Send to

Choose Destination
Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2009 Nov;35(11):1467-78. doi: 10.1177/0146167209343969. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

Rejection sensitivity moderates the impact of rejection on self-concept clarity.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of California, 3210 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1650, USA.


Self-concept clarity (SCC) refers to the extent to which self-knowledge is clearly and confidently defined, internally consistent, and temporally stable. Research shows that SCC can be undermined by failures in valued goal domains. Because preventing rejection is an important self-relevant goal for people high in rejection sensitivity (RS), it is hypothesized here that failures to attain this goal would cause them to experience diminished SCC. Study 1, an experimental study, showed that high-RS people's SCC was undermined following rejection but not following an aversive experience unrelated to rejection. Study 2, a daily diary study of couples in relationships, used occurrence of partner conflicts to operationalize rejection. Replicating the findings in Study 1, having a conflict on any given diary day predicted a greater reduction in the SCC of high- compared to low-RS people on the following day. The implications for understanding the conditions under which rejection negatively affects the self-concept are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center