Event Title

Secrets in Romantic Relationships: An Examination of Demographic Differences

Presenter Information

Jennifer L. Aboubi

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Location

Event Center A&B

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kelly Campbell

Start Date

5-27-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

5-27-2014 2:30 PM

Abstract

: Secrecy within the context of a romantic relationship refers to the intentional withholding of information from a partner. Previous research indicates that partners prefer not to discuss information that falls into one of three categories: Taboo topics, conventional secrets, and rule violations. The most commonly kept secrets fall into the taboo category and tend to be sexual in nature. Research indicates that secrecy within romantic relationships is associated with lower relationship quality. The purpose of the present study was to examine demographic differences with respect to secrecy in romantic relationships. Regarding gender, we predicted that women would be more likely than men to keep secrets from a partner because women are less reliant on their partners for self-disclosure and intimacy ( i.e., women confide in other members of their social networks such as family and friends). We also predicted that younger individuals would be more likely than older participants to perceive secrets as detrimental to a partnership. This prediction is based on younger people’s greater use of social media, including their tendency to publically present information that is often kept private by older individuals (e.g., photos of their daily interactions). We collected data from 416 ethnically diverse participants who were recruited through websites (e.g., Craigslist.org), social media sites (e.g., Facebook), and university participant pools. We conclude by discussing the importance of our findings with respect to clinical settings, including demographic-based interventions.

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May 27th, 1:00 PM May 27th, 2:30 PM

Secrets in Romantic Relationships: An Examination of Demographic Differences

Event Center A&B

: Secrecy within the context of a romantic relationship refers to the intentional withholding of information from a partner. Previous research indicates that partners prefer not to discuss information that falls into one of three categories: Taboo topics, conventional secrets, and rule violations. The most commonly kept secrets fall into the taboo category and tend to be sexual in nature. Research indicates that secrecy within romantic relationships is associated with lower relationship quality. The purpose of the present study was to examine demographic differences with respect to secrecy in romantic relationships. Regarding gender, we predicted that women would be more likely than men to keep secrets from a partner because women are less reliant on their partners for self-disclosure and intimacy ( i.e., women confide in other members of their social networks such as family and friends). We also predicted that younger individuals would be more likely than older participants to perceive secrets as detrimental to a partnership. This prediction is based on younger people’s greater use of social media, including their tendency to publically present information that is often kept private by older individuals (e.g., photos of their daily interactions). We collected data from 416 ethnically diverse participants who were recruited through websites (e.g., Craigslist.org), social media sites (e.g., Facebook), and university participant pools. We conclude by discussing the importance of our findings with respect to clinical settings, including demographic-based interventions.