & Tenenbaum, H. R. (2018). Saudi Arabian children's reasoning about religion‐based exclusion. British Jour nal
of Developmental Psychology, 36(3), 508–513. https ://
Asher, S. R., & Coie, J. D. (Eds.). (1990). Peer rejection in childhood. Cambridge: Cambridge Univer sity Press.
Asher, S. R., Rose, A . J., & Gabriel, S. W. (2001). Peer rejection in everyday life. Interpersonal Rejection, 105–142.
Baldwin, M. W., Baccus, J. R., & Milyavskaya, M. (2010). Computer game associating self‐concept to images of acceptance
can reduce adolescents' ag gressiveness in re sponse to social rejection . Cognition and Emotion, 24(5), 855–862. https
:// 93090 2884386
Barkley, J. E., Salvy, S. J., & Roemmich, J. N. (2012). The effect of simulated ostracism on physical ac tivity behavior in
children. Pediatrics, 129(3), e659–e666. https :// 2011‐0496
Baum, A ., Lee, C ., & Dougall, A. (2011). Social stressors, social pain and health. In G. Donald & L. Jensen‐C ampbell (Eds.).
Social pain‐neuropsychiological and health implications of loss and exclusion (pp. 193–215). Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association.
Baumeis ter, R. F., DeWall, C. N., Ciarocco, N. J., & Twenge, J. M. (2005). Social exclusion impairs self‐regulation. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 88(4), 589–604. https ://‐3514.88.4.589
Baumeis ter, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human
motivation. Psychological bulletin, 117(3), 497.
Bernstein, M . J., Young, S. G., Brown , C. M., Sacco, D. F., & Claypool, H. M. (2008). Adaptive responses to social exclu
sion: Social rejection improves detection of real and fake smiles. Psychological Science, 19(10), 981–983. ht tps ://doi.
org /10.1111/j.1467‐9280. 20 08.0 2187.x
Bierman, K . L., Miller, C. L., & Stabb, S. D. (1987). Improving the social behavior and peer acceptance of rejected boys:
Effects of social skill training with instructions and prohibitions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(2),
194–20 0. htt ps :// /10.1037/0 022‐0 06X .55.2 .194
Bourgeois, K. S ., & Leary, M. R. (2001). Coping with rejection: Derogating those who choose us last. Motivation and
Emotion, 25(2), 101–111.
Buhs, E. S ., & Ladd, G. W. (2001). Peer rejection as antecedent of young children's school adjustment: An examination of
mediating processes. Developmental Psychology, 37(4), 550–560. ht tps ://‐1649.37.4.550
Buhs, E. S., Ladd, G. W., & Herald, S. L. (2006). Peer exclusion and victimization: Processes that mediate the relation be
tween peer group rejection and children's classroom engagement and achievement? Journal of Educational Psychology,
98(1), 1–13. https ://‐0663.98.1.1
Burson, A ., Crocker, J., & Mischkowski, D. (2012). Two t ypes of value‐af firmation: Implications for self‐control follow
ing social exclusion. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(4), 510–516. http s ://doi. org /10.117 7/19485 50 611
Cart hy, T., Horesh, N., Apter, A., Edge, M. D., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Emotional reactivity and cognitive regulation in anxious
children. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(5), 384–393. https :// 09.12.013
Chan, T. Y. A. (2012). Can Brief Mindfulness Training Reduce Ostracism's Psychological Damage? (Doctoral dissertation,
Chinese University of Hong Kong).
Cillessen, A. H., & Mayeux, L. (2004). From censure to reinforcement: Developmental changes in the association between
aggression and social status. Child Development, 75(1), 147163. https ://‐8624.2004.00660.x
Cohen, G. L., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., & Master, A. (2006). Reducing the racial achievement gap: A social‐psychological inter
vention. Science, 313(5791), 1307–1310. https :// ce.1128317
Coyne, S. M., Gundersen, N., Nelson, D. A ., & Stockdale, L. (2011). Adolescents' prosocial responses to ostracism: An ex
perimental study. The Journal of Soc ial Psychology, 151(5), 657–661. https ://doi.or g/10.10 80/0 0224 545.2 010.522625
Crowley, M. J., Wu, J., Molfese, P. J., & Mayes, L. C. (2010). Social exclusion in middle childhood: Rejection events, slow‐
wave neural activity, and ostracism distress. Social Neuroscience, 5(5–6), 483–495. ht tps ://doi.o rg/10.1080/17470
919.2010.50 0169
Davis, E. L., & Levine, L. J. (2013). Emotion regulation strategies that promote learning: Reappraisal en
hances children’s memory for educational information. Child Development, 84(1) , 361–3 74. h tt ps ://do i.
org /10.1111/j.1467‐8624. 201 2.0183 6.x
14 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
Dickerson, S. S., & Kemeny, M. E. (2004). Acute stressors and cortisol responses: A theoretical integration and synthesis
of laboratory research. Psychological Bulletin, 130(3), 355–391. https ://‐2909.130.3.355
Eagly, A. H. (1967). Involvement as a derterminant of response to f avorable and unfavorable information. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 7(3p2), 1–15. https ://
Edmond, S. N., & Keefe, F. J. (2015). Validating pain communication: Current state of the science. Pain, 156(2), 215–219.
