Social rejection, popularity, peer victimization, and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors among adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)

Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) are significant public health problems in adolescence. The current article provides a comprehensive systematic review examining the relationship between events leading to perceived low relational evaluation (e.g. social rejection) and SITBs among adolescents. Theoretical work posits that low relational evaluation is experienced as psychologically painful, a known correlate of SITBs. Therefore, events leading to low relational evaluation may be particularly informative in understanding the context of SITBs. The current review examines how experiences of low relational evaluation that are hypothesized to elicit psychological pain, such as social rejection, low popularity, and peer victimization are related to engagement in SITBs in adolescence. A total of 56 articles meeting inclusion criteria were identified. The hypothesis of an association between indicators of low relational evaluation and SITBs was generally supported throughout the literature, with more consistency found among studies examining suicidal ideation specifically. However, interpretation of the findings is constrained by various methodological limitations of studies. The present review concludes with a theoretical conceptualization of the relationship between perceived relational value and SITBs, leveraging social and evolutionary psychological theory, to guide future research into this topic.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cheek, SM; Reiter-Lavery, T; Goldston, DB

Published Date

  • December 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 82 /

Start / End Page

  • 101936 -

PubMed ID

  • 33128964

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cpr.2020.101936


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States