Whereabouts and Secrets: A Person- Centered Approach to Emerging Adults’ Routine and Self-Disclosure to Parents


The current study examined heterogeneity in emerging adult children’s routine and self-disclosure to parents using mixture modeling and explored predictors and outcomes associated with the patterns of disclosure. Participants consisted of 449 emerging adults (49% male, 68% European American, 65% college students, 33% single-parent families) who completed questionnaires every year across three waves (Mage at Time 1 1⁄4 18.4 years). Latent profile analyses suggested that large groups of emerging adults reported moderate levels of routine disclosure and low levels of self-disclosure to both mothers (79%) and fathers (36%), while other groups (20%) reported high levels of routine and self-disclosure to both parents. Profile membership was associated with predictors (parental autonomy granting, self-disclosure to friend, gender, family structure, college attendance) at Time 1 and outcomes (delinquency, depression, and prosocial behavior) at Time 3. Implications regarding the continued parent–child relationship and disclosure to parents in the third decade of life are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Son, D., & Padilla-Walker, L. M. (2019, onlinefirst). Whereabouts and secrets: A person-centered approach to emerging adults’ routine and self-disclosure to parents. Emerging Adulthood.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Emerging Adulthood




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor