Self-disclosure refers to the process by which one person verbally reveals information about himself or herself (including thoughts, feelings, and experiences) to another person (Derlega, Metts, Petronio, & Margulis, 1993). Self-disclosure is the focus of much quantitative research because it is a key to the development and maintenance of relationships.
Three issues have dominated the quantitative research on self-disclosure: (a) sex differences in self-disclosure, (b) self-disclosure and liking, and (c) reciprocity of self-disclosure. Meta-analyses have been conducted on sex differences in self-disclosure (Dindia & Allen, 1992), self-disclosure and liking (Collins & Miller, 1994), and reciprocity of self-disclosure (Dindia & Allen, 1995). The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the results of the three meta-analyses, and to compare and contrast the results of the three meta-analyses for a comprehensive review of the research on self-disclosure.
There are more studies on sex differences in self-disclosure than on any other issue regarding self-disclosure. Jourard (1971) was the first to hypothesize that men disclose less than women. Dindia and Allen (1992) conducted a meta-analysis of sex differences in self-disclosure. The results of