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The Chilling Effect in Families and the Pressure to Conceal Secrets

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In this study two models were constructed to test the link between the chilling effect and family members' continued concealment of secrets. The direct effects model suggests that coercive power in families has a direct influence on family members' concealment, such that it suppresses the desire to reveal sensitive information for fear of negative consequences. In contrast, the indirect effects model contends that coercive power diminishes family members' closeness and commitment to one another, which in turn, compels them to want to continue to conceal negative secrets. For families in general, the results supported the direct effects model. This study also assessed how these models applied to conformity– and conversation-oriented families.
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Keywords: Aggression; Conformity Orientation; Family Communication; Family Secrets; The Chilling Effect

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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