Disclosure to Parents About Everyday Activities Among American Adolescents From Mexican, Chinese, and European Backgrounds


  • We wish to thank the participating schools and adolescents for their cooperation with this research and the undergraduate research assistants who helped with data entry. This research was partially supported by a Faculty Research Grant from Azusa Pacific University to the first author and National Science Foundation Grant 0517941 to the third author.

Corrrespondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jenny P. Yau, Doctoral Studies of K-12 Education, Azusa Pacific University, 701 East Foothill Boulevard, PO Box 7000, Azusa, CA 91702. Electronic mail may be sent to jyyau@apu.edu.


Disclosure to parents and reasons for not disclosing different activities were examined in 489 Chinese, Mexican, and European American adolescents (= 16.37 years, SD = 0.77). With generational status controlled, Chinese American adolescents disclosed less to mothers about personal and multifaceted activities than European Americans and less about personal feelings than other youth, primarily because these acts were considered personal, not harmful, or because parents would not listen or understand. Disclosure regarding prudential behavior was lower among Mexican American than among European American adolescents, primarily due to concerns with parental disapproval. Multigroup path analyses indicated that greater closeness to parents is associated with more disclosure for all youth and activities; associations between family obligation and disclosure varied by domain and ethnicity.