Parents, privacy, parentification : exploring parental disclosures of family secrets, parentification, privacy management, and relationship satisfaction

Date
2023-05-04
Authors
Hernandez, Karissa Marie
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Abstract

When a parent discloses a family secret to their adult-child, they may impact different elements of the parent-child relationship. To explore the perspective of adult children when a parent discloses a family secret, this study utilizes a communication privacy management framework (CPM; Petronio, 2002), surveying adult-children between the ages of 18 and 25 (N = 383), to investigate the positive association between privacy management and relationship satisfaction (H1), the negative association between relationship satisfaction and parentification (H2), and the positive association between parentification and privacy management (H3). Additionally, the current study explored whether parentification moderates the relationship between privacy management and relationship satisfaction (H4), and whether relationship satisfaction moderates the association between parentification and privacy management (H5). Results demonstrate significant associations between both privacy management and relationship satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction and parentification. There was no association found between parentification and privacy management. Further, parentification was not found to moderate the relationship between privacy management and satisfaction, and satisfaction was not found to moderate the relationship between parentification and privacy management. These findings inform family communication scholarship regarding parent-child relational behaviors, dyadic functioning, and family dynamics.

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