https :// 004 60301.18207.c2
Eisenberger, N. I., & Lieberman, M. D. (2004). Why rejection hurts: A common neural alarm system for physic al and social
pain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(7), 294–300. https ://
Ford, M. B., & Collins, N. L. (2010). Self‐esteem moderates neuroendocrine and psychological responses to interpersonal
rejection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(3), 405–419. https :// /10.1037/a0017345
Gabbiadini, A., & Riva, P. (2018). The lone gamer: Social exclusion predicts violent video game preferences and fuels
aggressive inclinations in adolescent players. Aggressive Behavior, 44(2), 113–124. https ://
Garnefski, N., Kraaij, V., & Spinhoven, P. (2001). Negative life events, cognitive emotion regulation and emotional prob
lems. Personality and Individual Differences, 30(8), 1311–1327. https ://‐8869(00) 00113‐6
Ga rne fsk i, N. , Rie f fe, C. , Jel les ma, F., Ter wo gt , M. M ., & Kr aai j, V. (2 007 ). Co gni tiv e emo t io n reg ula t io n str ate gie s and em o
tional problems in 9–11‐year‐old children. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 16(1), 1–9. https ://
Garnefski, N., Teerds , J., Kraaij, V., Legerstee, J., & van Den Kommer, T. (2004). Cognitive emotion regulation strate
gies and depressive symptoms: Differences between males and females. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(2),
267–276. https ://‐8869(03)00083‐7
Gazelle, H., & Ladd, G. W. (2003). Anxious solitude and peer exclusion: A diathesis–stress model of internalizing trajec to
ries in childhood. Child Development, 74(1), 257–278. https ://‐8624.00534
Gerber, J., & Wheeler, L. (2009). On being rejected: A meta‐analysis of experimental research on rejection. Perspectives
on Psychological Science, 4(5), 468–488. ht tps ://‐6924.2009.01158.x
Germer, C. K. (2005). Teaching mindfulness in therapy. Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, 1(2), 113–129.
Gleason, T. R., Sebanc , A. M., & Hartup, W. W. (2000). Imaginar y companions of preschool children. Developmental
Psychology, 36(4), 419. https ://‐1649.36.4.419
Gross, J. J. (1998). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2(3),
271–299. https ://doi.or g/10.10 37/1089‐268
Hales, A . H., Wesselmann, E. D., & Williams, K. D. (2016). Prayer, self‐aff irmation, and distraction improve recovery from
short‐term ostracism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 64, 8–20. https ://
Harlow, H. F. (1958). The nature of love. American Psychologist, 13(12), 673–685. https ://
Hawes, D. J., Zadro, L., Fink , E., Richardson, R., O'Moore, K., G riffiths, B., … Williams, K. D. (2012). The effects of peer
ostracism on children's cognitive processes. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9(5), 599–613. ht tps ://doi.
org /10.10 80/174 05 629.2011.63 8815
Heppner, W. L. (2005). Effects of mindfulness on aggression following social rejection (Doctor al disser tation. uga).
Huang, J. Y., Ackerman, J. M., & Bargh, J. A. (2013). Super man to the rescue: Simulating physical invulnerability atten
uates exclusion‐related interpersonal biases. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(3), 349–354. https ://doi.
org /10.1016/j.jesp. 2012.12.007
Inal, S., & Kelleci, M. (2012). Distracting children during blood draw: Looking through distraction cards is effective
in pain relief of children during blood draw. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18( 2) , 210 –219. ht tps ://d oi .
org /10.1111/j.144 0‐172 X. 2012.02016.x
Jones, E. E., Wirth, J. H., Ramsey, A. T., & Wynsma, R. L. (2019). Who Is Less Likely to Ostracize? Higher Trait Mindfulness
Predicts More Inclusionary Behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(1), 105–119. https ://doi.
o r g / 1 0 . 1 1 7 7 / 0 1 4 6 1 6 7 2 1 8 7 8 0 6 9 8
Kabat‐Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness‐based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science
and Practice, 10(2), 144–156. https ://
Killen, M., Rutland, A ., & Jampol, N. S. (2009). Social exclusion in childhood and adolescence. Handbook of Peer
Interac tions, Relationships, and Groups, 249–266.
Korman, A. K. (1968). Task success, task popularity, and self‐esteem as influences on task liking. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 52(6p1), 484–490. https ://
K r o s s , E . , A y d u k, O . , & M i s c h e l, W. ( 2 0 05 ). W h e n a sk i n g “ w hy ” d o e s n ot h u r t di s t in g u i s h i ng r u m i n a t i o n f r o m r e fl e c t i v e p r o c e s s
ing of negative emotions. Psychological Science, 16(9), 709–715. https ://‐9280.20 05.01600.x
Kross, E., Duckwor th, A., Ayduk, O., Tsukayama, E., & Mischel, W. (2011). The effect of self‐distancing on adaptive versus
maladaptive self‐reflection in children. Emotion, 11(5), 1032–1039. https ://
Kuehn, M. M., Chen, S., & Gordon, A. M. (2015). Having a thicker skin: Social power buffers the negative ef fect s of social
rejection. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(6), 701–709. ht tps ://doi.o rg/10.1177/19485 50615 580170
 15 of 17
Ladd, G. W. (20 06). Peer rejection, aggressive or withdrawn behavior, and psychological maladjustment from
ages 5 to 12: An examination of four predictive models. Child Development, 77(4), 822–846. https ://doi.
org /10.1111/j.1467‐8624. 20 06.0 0905.x
Leary, M. R., Twenge, J. M., & Quinlivan, E. (2006). Interpersonal rejection as a determinant of anger and aggression.
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10 ( 2 ) , 1 1 1 –1 3 2 . h t t p s : / /d o i . o r g / 1 0 . 1 2 0 7 / s 1 5 3 2 7 9 5 7 p s p r 1 0 0 2 _ 2
Legerstee, J. S., Garnefski, N., Jellesma, F. C., Verhulst, F. C., & Utens, E. M. (2010). Cognitive coping and childhood
anxiety disorders. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 19(2), 143–150. https ://‐009‐
00 51‐ 6
Lelieveld, G. J., Moor, B. G., Crone, E. A ., Karremans, J. C., & Beest, I. V. (2013). A penny for your pain? The financial
compens ation of social pain af ter exclusion. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(2), 206–214. ht tps ://doi.
org /10.117 7/19485 50612 446661
Li, C. E., DiGiuseppe, R., & Froh, J. (2006). The roles of sex, gender, and coping in adolescent depression. Adolescence,
41(163), 409.
Li, S. D. (2004). The impac ts of self‐control and social bonds on juvenile delinquency in a national sample of midadoles
cents. Deviant Behavior, 25(4), 351–373. https :// 62049 0441236
Linehan, M. M. (1993). Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Longshore, D., Chang, E., Hsieh, S. C., & Messina, N. (2004). Self‐control and social bonds: A combined control perspec
tive on deviance. Crime & Delinquency, 50(4), 542–564. https :// 28703 260684
Masten, C. L., Eisenberger, N. I., Borofsky, L. A., Pfeifer, J. H., McNealy, K., Mazziotta , J. C., & Dapretto, M. (2009). Neural
correlates of social exclusion during adolescence: Understanding the distress of peer rejection. Social Cognitive and
Affective Neuroscience, 4(2), 143–157. https ://
McConnell, A. R., Brown, C. M., Shoda , T. M., Stayton, L. E., & Martin, C. E. (2011). Friends with benefit s: On the pos
itive consequences of pet ownership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(6), 1239–1252. ht tps ://doi.
org /10.1037/a0 024506
Mikami, A. Y., Boucher, M. A., & Humphreys, K . (2005). Prevention of peer rejection through a classroom‐level interven
tion in middle school. Journal of Primary Prevention, 26 (1), 5–23. https ://‐004‐0 988‐7
Molet, M., Macquet, B., Lefebvre, O., & Williams, K. D. (2013). A focused attention inter vention for coping with ostracism .
Consciousness and Cognition, 22(4), 1262–1270. https ://
Murray, S. L., Rose, P., Bellavia, G. M., Holmes, J. G ., & Kusche, A. G. (2002). When rejection sting s: How self‐esteem
constrains relationship‐enhancement processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psycholog y, 83(3), 556–573. https :// /10.1037/0022‐3514. 83. 3.556
Pedersen, S., Vitaro, F., Barker, E. D., & Borge, A. I. (2007). The timing of Middle‐Childhood peer rejection and friend
ship: Linking early behavior to Early‐Adolescent adjustment. Child Development, 78(4), 10 37–1051. http s ://doi.
org /10.1111/j.1467‐8624. 20 07.01051.x
Poon, K. T., & Chen, Z. (2016). Assuring a sense of growth: A cognitive strategy to weaken the effect of cyber‐ostracism
on aggression. Computers in Human Behavior, 57, 31–37. https :// /10.1016/j.chb.2015.12.032
Ramsey, A. T., & Jones, E. E. (2015). Minding the interpersonal gap: Mindfulness‐based interventions in the prevention of
ostracism. Consciousness and Cognition, 31, 24–34. https :// 03
Reijntjes, A., Stegge, H., Terwogt, M. M., Kamphuis, J. H., & Telch, M. J. (2006). Emotion regulation and its effects
on mood improvement in response to an in vivo peer rejection challenge. Emotion, 6(4), 543–552. https ://doi.
org /10.1037/1528‐3542 .6.4.5 43
Reijntjes, A., Thomaes, S., Bushman, B. J., Boelen, P. A., de Cas tro, B. O., & Telch, M. J. (2010). The outcast‐lash‐out effect
in youth: Alienation increases aggression following peer rejection. Psychological Science, 21(10), 1394–1398. https ://
d o i . o r g / 1 0 . 1 1 7 7 / 0 9 5 6 7 9 7 6 1 0 3 8 1 5 0 9
Reijntjes, A ., Thomaes, S., Kamphuis, J. H., Bushman, B. J., De Castro, B. O., & Telch, M. J. (2011). E xplaining the para
doxical rejection‐aggression link: The mediating effects of hostile intent attributions, anger, and decreases in state
self‐esteem on peer rejection‐induced aggression in youth. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(7), 955–963.
h t t p s : / / d o i . o r g / 1 0 . 1 1 7 7 / 0 1 4 6 1 6 7 2 1 1 4 1 0 2 4 7
Ren, D., Wesselmann, E., & Williams, K. D. (2016). Evidence for another response to ostracism: Solitude seeking. Social
Psychological and Personality Science, 7(3), 204–212. https :// 50615 616169
Riva, P. (2016). Emotion regulation following social exclusion: Psychological and behavioral strategies. In P. Riva & J. Eck
(Eds), Social exclusion (pp. 199–225). Cham: Springer.
Riva, P., & Eck, J. (2016). Social exclusion. Springer.
Riva, P., Montali, L., Wirth , J. H., Curioni, S., & Williams, K. D. (2017). Chronic social exclusion and evidence for the res
ignation stage: An empiric al investigation. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 34(4), 541–564. https ://doi.
o r g / 1 0 . 1 1 7 7 / 0 2 6 5 4 0 7 5 1 6 6 4 4 3 4 8
16 of 17 
   TIMEO ET al.
