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Volume 28 Issue 1 (February 2019), Pages 1-251

Between‐ and within‐person predictors of children’s information management following rule violations (pages 234-251)

Abstract The purpose of this study was to better understand both why some children disclose more about their misbehavior to their parents than do other children, as well as why a child discloses to parents about misbehavior in some situations but not in others. Analyses test parental warmth, children's beliefs regarding the legitimacy of parental authority and their own obligation to disclose misbehavior, and parent's responses to children's disclosure of disagreement with parents’ rules and children's misbehavior as predictors of both between‐person and within‐person variations in disclosing and revealing forms of information management. Parent‐child dyads (n = 218) were interviewed during the summers following the child's 5th (M age = 11.9 years) and 6th grade school years. Feeling obligated to disclose rule violations and believing that parents have legitimate authority to impose rules across more topics explained why some children reveal more and conceal less from parents than do other children. Children were more likely to conceal information about the specific topics for which they felt less obligated to disclose rule violations and following rule violations in areas in which their parents previously punished rule violations.

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