The parent-adolescent relationship, adolescents’ disclosure to parents, and adolescent substance use Public Deposited

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  • February 9, 2022
  • Purcell, Susan E.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • The purpose of this project was to better understand how qualities of parent-adolescent relationships affect adolescents’ willingness to disclose information to their parents about their lives, a factor linked to adolescents’ risk for substance abuse and other delinquent behaviors (Stattin & Kerr, 2000). Relatively little is known about the pathways linking parenting behaviors and family relationship characteristics, adolescents’ disclosure to parents, and adolescent substance use. Thus, this research project was directed at elucidating specific parent-adolescent relationship qualities predictive of adolescents’ willingness to disclose information to parents, as well as examining whether adolescent disclosure mediates the link between parenting or family environment variables and adolescent substance use. This project utilized data from a short-term prospective study of suburban and rural, predominantly at-risk adolescents and their families, and drew upon both observational and self-reported assessments. Path analysis was used to assess links between family variables, adolescents’ disclosure to parents, and adolescent substance use. Parental involvement and parental consistency predicted higher levels of adolescent disclosure; parental autonomy-granting and adolescent-parent relationships characterized by moderate levels of cohesion and flexibility were marginally predictive of higher adolescent disclosure. Adolescent disclosure mediated the relationship between specific adolescent-parent relationship qualities (parental involvement and cohesion) and prospective risk for adolescent substance use. Longitudinal associations between adolescent disclosure and adolescent substance use outcomes were also explored. Results are discussed in relation to the larger literature regarding the roles of adolescent-parent relationship quality and parental behavior management practices in the prevention of delinquency outcomes. The strengths, limitations, and future directions for this research are also addressed.
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  • In Copyright
  • Hussong, Andrea
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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