Keeping secrets from parents: on galloping horses, prancing ponies and pink unicorns

Tom Frijns*, LGMT (Loes) Keijsers, Catrin Finkenauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We identify the need for a new wave of research on adolescent secrecy in their relationship with parents that relinquishes the focus on the nomothetic objective of finding general principles. This third wave builds on novel insights on three fallacies committed in previous waves of research: (1) between-person effects do not necessarily provide insights into within-family processes (the ecological fallacy), (2) within-family processes are not necessarily homogeneous across adolescents and families (the one size fits all fallacy), and (3) longer-term effects are not necessarily identical to short-term processes (the galloping horse fallacy). This approach promises to provide us with a more person-specific understanding of adolescent secrecy from parents, which enables more tailored insights as to when and for whom secrecy is bad versus good.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was partially supported by a personal research grant awarded to Loes Keijsers from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-VIDI; ADAPT. Assessing the Dynamics between Adaptation and Parenting in Teens 452-17-011).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


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