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Reciprocal Pathways Between American and Chinese Early Adolescents' Sense of Responsibility and Disclosure to Parents


  • This research was conducted in partial fulfillment of Lili Qin's dissertation and was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01 MH57505 to Eva M. Pomerantz. We are grateful to the children who participated. We thank Huichang Chen, Scott Litwack, Molly McDonald, and Haimei Wang for their help in collecting and managing the data. We appreciate the constructive comments provided by Reed Larson, Brent Roberts, Glenn Roisman, Karen Rudolph, and members of the Center for Parent-Child Studies at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


This research examined the reciprocal pathways between youth's sense of responsibility to parents and disclosure to them during early adolescence in the United States and China. Four times over the seventh and eighth grades, 825 American and Chinese youth (Mage = 12.73 years) reported on their sense of responsibility to parents and disclosure of everyday activities to them. Autoregressive latent trajectory models revealed that the more youth felt responsible to parents, the more they subsequently disclosed to them in both the United States and China. The reverse was also true: The more youth disclosed to parents, the more responsible they felt to them over time. The strength of these reciprocal pathways increased as youth progressed through early adolescence.