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Disclosure in Interpersonal Communication

Sandra Petronio


Subject Psychology
Communication Studies » Interpersonal Communication

Key-Topics information

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Extract

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

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