Rood, L., Roelofs, J., Bögels, S. M., & Arntz, A. (2012). The effects of experimentally induced rumination, positive reap
praisal, acceptance, and distancing when thinking about a stressful event on affec t states in adolescents. Journal of
Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(1), 73–84. https ://‐011‐9544‐0
Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Parker, J. G. (1998). Peer interactions , relationships, and groups. In N. Eisenber g (Ed.),
Handbook of child psychology. Hoboken , NJ: Wiley.
Salvy, S. J., Bowker, J. C., Nitecki, L. A., Kluczynski, M. A., Germeroth, L. J., & Roemmich, J. N. (2011). Impact of simulated
ostracism on over weight and normal‐weight youths’ motivation to eat and food intake. Appetite, 56(1), 39–45. https
Sandstrom, M. J., & Herlan, R. D. (2007). Threatened egotism or conf irmed inadequacy? How children's perceptions of
social status influence aggressive behavior toward peers. Journal of Social and Clinical Psycholog y, 26 (2), 240–267.
https ://
Schoel, C., Eck, J., & Greifeneder, R. (2014). A matter of vertical position: Consequences of ostracism differ for
those above versus below its perpetrators. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(2), 149–157. https ://doi.
org /10.117 7/19485 50613 48 8953
Schroder, H. S., Fish er, M. E., Lin, Y., Lo, S . L., Danovitch, J. H ., & Moser, J. S. (2017). Neur al evidence for enhanced atten
tion to mis takes among scho ol‐aged children with a growt h mindset. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 42–50.
https ://
Sebastian, C., Viding, E., Williams, K. D., & Blakemore, S. J. (2010). Social brain development and the affec tive consequences
of ostracism in adolescence. Brain and Cognition, 72(1), 134–145. https ://
Sethi, N., Moulds , M. L., & Richardson, R. (2013). The role of focus of attention and reappraisal in prolonging the neg
ative effects of ostracism. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 17(2), 110–123. ht tps ://
a0 0324 36
Sherman, D. K., Hartson, K. A., Binning, K. R., Purdie‐Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Taborsky‐Barba, S., … Cohen, G. L. (2013).
Deflec ting the trajectory and changing the narrative: How self‐affirmation affects academic performance and mo‐
tivation under identity threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(4), 591–618. https ://doi.o rg/10 .1037/
a00 31495
Shrauger, J. S., & Lund, A. K. (1975). Self‐evaluation and reactions to evaluations from others. Journal of Personality, 43(1),
94–108. https ://‐6494.1975.tb005 74.x
Silvers , J. A., McRae, K., Gabrieli, J. D., Gross, J. J., Remy, K. A., & Ochsner, K. N. (2012). Age‐related differences in
emotional reactivity, regulation, and rejection sensitivity in adolescence. Emotion, 12(6), 1235–1247. ht tps ://doi.
org /10.1037/a0 0282 97
Smart Ri chman, L ., & Leary, M. R. (2009) . Reac tio ns to discrimin atio n, st igmatizatio n, ostracism , and other forms of inte r
personal rejec tion: A multimotive model. Psychological Review, 116(2), 365–383. https ://
Song, R., Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2015). Children draw more affiliative pictures following priming with third‐party
ostracism. Developmental Psychology, 51(6), 831. https ://
Steele, C . M. (1999). The psychology of self‐affirmation: Sust aining the integrity of the self. In R . F. Baumeister (Ed.), Key
readings in social psychology. The self in social psychology (pp. 372–390). New York, NY: Psychology Press.
Tang, H. H., & Richardson, R. (2013). Reversing the negative psychological sequelae of exclusion: Inclusion is ameliorative
but not protective against the aversive consequences of exclusion. Emotion, 13(1), 139–150. https ://
Taylor, M. (2001). Imaginary companions and the children who create them. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Tenenbaum, H. R., Leman, P. J., A znar, A ., Duthie, R., & Killen, M . (2018). Young people’s reasoning about exclusion in
novel groups. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 175, 1–16. https ://
Timeo, S., Riva, P., & Paladino, M. P. (2019). Dealing with social exclusion: An analysis of psychological strategies. In S.
Rudert, G. Reiner, & K. Williams (Eds.), Current directions on ostracism, rejection and exclusion (pp. 65–81). Oxon &
New York: Routledge.
Tobia, V., Riva, P., & Caprin, C. (2017). Who are the children most vulnerable to social exclusion? The moderating role of
self‐esteem, popularity, and nonverbal intelligence on cognitive performance following social exclusion. Journal of
Abnormal Child Psychology, 45(4), 789–801. https ://‐016‐0191‐3
Twenge , J. M., Zhang, L ., Catanese, K. R., Dola n‐Pasco e, B., Lyche, L. F., & Baum eis ter, R. F. (2007). Re ple nishing conn ect
edness: Reminders of social activity reduce aggression after social exclusion. British Journa l of Social Psycholog y, 46(1),
205–224. https :// 6605X 90793
Vail lan cou rt , T., & Hy mel, S. (2006). Aggression an d social sta tus : The mod erating roles of sex and peer‐valu ed ch aracter
istics. Aggressive Behavior, 32(4), 396–408. ht tps ://
Valenza, E., Simion, F., Cassia, V. M., & Umiltà, C . (1996). Face preference at birth. Journal of Experimental Psychology:
Human Perception and Performance, 22(4), 892–903. https ://‐1523.22.4.892
 17 of 17
Vijayakumar, N., Cheng, T. W., & Pfeifer, J. H. (2017). Neural correlates of social exclusion across ages: A coordi
nate‐based meta‐analysis of functional MRI studies. NeuroImage, 153, 359–368 . http s :// neuro
Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2011). A brief social‐belonging intervention improves academic and health outcomes of
minority students. Science, 331(6023), 1447–1451. https :// ce.1198364
Watson‐Jones, R . E., Legare, C . H ., Whitehouse, H., & Clegg, J. M. (2014). Task‐specific effects of ostracism on imita
tive fidelity in early childhood. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35(3), 204–210. https :// /10.1016/j.evolh umbeh
Wesselmann, E. D., Grzybowski, M. R ., Steakley‐Freeman, D. M., DeSouza, E. R., Nezlek , J. B., & Williams, K. D. (2016).
