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Abstract

Patterns of self-disclosure were explored by means of a questionnaire administered to pairs of roommates and hallmates (non-roommates living on the same floor) in freshman dormitories. It was predicted and found that friendship was more highly related to self-disclosure in intimate than in non-intimate topic areas, whereas proximity was more highly related to disclosure in non-intimate than in intimate areas. It was also found that friendship and intimate disclosure were more highly related among women than among men. These findings emphasize the interplay of personal, role-related, and environmental factors which underlie patterns of friendship and self-disclosure. They also point to the importance of viewing self-disclosure in differentiated terms, rather than as a single monolithic entity. Other findings of both substantive and methodological interest are reported. For example, there was a strong tendency for respondents to overemphasize the degree to which their patterns of giving and receiving personal information were symmetrical. There was also a tendency for respondents to report giving more disclosure than they received in non-intimate areas, but not in intimate areas.