Multidimensional self-esteem and secrecy from friends during adolescence: The mediating role of loneliness

  • Alessandro MusettiEmail author
  • Paola Corsano


Researchers on secrecy from friends during adolescence have scarcely investigated the role of self-esteem as a predictor and have only done so in a unidimensional perspective. This study investigates the effects of different dimensions of self-esteem on secrecy and the mediating role of loneliness and aloneness. Italian adolescents (n = 269; 72 males; 100% White) aged between 11 and 16 years (M = 14.25; SD = 1.48) were tested on their secrecy from friends, self-esteem as a multidimensional construct, peer-related loneliness, and affinity for aloneness. The findings showed that interpersonal and emotional self-esteem exerted a protective effect on secrecy from friends. Academic and familiar self-esteem exerted a detrimental effect, and duties and bodily self-esteem had a null or weak effect. Peer-related loneliness and affinity for aloneness partially or totally mediated the different effects of the self-esteem dimensions on secrecy. The findings are discussed in light of the importance of peer relationships in adolescence in favouring or disfavouring the disclosure of secrets to friends in various self-esteem dimensions.


Secrecy from friends Self-esteem Emotional self-esteem Interpersonal self-esteem Loneliness Affinity for aloneness 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants for being included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural IndustriesUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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