Social exclusion in everyday life. In P. Riva & J. Eck (Eds.), Social exclusion (pp. 3–23). Berlin: Springer International
Wesselmann, E. D., Ren, D., Swim , E., & Williams, K. D. (2013). Rumination hinders recover y from ostracism. International
Journal of Developmental Science, 7(1), 33–39.
White, R . E., & Carlson, S. M. (2016). What would Batman do? Self‐distancing improves executive function in young chil
dren. Developmental Science, 19(3), 419–426. https ://
White , R. E., Kro ss , E. , & Du ck wort h, A. L . (2015). Sp on ta ne ous self‐d is ta ncing and ada pt ive sel f‐refl ec tion acro ss ado les
cence. Child Development, 86(4), 1272–1281. https ://
Williams, K. D. (2009). Ostracism: A temporal need‐threat model. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 275–314.
Wolf, W., Levordashka, A., Ruff, J. R., Kraaijeveld, S., Lueckmann , J. M., & Williams, K. D. (2015). Ostracism Online: A social
media ostracism paradigm. Behavior Research Methods, 47(2), 3 61–373. https :// /10.375 8/s13428 ‐014‐0475‐x
Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2013). An implicit theories of personality intervention reduces ad
olescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion. Child Development, 84(3), 970–988. https ://doi.
org /10.1111/cde v.120 03
Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., Tirri, K., Nokelainen, P., & Dweck, C. S. (2011). Adolescent s' implicit theories predict
desire for vengeance after peer conflicts: Correlational and experimental evidence. Developmental Psychology, 47(4),
1090–1107. htt ps ://doi.o rg/10.1037/a0 023769
Zenner, C., Herrnleben‐Kurz, S., & Walach, H. (2014). Mindfulness‐based interventions in schools—A systematic review
and meta‐analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 603.
Zhou, X., Vohs, K. D., & Baumeister, R. F. (2009). The symbolic power of money: Reminders of money alter social distress
and physical pain. Psychological Science, 20(6), 700–706. https ://‐9280.20 09.02353.x
Zwolinski, J. (2014). Does inclusion after ostracism influence the persistence of affective distress? Group Dynamics:
Theory, Research, and Practice, 18(4), 282. ht tps :// 0 0012
How to cite this article: Timeo S, Riva P, Paladino MP. Learning to cope with everyday instances of social
exclusion: A review of emotional and cognitive strategies for children and adolescent s. J Appl Behav Res.
2019;e12173. http s :// br.12173
... Peer rejection hurts-both figuratively and literally. Poor peer relationships undermines students' school engagement (Juvonen et al., 2019;Wentzel et al., 2021) and psychological well-being (Timeo et al., 2019), and peer rejection risk is not independent of student characteristics. Factors such as immigration background (Plenty & Jonsson, 2017), low economic resources (Hjalmarsson, 2018), low parental education (Knaappila et al., 2018;Nordhagen et al., 2005) and low school performance (Wentzel et al., 2021) are associated with a greater risk of rejection at school. ...
... Peer rejection has substantial negative consequences for students' school engagement (Juvonen et al., 2019;Wentzel et al., 2021) and mental well-being (Timeo et al., 2019). ...
... This measure has the benefit of capturing a broad range of rejections, from the subtle to the more explicit. However, while even subtle experiences of rejection produce negative emotions (Timeo et al., 2019), more explicit forms of rejection are likely to more strongly affect mental well-being and school-engagement and may be more salient to address in terms of policies. Future research should assess whether the patterns are replicated when using measures capturing less subtle and likely more explicit rejection, such as dislike or victimization nominations. ...
Full-text available
While a range of sociodemographic characteristics are associated with a greater risk of peer rejection at school, it is currently unclear how key theoretical frameworks explaining rejection apply to such characteristics. This study examines how migration background, gender, household income, parental education and cognitive ability are linked to peer rejection. Building on person-group dissimilarity and social identity theory, the study assesses the moderating role of classroom composition and the extent to which students reject classmates who differ to themselves (i.e., outgroup derogation). Data is drawn from a nationally representative sample of 4215 Swedish eighth grade students (Mage = 14.7, SDage = 0.39; 67% of Swedish origin; 51% girls) in 201 classes. While rejection based on migration background, gender, household income and cognitive ability was moderated by the school-class composition, only the rejection of immigrant background students, boys and girls was related to outgroup derogation. Furthermore, Swedish origin students’ outgroup derogation increased as the share of immigrant background students decreased. Addressing social inequalities in rejection may require different strategies depending on sociodemographic characteristic.
... The emotional gap between teenage mothers and parents has been the main driver of such negative behavior and aggression displayed by teenage mothers. These findings confirm that teenagers who experience exclusion manifest low self-esteem, poor sense of belonging and negative emotions (Timeo, Riva, & Paladino, 2019). The absence of parental care and love has been reported to have negative psychosocial well-being characterised by crime, joining gangs, substance abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts (Karriker-Jaffe, Foshee, Ennett, & Suchindran, 2014). ...
