Counseling Psychology


Self-Concealment: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Health Implications

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Guilford Press


This article introduces the construct of self-concealment, the active concealment from others of personal information that one perceives as negative or distressing. A Self-Concealment Scale (SCS) was developed and was included in a questionnaire battery completed by 306 subjects. The SCS had excellent psychometric properties. Self-concealment was conceptually and empirically distinguished from self-disclosure. Self-concealment significantly correlated with self-report measures of anxiety, depression, and bodily symptoms and accounted for a significant incremental percentage of the variance in physical and psychological symptoms even after controlling for occurrence of trauma, trauma distress, disclosure of the trauma, social support, social network, and self-disclosure. The implications of these findings are discussed and directions for further research are briefly outlined.

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