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Child Dev. 2006 Jan-Feb;77(1):201-17.

Disclosure and secrecy in adolescent-parent relationships.

Author information

1
University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA. smetana@psych.rochester.edu

Abstract

Beliefs about parents' legitimate authority and adolescents' obligations to disclose to parents and actual disclosure and secrecy in different domains were examined in 276 ethnically diverse, lower middle-class 9th and 12th graders (Ms=14.62 and 17.40 years) and their parents (n=249). Adolescents were seen as more obligated to disclose prudential issues and less obligated to disclose personal than moral, conventional, and multifaceted issues; parents viewed adolescents as more obligated to disclose to parents than adolescents perceived themselves to be. Adolescents disclosed more to mothers than to fathers, particularly regarding personal issues, but mothers overestimated girls' disclosure. Greater trust, perceived obligations to disclose, and, for personal issues, more parental acceptance and psychological control predicted more disclosure and less secrecy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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