Perceptions of Parent Behavior and Self-Concealment in Emerging Adults




self-concealment, parenting style, parental relationship quality


The tendency to conceal personal information from others that an individual perceives as negative or distressing (i.e., self-concealment). The tendency to “keep secrets” has been associated with negative health and emotional outcomes. While parent behaviors have shown to influence the development of self-concealment among children and adolescents, less is known about self-concealment among college-age adults where parental influences are less direct. This study examined perceptions of parenting style and parental relationship quality on the tendency to self-conceal in a sample of 772 college students. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were computed to analyze the sequential effects of parenting variables (relationship quality and parenting style) on self-concealment. Overall, higher levels of self-concealment in males were found. Effects of perceived parenting style on self-concealment showed differential effects by gender. Among male students, more favorable relationship quality with the father was linked to lower levels of self-concealment while a more Permissive maternal parenting style was associated with greater self-concealment. In females, both father and mother relationship quality were inversely related to self-concealment (more positive relationship quality, less self-concealment). Greater paternal Authoritative parenting style and lower maternal Authoritarian parenting style were associated with lower levels of self-concealment among female students. Findings suggest that perceived parenting behaviors may continue to influence important behavioral tendencies (in this study self-concealment) into emerging adulthood.   


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Author Biographies

Hannah Carter

Hannah Carter received her B.A. in Psychology with minors in English and Spanish in 2018 from the University of San Diego. Previously, she was a research assistant for Jennifer Zwolinski Ph.D. on the project Does Social Support Reduce Social and Physical Pain?, which examines the relationship between physical and emotional pain in response to social rejection. Her research interests include how meditative techniques can be used to improve the efficacy of therapeutic practices.

Michael Ichiyama, University of San Diego

Michael Ichiyama, Ph.D. received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Cincinnati. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship as a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan he joined the faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of San Diego. His research interests include the study of parental influences on college alcohol abuse and self-concept.



How to Cite

Kuckertz, M., Carter, H., & Ichiyama, M. (2021). Perceptions of Parent Behavior and Self-Concealment in Emerging Adults. Journal of Student Research, 10(2).



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