Self-Disclosure and Mental Health: A Problem of Confounded Measurement

Karen G. Raphael, Bruce P. Dohrenwend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study suggests that the inconsistent findings from previous research on the relation between self-disclosure and adjustment may be due to the inclusion of items on the Jourard Self-Disclosure Questionnaire (JSDQ) that are confounded with symptoms of poor adjustment or psychopathology. One-hundred-twenty-two cases of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1980) major depression were compared with 197 well controls on the degree to which they reported self-disclosure on a 27-topic version of the JSDQ. JSDQ items were separated into symptom-independent and symptom-dependent subscales on the basis of ratings by clinical experts. Results confirmed the initial hypothesis, demonstrating that well controls were more likely than depressed cases to disclose symptom-independent topics but were not more likely to disclose symptom-dependent topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-217
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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