Author(s): Leary MR, Twenge JM, Quinlivan E
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Abstract This article reviews the literature on the relationship between interpersonal rejection and aggression. Four bodies of research are summarized: laboratory experiments that manipulate rejection, rejection among adults in everyday life, rejection in childhood, and individual differences that may moderate the relationship. The theoretical mechanisms behind the effect are then explored. Possible explanations for why rejection leads to anger and aggression include: rejection as a source of pain, rejection as a source of frustration, rejection as a threat to self-esteem, mood improvement following aggression, aggression as social influence, aggression as a means of reestablishing control, retribution, disinhibition, and loss of self-control.
This article was published in Pers Soc Psychol Rev
and referenced in Journal of General Practice