Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pittman, Laura D.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Self-disclosure in adolescence; Parent and teenager; Adolescent psychology; Social psychology


The current study examined associations between adolescents' externalizing problem behaviors (EPBs), maternal and paternal parenting characteristics (i.e., parental warmth), and adolescents' disclosure of behavior to their mother- and father-figures across several specific social domains (i.e., personal, multifaceted, moral/conventional, electronic) in order to provide a better understanding of the forces behind adolescent's decisions to disclose. Complete data were collected from 170 ninth and tenth-grade students from a suburban Chicago high school. Based on actual reported experiences disclosing to parents, three social domains that have been previously considered were identified as was an unexpected social domain which was labeled the "electronic" domain. Disclosure was greatest for items with the personal and multifaceted domains, and least for items within the moral/conventional and "electronic" domains. Results indicated social domain, parental warmth, and adolescent engagement in EPBs each were associated with adolescent disclosure to both mother- and father-figures. No crossover effect for parental characteristics (i.e., maternal and paternal warmth) predicting disclosure to the other parent was found. Limitations, implications, and future directions are discussed.


Advisors: Laura D. Pittman.||Committee members: Joseph Flynn; Christine Malecki; Nina Mounts; Holly Orcutt; Lee Shumow; Karen White.


116 pages




Northern Illinois University

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