Communication Boundary Management: A Theoretical Model of Managing Disclosure of Private Information Between Marital Couples
Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
Volume 1, Issue 4, pages 311–335, November 1991
How to Cite
Petronio, S. (1991), Communication Boundary Management: A Theoretical Model of Managing Disclosure of Private Information Between Marital Couples. Communication Theory, 1: 311–335. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.1991.tb00023.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
This article presents a theoretical approach that may be used to understand the way individuals regulate disclosure of private information. The communication boundary management perspective, while more generally applicable, in this presentation focuses on the way marital couples manage talking about private matters with each other. This theoretical perspective presents a boundary coordination process representing couples’management of communication boundaries in balancing a need for difclosure with the need for privacy. The theory identifies the prerequisite conditions for disclosure and the message strategies a disclosing spouse may use to tell private information, as well as the strategic messages the marital partner may use to reply. In addition, a proposal for the way the disclosing spouse and receiving partner manage the coordination of their communication boundaries is presented.