Gendered interpersonal processes may explain the elevated rates of internalizing symptoms among adolescent girls relative to boys. Two such processes are peer social rejection and social support. The current study assessed for gender differences in the effect of 7th grade peer social rejection on 10th grade internalizing symptoms, as well as the moderating effects of social support from family and from friends in a sample of 749 (49 % female) Mexican American adolescents, an understudied population with a unique social culture. Peer social rejection significantly predicted increased internalizing symptoms for girls. Although buffering effects of social support were not found, there were significant moderating effects of both sources of support for boys, such that at low levels of social support, peer social rejection was associated with decreased internalizing symptoms, and at high levels of social support, peer social rejection was associated with increased internalizing symptoms. The results help unpack the nuances of the interpersonal processes that lead to differential adjustment for adolescent boys and girls at this critical developmental stage.
- Mexican American
- Peer social rejection
- Social support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)