The reciprocal cycle of self-concealment and trust in romantic relationships
Article first published online: 15 OCT 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 42, Issue 7, pages 844–851, December 2012
How to Cite
Uysal, A., Lin, H. L. and Bush, A. L. (2012), The reciprocal cycle of self-concealment and trust in romantic relationships. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 42: 844–851. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1904
- Issue published online: 22 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 15 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 9 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 7 OCT 2011
We propose that perceived partner concealment, self-concealment from one's partner (i.e., keeping secrets from one's partner), and trust in one's partner form a reciprocal cycle in romantic relationships. In Study 1, participants in a romantic relationship (N = 94) completed a two-time point survey within a span of 8 to 10 weeks. Results revealed that perceived partner concealment was associated with a loss of trust in partner, and low trust in partner was associated with an increase in self-concealment from one's partner. Furthermore, the association between perceived partner concealment and self-concealment from one's partner was mediated by trust. In Study 2, couples (N = 50) completed daily records for 14 consecutive days. Multilevel analyses indicated that on the days the individuals reported more self-concealment, their partners reported lower trust in them. Moreover, on the days the partners reported lower trust, the partners also reported higher self-concealment. These findings suggest that self-concealment in romantic relationships can create a reciprocal cycle that involves loss of trust and more self-concealment between partners, which would slowly deteriorate the relationship well-being. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.