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Abstract

Although self-disclosure is a critical aspect of interactions between intimate partners, having a partner who is responsive to one’s needs after the disclosure is equally important. But what does responsiveness look like? Two observational coding systems for responsive behaviors (Study 1) were created to test the links between one partner’s behaviors and the other partner’s outcomes, on videotaped interactions of 79 U.S. dating couples disclosing positive and negative events with each other (Study 2). These systems were useful across both types of disclosure interactions, providing evidence for the importance of responsive behaviors in different contexts. Responsive behaviors were associated with postinteraction perceptions of responsiveness, which is important for understanding how the behavioral response impacts both the discloser and the relationship.