Teenage mothering poses several challenges to the young mother and the family to cope with new mothering and learning demands. The chapter aims to describe the impact of negative parental relationships on learning among teenage mothers. To enhance constructive inclusion of the voices of teenage mothers, the study used action research through a community engagement approach. The study was guided by Bricolage's theoretical framework. Data was generated through multiple methods such as face-to-face individual interviews, focused group discussions, and reflections. Twelve Black teenage mothers from a rural village participated in the study. Data were analysed using critical discourse analysis and thematic analysis. Findings were that teenage mothers felt marginalized and isolated from other family members which led to unhealthy choices like self-isolation, family exclusions, and poor learning interest. Through action research, relationship healing occurred resulting in teenage mothers gaining self-awareness, and goal-setting.
... For example, they more often reported that students at their school have difficulty getting along, were mean to one another, and picked on other students [90]. Additionally, experimental studies found that teenagers exposed to rejection and manipulation responded more aggressively than others who were included [91,92], and that negative perceptions of one's own peer status promoted increased levels of aggression in response to negative feedback from a peer in a controlled laboratory situation [93]. In this light, it can be expected that negative perceptions of peer relationships, indicators of which could be the level of perceived rejection by peers or the level of being disliked by them, will promote active cyberbullying behaviour. ...
Full-text available
Cyberbullying has recently attracted attention due to its increasing prevalence and serious consequences for both victims and perpetrators. The objective of this population-based study was to examine the determinants of a person becoming a perpetrator of cyberbullying, including personal resources (emotional self-regulation, self-esteem, internal locus of control, optimism), social skills (prosocial behavior, assertiveness, cognitive empathy, cooperation), peer relationships (peer support, threats from peers, peer rejection, dislike of peers), and problematic Internet use (excessive Internet use, impulsive reactions to Internet deprivation). Participants (N = 541) were students at elementary schools (age 14-15) in Ostroleka, a city in central-eastern Poland. Two-part regression was used to explore protective/risk factors of the likelihood of an individual using cyberviolence (dichotomous part: involvement in violence) and how often it is used (continuous part: frequency of cyberbullying). The results showed that the emotional component is crucial to cyberbullying, as indicated by the importance of emotional self-control, which reduces the frequency of cyberbully-ing. Other important factors are assertiveness, impulsive response to limited Internet access (which increases the likelihood of engaging in cyberbullying) and fear of peers (which reduces its frequency). In turn, the importance of pro-sociality (which inhibits engagement) and peer support (which promotes engagement) points to the second important component of cyberbullying-that is, group mechanisms. At the same time, the results indicate that while the importance of Internet addiction as a risk factor for cyberbullying should not be underestimated, the amount of time spent online cannot be seen as the source of the problem. The study leads to the conclusion that effective interventions targeting cyberbullying should focus on the development of more adaptive styles of coping with emotions.
... Since ostracism situations occur frequently among youth, it is essential to prevent and reduce their negative impact and explore the negatively associated factors with ostracism distress once it has occurred. Timeo et al. (2019) proposed mindfulness as a coping strategy that may counteract the adverse effects of ostracism in youth. Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose in the present moment and nonjudgmentally to the experience moment by moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, p. 145). ...
Full-text available
Background: Ostracism -being ignored and excluded- entails risks for adolescent mental health. Less is known about the factors that are negatively associated with the adverse consequences of ostracism. This study explored the association between dispositional mindfulness and need threat following social exclusion using the Cyberball paradigm. Sex and age were included as moderators of the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and need threat. Additionally, the factor structure of the Need Threat Scale (NTS) was analyzed in Spanish adolescents. Method: Participants (N = 750, 52.4% female; mean age = 14.51) completed a mindfulness questionnaire, were ostracized in the Cyberball game, and reported their need threat during this game. Results: Dispositional mindfulness was negatively associated with need threat only in older adolescents (>15 years old). Although girls reported higher levels of need threat than boys, sex did not moderate the association between mindfulness and need threat. Conclusions: This research suggests that dispositional mindfulness is only associated with NTS in older adolescents and girls are more vulnerable to the negative consequence of ostracism.
Objectives: Although previous studies have reached a consensus that older adults have weaker responses to social exclusion than younger adults, the underlying mechanism is still under debate. The present study examined the age-related differences in responses toward social exclusion with self-report scales and electrodermal activity measurements, aiming at a further understanding of the possible mechanism behind these behaviors. Method: Sixty-nine younger (aged 16-28, Mage= 20.13) and seventy-one older adults (aged 55-82, Mage = 66.72) completed a Cyberball task to simulate social exclusion. They were then asked to regulate the exclusion experiences with different strategies (affect-focused attention/detached reappraisal/distraction strategies) in a subsequent regulation session. Their electrodermal activities were measured throughout the entire process. Self-report scales were measured after the Cyberball session and at the end of the regulation session. Results: Similar to previous studies, older adults exhibited a lower level of responsiveness toward social exclusion in both self-report scales and electrodermal activities. Moreover, during the Cyberball session, older adults exhibited a tendency of increased electrodermal activity, followed by a decrease in activity. Younger adults demonstrated a pattern of continuous increase. In the regulation session, younger adults from the detached reappraisal regulation strategy condition mimicked the overall response pattern of older adults, such that they exhibited lower levels of responsiveness toward social exclusion. Discussion: The results from the present study indicate that active emotion regulation (i.e., detached reappraisal) in appraisal stage rather than declined cognition might account for the age-related differences in responses toward social exclusion between older and younger adults.
