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Abstract

The relationship between power and self-disclosure was studied for 20 dating and 20 married couples. Power and self-disclosure scales (of feelings and of accomplishments) were constructed and administered individually. We hypothesized that: (1) Women disclose more about feelings than men. (2) Men disclose more about accomplishments than women. (3) Power is positively correlated with disclosure of accomplishments. (4) Power is negatively correlated with disclosure of feelings and weaknesses. (5) Dating men are more powerful than dating women, but there are no gender differences in power in marriage. Hypotheses 1,3, and 5 were supported. Hypotheses 2 and 4 were rejected. Our findings revealed that there were no differences in power or disclosure of accomplishments between men and women for the total group. However, a significant interaction was found between gender and marital status for power. Dating men had more power than dating women, but married women had more power than married men. Last, women disclosed more feelings than men across both groups.