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21-01-2021 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2021

Emotional Disclosure and Secrecy in the Development of Autonomous-Related Self among Singaporean Adolescents

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2021
Auteur:
GeckHong Yeo
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Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-021-01899-2.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Drawing upon the social domain theory regarding adolescents’ information management and the model of family change on cultural orientation toward self-construal development, this qualitative study investigated Singaporean adolescents’ emotional disclosure and secrecy with parents in their negotiation of the development of self-construal. Eighty-two adolescents aged 11–19 described their negative emotional disclosure and secrecy in relation to three factors: (1) the social contexts of emotional experiences, (2) the justifications for disclosure and secrecy, and (3) parents’ reactions. Four contexts of emotional experiences, three overarching categories of justifications, and three primary types of parental reactions were identified. Singaporean adolescents’ emotional disclosure and secrecy examined through the confluence of three factors revealed the processes, successes and challenges associated with the development of autonomous-related self. Findings lend credence to the connection of the social domain theory and model of family change—specifically, the confluence of three factors involving the domains of information, justifications and parental reactions in understanding adolescents’ negotiation of self-construal development through the management of their emotional lives in developed Asian societies with an emphasis on academic achievement. Importantly, results revealed that Singaporean parents need to make adaptations in the way of their autonomy-granting for developing adolescents’ self-reliance within the school context and have implications for education stakeholders in helping adolescents develop a healthy sense of self.

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