, Volume 18, Issue 1-2, pp 59-73

Development of the emotional self-disclosure scale

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Abstract

The Emotional Self-Disclosure Scale (ESDS) was developed to assess how willing people are to discuss specific emotions with different disclosure recipients. Internal reliabilities (Cronbach's alpha) and test-retest were consistently high for each of the subscales on the ESDS for three specific disclosure recipients: female friends, male friends, and spouses/lovers. A final set of results indicated that women's and men's emotional disclosures varied as a function of their gender and the personal characteristics of the disclosure recipient. Although men and women reported a similar pattern of willingness to discuss their emotions with their male friends, additional results revealed that women were more willing than men to disclose information about their feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and fear to their female friends and spouses/lovers. The implications of these findings for men's and women's emotional expressivity are discussed.

Portions of this paper were presented at the 33rd annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 1987.