What is it about?

This article looks at links between adolescent relationship quality with mothers and their disclosure and secrecy to mothers over time. it distinguishes between differences among families in these associations (between-family patterns) and changes occurring over time within a family (within-family patterns). Families with more positive interactions and less negative interactions overall had adolescents who disclosed more and concealed less overall. However, changes within a family over time in positive interactions was not associated with changes in disclosure or secrecy. In contrast, increases in negative interactions and increases in concealment were reciprocally related over time within families.

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Why is it important?

It distinguishes between within-family patterns (e.g., adolescents start to keep more secrets than they usually do after their mothers are more negative than usual) and between-family patterns (e.g., mothers who are more negative on average have adolescents who keep more secrets on average). It also demonstrates that previously observed longitudinal (predictive) associations between relationship quality and disclosure are likely due to stable between-family differences rather than within family changes, but that negative interactions and secrecy are reciprocally predictive within families over time even controlling for stable differences between families in these constructs.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Longitudinal associations between adolescent information management and mother–teen relationship quality: Between- versus within-family differences., Developmental Psychology, October 2020, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/dev0000947.
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