Full Text

Disclosure in Interpersonal Communication

Sandra Petronio

Subject Psychology
Communication Studies » Interpersonal Communication

Key-Topics information

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Disclosure, as a type of interpersonal communication, means revealing private information that individuals believe they own and have a right to control. Disclosure builds romantic and friendship relationships, although there is a possibility of disclosing too much information, or telling information when a relational partner is not ready to hear the disclosure, thus hampering relational growth. Therefore we know that disclosure has both a positive outcome and the potential to have unwanted outcomes for interpersonal relationships (→  Interpersonal Communication ). Historically, the concept of disclosure is attributed to Sidney Jourard (1971) . His work on “self-disclosure,” defined as “the act of making yourself manifest, showing yourself so others can perceive you” ( Jourard 1971 , 19), focused primarily on opening up the self to others (→  Disclosure in Health Communication ). Much of the early research on disclosure accepted Jourard's assumption that self-disclosure is unequivocally positive. In fact, Jourard argued that self-disclosure was the key to a healthy personality. From this early work, we learned that there are some gender differences in self-disclosure. For example, women disclose more than men to others of the same sex. We also know that issues such as status, age, and attractiveness affect whether a person discloses. The research also showed that men conceal information ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top