Date of Award


Thesis Date


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Honors Thesis-Unrestricted

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Degree Program



Robert Laird


Secrecy is a growing topic of interest in research, but little research has been done on adolescents keeping secrets from their friends. The purpose of this study was to find out if keeping secrets from friends was related to elevated depression and more behavior problems. The data in this study were obtained from 197 adolescents who were interviewed the summer after their 6th (n = 182, M age = 12.4, SD = 1.01) grade school year in southern Louisiana. This sample was 50.8% female, and the majority of the adolescents self-identified themselves as being white, non-Hispanic (47.7%) or African American (46.7%), while few self-identified themselves as being of other ethnicities (6.1%). Results showed that keeping secrets from friends is associated with higher levels of depression but not with more behavior problems. Keeping secrets from friends accounted for unique variance in depression after controlling for keeping secrets from parents. Secrets from friends accounted for the association between low friendship quality and depression. The link between secrets from friends, depression and behavior problem was not moderated by friendship quality and depression.


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