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ERIC Number: EJ1001404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1325
Secrets and Disclosures: How Young Children Handle Secrets
Anagnostaki, Lida; Wright, Michael J.; Papathanasiou, Athanasia
Journal of Genetic Psychology, v174 n3 p316-334 2013
The authors examined the influence of content and verbal cues on young children's understanding of secret information and of its disclosure. Participants were 209 5- and 6-year-old children in an experiment where a puppet, named Zinc, was the protagonist. Children were asked to whom Zinc would disclose a list of pieces of information, some of which are considered secrets. Children could choose between Zinc's friend, a nonfriend, both friend and nonfriend, or nobody. Participants were divided in 2 experiment groups: In the first group a prior verbal cue was given to the participants that some information might be secret, whereas in the second group no prior cue was presented. Results showed that young children, similar to older individuals, differentiated between secrets and nonsecrets partly on the basis of content, and chose to withhold secrets more than nonsecrets or to share secrets more with friends than with nonfriends, following the restrictive self-disclosure pattern. In contrast, young children did not withhold nonsecret information, but they shared it with friends and nonfriends. However, when given verbal cues regarding potential secrecy of the information, young children chose more restrictive disclosure patterns for all types of content. (Contains 4 tables and 2 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom