Predictors of Adolescents’ Disclosure to Parents and Perceived Parental Knowledge: Between- and Within-Person Differences
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- Darling, N., Cumsille, P., Caldwell, L.L. et al. J Youth Adolescence (2006) 35: 659. doi:10.1007/s10964-006-9058-1
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Adolescents’ willingness to share information with parents is a central process through which parents gain knowledge of their adolescents’ lives. This paper addresses four questions important to understanding adolescents’ decisions to voluntarily disclose areas of parent-adolescent disagreement: What are the contribution of parent-adolescent agreement and adolescents’ non-disclosure of disagreement to adolescents’ perceptions of parental knowledge?; Which adolescents are most likely to disclose to parents in case of disagreement?; Under what conditions are adolescents more or less likely to disclose disagreement?; and What type of non-disclosure will different adolescents use and under what conditions? Self-report data from 120 adolescents (M age=15.8) revealed that failure to disclose disagreement, but not overall agreement, predicted perceived parental knowledge. Adolescents from authoritative homes and those less involved in disapproved leisure were more likely to disclose disagreement and less likely to lie. Within-person differences in disclosure were predicted by the presence of explicit rules and adolescents’ beliefs about required obedience.