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Social rejection sensitivity has been proposed as a central risk factor for depression. Yet, its assessment has typically been limited to offline contexts. Many of today's social interactions, however, take place online. Here, we developed a measure to assess social rejection sensitivity in both online and offline environments. Across four separate samples including a total of 2381 individuals (12-89 years), the Online and Offline Social Sensitivity Scale was shown to offer a reliable measure of social rejection sensitivity. The study provides evidence that rejection sensitivity across online and offline social environments shows a moderate to strong association with depressive symptoms and maladaptive ruminative brooding. We also found age-related differences in social rejection sensitivity in online and offline contexts with rejection sensitivity decreasing from early adolescence to older age. The scale has the potential to advance future research on the role of social rejection sensitivity in mental health in a digital age. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original publication




Journal article


Psychol Assess

Publication Date





742 - 751


Adolescent, Humans, Risk Factors, Social Status