Macquarie University
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A longitudinal analysis of disclosure and the psychosocial outcomes of adolescent information management

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posted on 2022-03-28, 13:33 authored by Josephine Kearney
"The primary role attributed to parents in the prevention of problem behavior has been scrutinized since first publication of Stattin and Kerr's (2000) influential findings highlighting the crucial contribution adolescents make to their own development through their management of information with parents about their behavior. This thesis presents three short-term longitudinal studies which aim to enhance understanding of these issues. For studies one and two, data were collected from 463 adolescents (268 boys, Mage = 13.97 years at T1). The first of these examined the collective contribution of mother, adolescent and mother-adolescent interaction factors to spontaneous youth disclosure across social domains of behavior. Openness in communication with mothers was shown to be positively associated with teens' willingness to divulge all types of activities, while stronger disclosure self-efficacy beliefs contributed specifically to the likelihood they would reveal contentious behaviors. In study two, the concept of "pressured information management" was advanced to account for adolescents who feel they have no choice but to engage in secrecy and disclosure. The findings indicated that pressured information management with mothers has gender-specific consequences for teens' emotional functioning. Study 3 investigated the longitudinal contribution of congruence and discrepancy between mother-adolescent reports of disclosure to youth problem behavior using polynomial regressions with response surface analyses. Data were collected from 193 mother-adolescent dyads (113 boys, Mage = 13.82 years at T1), with results indicating that both mothers and teens play an important mutual role in determining delinquent trajectories. Collectively, the findings suggest that strict adherence to either a parent- or youth-driven perspective of adolescent information management and its contribution to youth adjustment provides inadequate insight. Rather, it is proposed that a family-oriented process inclusive of conjoint parent-teen influences, such as the degree of openness between a mother and child, offers a better explanation for these findings.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. General introduction -- Chapter 2. The longitudinal influence of self-efficacy, communication and parenting on spontaneous adolescent disclosure -- Chapter 3. The impact of pressured information management on boys' and girls' psychological functioning -- Chapter 4. Polynomial regressions with response surface analyses: the longitudinal contribution of agreement and discrepancy between mother-adolescent disclosure reports to delinquency -- Chapter 5. General discussion.


Bibliography: pages 165-198 "Submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Clinical Psychology, January 2014".

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MClinPsych/PhD


PhD/MClinPsych, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Kay Bussey

Additional Supervisor 1

Alan Taylor


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Josephine Kearney 2014.




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