Relationship Status Disclosure: Associated Correlates and Behaviours

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Larson, Erin
relationship , singles , romantic relationships , disclosure
The present research introduces the construct of Relationship Status Disclosure, an individual difference variable that assesses the extent to which people are willing to disclose and discuss their relationship status with other people. In Studies 1A and 1B I developed and validated the Relationship Status Disclosure Index. In Study Two I examined whether Relationship Status Disclosure could predict how often a sample of dating participants mentioned their romantic partners during an instant messaging “Getting to Know You” task (Linardatos & Lydon, 2011). In Study Three I examined the predictive validity of Relationship Status Disclosure for single and dating participants’ behaviour on Facebook. Across these studies, I found that Relationship Status Disclosure is a construct that was reliably measured, and demonstrated convergent validity with general self-disclosure and divergent validity with relationship satisfaction and commitment. Relationship Status Disclosure also predicted the frequency of partner mentions (Study Two) and differentially predicted the content of Facebook status updates, posts, and photos, for single and dating samples (Study Three). Taken together, the present research suggests that Relationship Status Disclosure is a promising new construct for understanding how individuals navigate their relationship status within a broader social context and future directions for research are discussed.
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