Developmental Changes in the Relation between Youth Disclosure and Parenting Behavior: A Cohort-sequential Analysis

Sara E. Goldstein, Meagan Docherty, Paul Boxer, Brad J. Bushman, L. Rowell Huesmann, Maureen O’Brien, Craig Anderson, Douglas A. Gentile, Eric F. Dubow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To address a gap in the literature regarding the development of youth disclosure across the transition to adolescence, the current research uses a cohort-sequential approach to study youth disclosure from middle childhood through adolescence. Longitudinal data from three cohorts of parents were utilized (N = 1359; children at T1 were in grades 2 [M = 8.00 years, SD = 0.57 years, 45% female], 4 [M = 10.12 years, SD = 0.60 years, 45% female], and 9 [M = 15.19 years, SD = 0.57 years, 48% female]). Parents were assessed annually over a 3-year time period. The focal analyses explored contemporaneous associations between characteristics of the parent-youth relationship (specifically, parental rejection and parental consistent discipline) and youth disclosure after accounting for person-specific trajectories of disclosure. Associations of gender, age, and socioeconomic status with disclosure were also assessed. Regarding trajectories of youth disclosure, results indicate that youth disclose less information to their parents about their daily lives as they get older; this trend was consistent across gender and socioeconomic status. In terms of associations with youth disclosure, when parents provided more consistent discipline or engaged in less rejection of their child, youth disclosure increased, even after accounting for their own trajectory of disclosure across time. In addition, the association of consistent discipline with youth disclosure became stronger with increased youth age. Results are discussed in terms of implications for understanding youth autonomy development, and the dyadic and developmental impact of parenting behaviors over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2095-2112
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Consistent discipline
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Parental rejection
  • Youth autonomy development
  • Youth disclosure


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