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Self-Disclosure to Parents in Emerging Adulthood


The parent–child relationship normally experiences a significant change during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. However, there is much left to understand about how this transition affects and is affected by the communication between parents and emerging adults. A survey conducted among 490 Hong Kong university students examined their self-disclosure to their parents as an interpersonal process centered on perceived parental responsiveness and the role of separation–individuation in this self-disclosure process. The results support the idea that perceived parental responsiveness mediates the link between self-disclosure and relationship quality in the context of parent–child relationships. Dysfunctional independence predicts less self-disclosure, perceptions of less parental responsiveness, and poorer parent–child relationship quality. Significant gender differences were found on dysfunctional independence, self-disclosure, perceived parental responsiveness, and parent–child relationship quality. Young women with dysfunctional dependence disclosed less positive information, perhaps driven by an excessive need for attention and care.

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 2016. 1-21. DOI: 10.1177/0265407516640603

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