No matter which way you look at it, rejection hurts. Experiencing rejection from a boss, a friend, or a partner is difficult enough for many adults to handle. But adolescents, who are dealing with the one-two punch of biological and social change, may be the most vulnerable to its negative effects.
In a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researcher Michael Murphy of the University of British Columbia and colleagues examine the human immune response as a potential link between social stressors like rejection and later mental and physical health outcomes.
There are many kinds of stressors that increase our risk for disease, but stressors that threaten our social standing, such as targeted rejection, seem to be particularly harmful.