This article describes a new model that provides a framework for understanding people's reactions to threats to social acceptance and belonging as they occur in the context of diverse phenomena such as rejection, discrimination, ostracism, betrayal, and stigmatization. People's immediate reactions are quite similar across different forms of rejection in terms of negative affect and lowered self-esteem. However, following these immediate responses, people's reactions are influenced by construals of the rejection experience that predict 3 distinct motives for prosocial, antisocial, and socially avoidant behavioral responses. The authors describe the relational, contextual, and dispositional factors that affect which motives determine people's reactions to a rejection experience and the ways in which these 3 motives may work at cross-purposes. The multimotive model accounts for the myriad ways in which responses to rejection unfold over time and offers a basis for the next generation of research on interpersonal rejection.
Perceived discrimination has been studied with regard to its impact on several types of health effects. This meta-analysis provides a comprehensive account of the relationships between multiple forms of perceived discrimination and both mental and physical health outcomes. In addition, this meta-analysis examines potential mechanisms by which perceiving discrimination may affect health, including through psychological and physiological stress responses and health behaviors. Analysis of 134 samples suggests that when weighting each study's contribution by sample size, perceived discrimination has a significant negative effect on both mental and physical health. Perceived discrimination also produces significantly heightened stress responses and is related to participation in unhealthy and nonparticipation in healthy behaviors. These findings suggest potential pathways linking perceived discrimination to negative health outcomes. © 2009 American Psychological Association.
OBJECTIVE: Recent research suggests that past exposure to discrimination may influence perceptions of, and physiological responses to, new challenges. The authors examined how race and trait levels of hostility and optimism interact with past exposure to discrimination to predict physiological reactivity and recovery during an anger recall task. DESIGN: A community sample of 165 normotensive Black and White adults participated in an anger recall task while having their cardiovascular function monitored. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Blood pressure and heart rate indicators of physiological reactivity and recovery. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Participants had higher reactivity and slower recovery to the anger recall task when they had high past discrimination, low cynicism, or high optimism. The pattern of effects was similar for both racial groups, but Blacks had more acute reactivity and slower recovery than Whites. These results are consistent with the perspective of discrimination as a chronic stressor that is related to acute stress responses, particularly for Blacks.
This study examined the relationships between positive emotions and health. Two positive emotions were considered, hope and curiosity, in conjunction with 3 physician-diagnosed disease outcomes: hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and respiratory tract infections. Medical data were abstracted over a 2-year period from 1,041 patient records from a multispecialty medical practice, and emotions were assessed through a mailed questionnaire. Across 3 disease outcomes, higher levels of hope were associated with a decreased likelihood of having or developing a disease. Higher levels of curiosity were also associated with decreased likelihood of hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Results suggest that positive emotion may play a protective role in the development of disease.