Secrecy, poor sleep and asthma in adolescents

01 Dec Secrecy, poor sleep and asthma in adolescents

It is undeniable that parenting is not an easy labour,  and during the adolescence, it may be really hard keeping an effective relationship with teenagers.  However, it is necessary to establish a good parent-child relationship because it can lead to beneficial health outcomes during late childhood and adolescence.

In one article published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, the authors evaluated how keeping secrets were associated with more severe asthma symptoms and lower ratings of sleep quality in adolescents. L. Immami, et al.  argue that among older children and young, keeping secrets from parents is consistently associated with lower levels of psychological well-being. They investigated the associations among youth secrecy towards parents, daily asthma symptoms and daily sleep behaviours.

The results showed that more frequent secret-keeping was associated with more severe asthma symptoms, lower ratings of sleep quality and a greater number of night-time awakenings. Secrecy was also associated with increased negative affect, which is a personality variable that involves the experience of negative emotions and poor self-concept. Negative affectivity subsumes a variety of negative emotions, including anger, contempt, disgust, guilt, and fear, and nervousness.

Investigations have shown that one of the reasons why youth keep secrets from parents may depend on the perception of lower warmth and trust from their parents. One way to combat the issues that teenagers have is by the development of trust in parent-child relationships. This may constitute a mechanism for reducing secrecy and improving well-being in asthma and sleep quality in young people.

Thus, a good parent-child relationship may ensure the adolescents’ feeling of emotional autonomy and the physical and emotional well-being.


Imami, Ledina; Samuele Zilioli; Erin Tobin, et al. Youth secrets are associated with poorer sleep and asthma symptoms via negative affect. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 96 (2017), 15 – 20. DOI: