Cyberball: The impact of ostracism on the well-being of early adolescents

Ruggieri, Sabrina; Bendixen, Mons; Gabriel, Ute; Alsaker, Françoise (2013). Cyberball: The impact of ostracism on the well-being of early adolescents. Swiss journal of psychology, 72(2), pp. 103-109. Huber 10.1024/1421-0185/a000103

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We examined the effects of ostracism in early adolescent populations using the cyberball paradigm (Williams, Cheung, & Choi, 2000). Ninety-one Swiss school students, aged 10–14 years, were randomly assigned to the ostracism (24 girls, 23 boys) or the inclusion (23 girls, 21 boys) condition and were led to believe that they were playing cyberball with two other same-sex students. In reality, they were computer-generated confederates. We assessed self-reported levels of mood before and after playing the game as well as sense of belonging, self-esteem, meaningful existence, and control after the game. Compared to nonostracized students, adolescents in the ostracism condition reported significantly lower levels of positive mood after playing the game. Furthermore, they reported a lower sense of belonging and lower levels of self-esteem, meaningful existence, and control. The present results from a non-English-speaking sample correspond well to the few earlier findings in adolescent and adult populations by suggesting that even brief periods of ostracism with unknown others can lead to a significant decrease in well-being in these age groups.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Ruggieri, Sabrina; Gabriel, Ute and Alsaker, Françoise


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Jeannine Sebel

Date Deposited:

24 Apr 2014 14:49

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2015 10:16

Publisher DOI:





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