This preregistered diary study shed light on the effects of computer-mediated communication on users’ fundamental needs and well-being. As a specific demanding situation, it focused on the experience of cyber-ostracism, defined as not receiving replies from others on a sent message. Hypotheses were derived from the temporal need-threat model. To test these hypotheses, 214 participants answered 1,378 questionnaires over the course of one week. The results have shown that being cyber-ostracized via messengers (e.g., WhatsApp) was negatively associated with the satisfaction of users’ needs for belonging, self-esteem, meaningful existence, and control. Moreover, mediated via these needs, there was a negative indirect association between cyber-ostracism and well-being. Messenger users’ trait mindfulness served as a buffering mechanism: For mindful users, low satisfaction of the need for meaningful existence was not associated with decreased eudaimonic well-being. Moreover, although messengers were perceived as a source of exclusion, cyber-ostracized users reported an increased desire to use these services on the respective following day, representing an approach coping tendency. All additional files referred to in this paper can be found at
Introduction Despite data suggesting that recovery high schools are largely effective in reducing substance use, relapse in these settings is common. The goal of the current study was to characterize factors proximal to relapse among adolescents in a local recovery high school. Method Data for this study were 200 de-identified node maps (i.e., graphical break downs of a relapse event; randomly chosen from 600 available node maps) from the charts of students at a local recovery high school in a large Midwest city (Mean Age = 16.8 ± 1.9 years, 64.1% male, 89.1% White). A four-phase process of qualitative data sorting examined features most frequently described in relapse episodes. Results The most common elements reported were using with others (n = 153, 76.5%), away from home (n = 156, 78.0%), and in response to negative affect (n = 93, 48.4%). Six relapse pathways emerged: coping (n = 30), acting out (n = 15), unexpected temptation (n = 30), planned lapse (n = 19), resistant to recovery (n = 27), and passive agency (n = 30). The pathways identified represent three critical failures in the recovery system: failure to cope, failure to guard against temptation, and failure of belief. Identifying these system failures can contribute to increased rapport and engagement, as well as planning for detailed and specific factors proximal for relapse for any given individual, both on the individual and system levels. Conclusion The use of node maps aligned with previous work, showed good face and content validity, can be used to reduce blame and increase engagement in substance use treatment among adolescents, and produced novel micro-frames with new vocabulary to accurately understand common factors associated with relapse among adolescents.
Social exclusion threatens a person's need to belong and prompts them to behave in ways that often facilitate reaffiliation. For adults, direct exclusion increases attention to social information and facial cues, including an enhanced identification of Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles. Furthermore, inclusion can buffer or mitigate the effects of exclusion. This study investigated children's (N = 44) and adults' (N = 52) sensitivity to perceptual changes in smiles following witnessed inclusion and exclusion and inclusion's mitigating and buffering effects on perceptual abilities. Contrary to our predictions, participants in our study demonstrated improved accuracy after witnessing inclusion, rather than exclusion, and showed no buffering or mitigating effects of inclusion. This contradiction with previous findings points to a further need to explore the effects of witnessed versus direct inclusion and exclusion, especially if witnessed inclusion and exclusion have the ability to impact perception and shape our behavior.
Background & objectives Previous research shows that difficulty disengaging from negative (self-related) stimuli (i.e. negative self-referential processing; NSP) is a vulnerability factor for depression (Gotlib & Joormann, 2010) and contributes to its recurrence (LeMoult, Kircanski, Prasad, & Gotlib, 2017). The Emotional Reversal Learning Task (ERLT) was designed to investigate this, and we examined its construct validity by inducing social rejection, an etiological process of depression, within the ERLT model. We expected excluded participants to have difficulty disengaging from NSP. Methods We administered Cyberball to 130 participants randomly assigned to the excluded or included condition. Participants then completed the ERLT: They chose a valence option (positive or negative), retrieved a memory of the same valence, and then were rewarded or punished for their valence choice. For the first phase, retrieving a negative memory was probabilistically rewarded, and this action-outcome contingency was twice reversed during the task. We used Q-learning models to analyze learning rates. Results Excluded participants had no more difficulty disengaging from NSP than included participants: Bayesian computational modeling identified no difference between conditions regarding learning that retrieving negative memories was punished. Exploratory analyses found that excluded participants learned the association between retrieving positive memories and reward quicker than included participants, however. Limitations Doubts remain regarding whether participants fully understood action-outcome contingencies, and we did not explicitly check whether participants truly retrieved memories, which could have affected results. Conclusions We did not find support for the construct validity of the ERLT when using social exclusion to model depressogenic development within the ERLT.
Full-text available
Despite the pain ostracism (being excluded and ignored) causes, researchers have minimally investigated factors related to reducing its occurrence. We investigated the association between higher trait mindfulness (the tendency to be attentive to the present moment) and lower engagement in ostracism. In Study 1, employed adults scoring higher on trait mindfulness reported ostracizing coworkers less. In Study 2, participants possessing higher levels of trait mindfulness demonstrated greater inclusion of a fellow group member being ostracized by others in the group. Results suggested that attention, rather than empathy, was the psychological process responsible for greater inclusion of an ostracized group member by mindful individuals. Study 3 supported this conclusion because participants responded similarly to those high in trait mindfulness when they were instructed to pay attention and ensure all players were included equally. Overall, we found that people with higher levels of trait mindfulness are more attentive to targets of ostracism.
