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11-12-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2020

Parental Solicitation and Adolescents’ Information Management: The Moderating Role of Autonomy-Supportive Parenting

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2020
Auteurs:
Sophie Baudat, Stijn Van Petegem, Jean-Philippe Antonietti, Grégoire Zimmermann
Belangrijke opmerkingen
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Abstract

Objectives

Parents’ knowledge of children’s activities, friends and whereabouts is widely recognized as a promotive factor for adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment. As previous research showed, this knowledge mainly depends on adolescents’ willingness to disclose information about their daily lives. Parents can actively encourage adolescents’ disclosure by initiating conversations. However, such parental solicitation for information may be perceived as intrusive, and ironically lead to more concealment. In the present study, we examined whether and under which conditions parental solicitation for information is related to adolescents’ information management, thereby examining whether adolescents’ perceptions of an autonomy-supportive (vs. controlling) parenting context moderated these associations.

Methods

351 Swiss adolescents (45.6% girls; mean age = 15.01 years) completed self-report questionnaires about their mother and their father separately.

Results

Generally, parental solicitation for information was statistically significantly associated with greater disclosure. Further, perceived autonomy-supportive (vs. controlling) parenting altered some of the links between solicitation for information and adolescents’ information management strategies. Specifically, for both mothers and fathers, parental solicitation for information was respectively associated with more lies at low levels of autonomy support, and with fewer lies at high levels of autonomy support. We also found, for fathers only, that parental solicitation for information was associated with less secrecy at low levels of autonomy support.

Conclusions

These findings underscore that the general parenting context in which parents solicit for information has implications for adolescents’ information management.

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