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Intimacy

Openness And Self-disclosure

Self-disclosure is a vital component of intimacy, and it is related to greater emotional involvement, fulfillment of needs and relationship satisfaction (Prager and Buhrmester 1998). Self-disclosure facilitates the development of new intimate relationships (Altman and Taylor 1973) and helps to maintain ongoing ones (Haas and Stafford 1998). Although some theorists have suggested that there could be too much self-disclosure in a relationship, there is little evidence that a high degree of intimacy is associated with the presence of relationship problems.

Partners' self-disclosures vary in personalness and in emotional content, and each of these dimensions is positively associated with intimacy. When interaction participants reveal more personal, vulnerable aspects of themselves through self-disclosure, and when they express feelings about what they have disclosed (Lippert and Prager 2001), they perceive their interactions to be more intimate. Self-disclosure is also more intimate when it addresses issues that are immediate to the time and place of the interaction and salient to the discloser and recipient.


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaRelationshipsIntimacy - Conceptions Of Intimacy, Intimate Interactions, Openness And Self-disclosure , Partner Responsiveness , Communication Of Positive Regard