Communication Studies


Master of Arts (MA)


Faith E Mullen

Primary Subject Area

Mass Communications


Dalmas Taylor, Irwin Altman, Self-Disclosure, Social Penetration Theory, Summer Camp, Young Adults


Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor's social penetration theory has been applied to numerous studies on self-disclosure for various target groups and contexts. While the self-disclosure of adolescents and young adults has been studied by many researchers, the self-disclosure of young adults at summer camp has not previously been studied, nor has it been compared with young adults' self-disclosure to new acquaintances in familiar settings. In this study, the researcher examined young adults' tendencies in self-disclosure while in camp settings to identify if self- disclosure at camp differed from their typical self-disclosure tendencies and if their self- disclosure at summer camp increased compared to their typical self-disclosure. The researcher also examined the self-disclosure of female young adults compared to male young adults while at camp and in familiar settings to determine if differences occur between genders. Participants in the study completed a survey inquiring about their predictions of their self-disclosure to a new acquaintance in a familiar setting and about their reported self-disclosure to a new acquaintance while at summer camp. The results of the study are inconclusive.