The relations between maternal parenting characteristics, child disclosure and secrecy, and child outcomes (positive and negative strategies for coping with distress), were examined in a study of 140 children (10-12-year-olds) and their mothers. Child disclosure and secrecy were shown to be distinct but related constructs with authoritativeness predictive of disclosure and dispositional anger predictive of secrecy. These relations held even when child compliance was included as a control variable. Mothers' authoritative parenting predicted disclosure which in turn predicted children's use of positive coping strategies. Mothers' dispositional anger predicted secrecy which mediated the relation between maternal anger and children's use of negative coping strategies. Results are discussed in terms of parent-child communication and opportunities for mothers to use knowledge gained from child disclosure to teach children successful ways of dealing with distress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)