Title

Disclosing Self to Friends and Family: A Reexamination of Initial Questions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 9-1-1981

Department

Communication Studies

School

Communication

Abstract

This study reinvestigated questions raised by Sidney Jourard in the initial stages of research on self‐disclosure. Using new conceptualizations and measures, this study attempted to assess the viability of previous research conclusions. The study specifically investigated the effects of discloser sex, topic of disclosure, and the target of disclosure on five dimensions of reported self‐disclosure. With 104 undergraduate volunteers as subjects, 2 × 2 × 2 (sex by topic by target) analysis of variance and follow‐up tests revealed that disclosures to both parents were more positive but less honest, frequent, and intimate than to best same‐sex friend. Topic affected or interacted to affect three of the dimensions of disclosure while the sex variable interacted to affect only one. These results provide little support for the conclusions drawn by Jourard. Evidently, topic and target now function as constraints on the ways individuals reveal information about themselves.

Publication Title

Communication Quarterly

Volume

29

Issue

4

First Page

263

Last Page

268

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