NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1204189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
"I Didn't Want To, but Then I Told": Adolescents' Narratives Regarding Disclosure, Concealment, and Lying
Smetana, Judith; Robinson, Jessica; Bourne, Stacia V.; Wainryb, Cecilia
Developmental Psychology, v55 n2 p403-414 Feb 2019
This study examined 131 U.S. middle class early, middle, and late adolescents' (M[subscript age] = 12.74, 15.81, and 20.40 years, respectively) narratives regarding experiences of disclosure, concealment, and lying to parents and responses to direct probes about lessons learned about self and parents. The thematic content focused primarily on routine activities and peer experiences, and to a lesser extent, romantic issues, risky or delinquent behavior, and academic achievement, with few content differences across narrative types. Greater psychological elaboration in narratives and, when directly probed, more evidence of psychological growth and positive lessons about parents, were observed when teens disclosed than concealed or lied. There was less factual elaboration when youth narrated about concealment than disclosure or lying, particularly among early adolescent males as compared to older males and same-age females. Narrative coherence increased with age and was greater in females' than males' lying narratives. Thus, adolescents learn different lessons from disclosing, concealing, and lying, with varying implications for the development of self, identity, and moral agency.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A