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The relative impacts of disclosure and secrecy: The role of (perceived) target response.

This review examines the current trends in understanding the impact of individuals’ decisions to either disclose information or continue to conceal it. As a whole, the evidence points to a relative benefit of disclosure over secret-keeping, but with clear cases, in which disclosure may be harmful. Advances in knowledge about factors that shape that impact, new research on the role verbal rumination with a partner following disclosure, and attention to the role of communal coping as an outcome of traumatic disclosures are addressed. In addition, recent re-conceptualization of secret-keeping, and investigations into the burden experienced by confidants are reviewed. Finally, a call for greater attention to the culture-specific impacts of disclosure decisions is made.

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