An examination of willingness to self-disclose in women with bulimic symptoms considering the context of disclosure and negative affect levels Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: This study explored the relationship between bulimic symptoms and self-disclosure. It examined whether women who reported greater bulimic symptomatology were generally less willing to self-disclose in intimate relationships or whether reluctance to disclose was confined to eating and weight concerns. METHOD: Women with high and low scores on the Bulimia Test Revised (BULIT-R) were compared on self-disclosure about three topics (daily activities, eating, and weight) and sexual and relationship issues to three targets (mother, friend, and partner). RESULTS: There were significant main and interaction effects for BULIT-R score, target, and topic of self-disclosure. When depression was controlled for, it partially explained the association between bulimic behavior and self-disclosure. DISCUSSION: Results supported a contextual model of self-disclosure. Compared with nonbulimic women, women with bulimic symptoms were less willing to self-disclose certain topics to particular targets. Levels of depression explained low willingness to disclose on topics unrelated to eating and weight to some targets.

publication date

  • April 2002