Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

On-line ostracism affects children differently from adolescents and adults

By Dominic Abrams, Mario Weick, Dominique Thomas, Hazel Colbe and Keith M. Franklin


This research examines adults’, and for the first time, children’s and adolescents’ reaction to being ostracised and included, using an on-line game, ‘Cyberball’ with same and opposite sex players. Ostracism strongly threatened four primary needs (esteem, belonging, meaning and control) and lowered mood among 8-9-year olds, 13-14-year-olds, and adults. However, it did so in different ways. Ostracism threatened self-esteem needs more among 8-9-year–olds than older participants. Among 13-14-year-olds, ostracism threatened belonging more than other needs. Belonging was threatened most when ostracism was participants’ first experience in the game. Moreover, when participants had been included beforehand, ostracism threatened meaning needs most strongly. Gender of other players had no effect. Practical and developmental implications for social inclusion and on-line experiences among children and young people are discussed

Topics: BF
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2007). A relational analysis of social exclusion In doi
  2. (2009). Group nous and social exclusion: The role of theory of social mind, multiple classification skill and social experience of peer relations within groups. doi
  3. (2000). Exercise of human agency through collective efficacy. doi
  4. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. doi
  5. (2004). The development of the social self. doi
  6. (2006). Peer exclusion and victimization: Processes that mediate the relation between peer group rejection and children's classroom engagement and achievement? doi
  7. (1999). Physical and relational peer victimization in preschool. doi
  8. (2002). Not so doomed: computer game play and positive adolescent development. doi
  9. (2003). Does rejection hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. doi
  10. (1995). Where is the child's environment? A group socialization theory of development. doi
  11. (2007). Uncertainty-identity theory. In doi
  12. (2002). Peer acceptance and rejection in childhood. In doi
  13. (2008). The detection of social exclusion: Evolution and beyond. doi
  14. (2001). Children's social reasoning about inclusion and exclusion in gender and race peer group contexts. doi
  15. (2001). Evolutionary origins or stigmatization: The functions of social exclusion. doi
  16. (2003). Teasing, rejection and violence: Case studies of the school shootings. doi
  17. (1995). Self-esteem as an interpersonal monitor: The sociometer hypothesis. doi
  18. (2008). Intergroup attitudes and relations in childhood through adulthood:
  19. (2006). Cyberbullying in schools. doi
  20. (2009). Priming third-party ostracism increases affiliative immitation in children. doi
  21. (1994). Gender, ethnicity, and body type biases: The generality of prejudice in childhood. doi
  22. (2008). Handbook of race, racism, and the developing child. doi
  23. (1998). The silent treatment: Perceptions of its behaviors and associated feelings. doi
  24. (2005). Forgas & W. von Hippel (Eds.), The social outcast: Ostracism, social exclusion, rejection, and bullying.
  25. Press. How cyberostracism affects children and adults 23
  26. (2006). How long does it last? The persistence of the effects of ostracism in the socially anxious. doi
  27. (2004). How low can you go? Ostracism by a computer is sufficient to lower self-reported levels of belonging, control, self-esteem and meaningful existence. doi
  28. (2005). Riding the 'O' train: Comparing the effects of ostracism and verbal disputes on targets and sources. doi
  29. (2007). Children's feedback preferences in response to an experimentally manipulated peer evaluation outcome: The role of depressive symptoms. doi
  30. (2006). Children's coping with in vivo peer rejection: An experimental investigation. doi
  31. (2005). Social norms and selfpresentation: Children's implicit and explicit intergroup attitudes. doi
  32. (2007). (in press). Social brain development and the affective consequences of ostracism in adolescence. doi
  33. (2006). When inclusion costs and ostracism pays, ostracism still hurts. doi
  34. (2001). Ethnic and gender bias among Dutch and Turkish children in late childhood: The role of social context. doi
  35. (2006). When ostracism leads to aggression: The moderating effects of control deprivation. doi
  36. (2000). Cyberostracism: Effects of being ignored over the internet. doi
  37. (2002). Investigations into differences between social- and cyberostracism. Group Dynamics: Theory, doi
  38. (2006). Cyberball: A programme for use in the research on interpersonal ostracism and acceptance. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.