Objective Previous studies showing the association of exposure to peer (PeVA) and parental verbal abuse in childhood with structural alterations in the young adult brain suggest functional changes in adolescence. In this functional MRI study, we investigated the effects of exposure to PeVA, during elementary and middle school periods, on brain response to emotional words, in high school students. Methods An emotional Stroop task consisting of swear, negative, positive, and neutral words was performed during functional MRI scan for 23 subjects who were divided into low- and high exposure groups to PeVA. Results High-PeVA group had a higher depression score, greater left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activity, and higher left VLPFC-left hippocampus connectivity in swear word conditions. The VLPFC activity and left VLPFC-left hippocampus connectivity was negatively related to the severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms, respectively. Conclusion These preliminary findings support the hypothesis that exposure to PeVA, during childhood, is an aversive stimulus associated with meaningful functional change in emotional regulation network, showing hypersensitivity to swear words, at middle adolescence.