We integrated theories of social stigma and rejection sensitivity to develop a new construct for understanding the effects of day-to-day experiences of interpersonal weight stigma: weight-based rejection sensitivity (W-RS), or a tendency to anxiously expect weight-based rejection. We created a new scale to measure W-RS. Studies 1 and 2 together established the scale as valid and reliable in a college student population. Study 3 examined the outcomes and predictive validity of W-RS by testing the effects of W-RS longitudinally across college students’ first semester. Those who were high in W-RS were found to be at additional risk for compromised psychological and physical well-being over time. W-RS also predicted poorer adjustment to college. Overall, W-RS could help to explain individual reactions to stigma and to predict when weight stigmatization may have a greater likelihood of impacting a target.
McClure Brenchley, Kimberly and Quinn, Diane M. (2016). "Weight-based rejection sensitivity: Scale development and implications for well-being." Body Image 16, 79-92.
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