The Effect of Patient Education on Chinese Adolescent and Parental Beliefs About Counselors’ Breaches of Confidentiality

  • Zheng Xiao
  • Marcus A. Rodriguez
  • Caitlin M. Fang
  • Jun GaoEmail author
  • Clive Robins
  • M. Zachary Rosenthal


The primary aim of the present study is to explore whether brief education can change Chinese adolescents’ and parents’ beliefs about when counselors would breach confidentiality. The two secondary aims are to examine whether the brief education (1) increases adolescents’ willingness to share private information with their counselor and (2) decreases parents’ expectations of the amount of information their child’s counselor would divulge to them. Results showed that adolescents and parents who read a brief passage about the limitations of confidentiality were significantly less likely to believe counselors would breach confidentiality in situations where counselors reported they would not likely breach confidentiality. Regarding our secondary research aims, results indicate that education increases adolescents’ willingness to share more sensitive information, such as about suicidality and drug use, but it does not change parents’ expectations to have most of the information divulged to them by their child’s counselor.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study received permission from the Research Ethics Committee of Fudan University. Informed consent was obtained from all participants and their parents.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zheng Xiao
    • 1
  • Marcus A. Rodriguez
    • 2
  • Caitlin M. Fang
    • 2
  • Jun Gao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clive Robins
    • 3
  • M. Zachary Rosenthal
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, School of Social Development and Public PolicyFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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