Full-text available
This study examined how Saudi Arabian children (M = 10.50 years, SD = 1.61, Range = 8–10 years) evaluate peer exclusion based on religion when the perpetrator of exclusion was a peer or a father. Children believed that it was more acceptable for fathers than for peers to enforce exclusion and were more likely to use social conventional reasons to justify exclusion when the perpetrator was a father. The discussion focuses on how social domain theory needs to take children's cultural community into account. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? • Research suggests that children do not defer to authority in making decisions about peer exclusion. • Children tend to believe that authority figures should not order peer exclusion because it is a moral decision. What does this study add? • Unlike children in other collectivist countries, children in Saudi Arabia support peer exclusion ordered by a father more than a peer. • Saudi children use social conventional reasoning to justify fathers' support for peer exclusion.
Full-text available
Violent video game playing has been linked to a wide range of negative outcomes, especially in adolescents. In the present research, we focused on a potential determinant of adolescents’ willingness to play violent video games: social exclusion. We also tested whether exclusion can predict increased aggressiveness following violent video game playing. In two experiments, we predicted that exclusion could increase adolescents’ preferences for violent video games and interact with violent game playing fostering adolescents’ aggressive inclinations. In Study 1, 121 adolescents (aged 10-18 years) were randomly assigned to a manipulation of social exclusion. Then, they evaluated the violent content of nine different video games (violent, nonviolent, or prosocial) and reported their willingness to play each presented video game. The results showed that excluded participants expressed a greater willingness to play violent games than nonviolent or prosocial games. No such effect was found for included participants. In Study 2, both inclusionary status and video game contents were manipulated. After a manipulation of inclusionary status, 113 adolescents (aged 11-16 years) were randomly assigned to play either a violent or a nonviolent video game. Then, they were given an opportunity to express their aggressive inclinations towards the excluders. Results showed that excluded participants who played a violent game displayed the highest level of aggressive inclinations than participants who were assigned to the other experimental conditions. Overall, these findings suggest that exclusion increases preferences for violent games and that the combination of exclusion and violent game playing fuels aggressive inclinations.
Full-text available
Individuals who believe intelligence is malleable (a growth mindset) are better able to bounce back from failures than those who believe intelligence is immutable. Event-related potential (ERPs) studies among adults suggest this resilience is related to increased attention allocation to errors. Whether this mechanism is present among young children remains unknown, however. We therefore evaluated error-monitoring ERPs among 123 school-aged children while they completed a child-friendly go/no-go task. As expected, higher attention allocation to errors (indexed by larger error positivity, Pe) predicted higher post-error accuracy. Moreover, replicating adult work, growth mindset was related to greater attention to mistakes (larger Pe) and higher post-error accuracy. Exploratory moderation analyses revealed that growth mindset increased post-error accuracy for children who did not attend to their errors. Together, these results demonstrate the combined role of growth mindset and neural mechanisms of attention allocation in bouncing back after failure among young children.
Social exclusion has been defined as the experience of being kept apart from others physically (e.g., social isolation) or emotionally (e.g., being ignored or told one is not wanted; Riva & Eck, 2016). Social exclusion has many facets. It can be used by individuals or groups to punish a rule violation, or with malicious intentions to hurt the victim (see Rudert & Greifeneder, 2019). These various forms of social exclusion have in common their ability to hurt a given target. Williams (2009) compares ostracism to a flame that instantaneously hurts the skin, no matter what the circumstances are. The pain of social exclusion has been likened to the experience of physical pain (Eisenberger, & Lieberman, 2004). Exclusion triggers negative emotions, threatens basic psychological needs such as self-esteem and belonging, and can itself foster aggression (see Williams, Hales & Michels, 2019). Most relevant, however, is how people respond to the negative outcomes caused by social exclusion. Individuals can either choose to cope with it in functional ways, thus ultimately increasing their chances for social inclusion, or in dysfunctional ways: promoting a vicious cycle of exclusion, maladaptive responses, further instances of exclusion, and social isolation. Accordingly, in recent years, researchers have started to devote attention to the psychological and behavioral strategies that might help individuals to cope with this unpleasant situation (Eck & Riva, 2016; Riva, 2016). The purpose of this chapter is twofold. On one side, we will review and systematize research on psychological strategies that have demonstrated some efficacy against social exclusion. This will help us to depict a general state of the art and to point out gaps in the literature. On the other side, we will suggest the use of other strategies, which have been tested in other domains of psychological wellbeing and critically discuss their effectiveness against exclusion.
This study examined children's and adolescents' reasoning about the exclusion of others in peer and school contexts. Participants (80 8-year-olds, 85 11-year-olds, 74 14-year-olds, and 73 20-year-olds) were asked to judge and reason about the acceptability of exclusion from novel groups by children and school principals. Three contexts for exclusion between two groups were systematically varied: unequal economic status, geographical location, and a control (no reason provided for group differences). Regardless of condition, participants believed that exclusion was less acceptable in peer contexts than in school contexts and when children were excluded rather than principals. Participants also used more moral and less social conventional reasoning for peer contexts than for school contexts. In terms of condition, whereas 8-year-olds rated exclusion based on unequal economic status as less acceptable than exclusion based on geographical location or no reason when enacted by a principal, 14-year-olds rated the unequal economic condition as more acceptable than the other two contexts. The 11- and 20-year-olds did not distinguish economic status differences. The findings suggest that children and adolescents are sensitive to context and take multiple variables into account, including the type of group difference (socioeconomic status or other reasons), authority status of the perpetrator of exclusion, and setting (school or peer group). Patterns may have differed from past research because of the sociocultural context in which exclusion was embedded and the contexts of group differences.