Age differences in children's judgements of reciprocal and non reciprocal patterns of self-disclosure / by Luanne Mann. --
MetadataShow full item record
Research conducted supports the conclusion that adults have a well defined norm of reciprocity in self-disclosure. The purpose of the present research was to determine whether and if so at what age the norm of reciprocity of self-disclosure prevails in children. In the present study, 30 children from each of kindergarden, second grade, fourth and sixth grade were presented videotapes of conversations between two children. The videotapes depicted high-high, low-low, high-low and low-high intimacy levels of self-disclosure in the stimulus person combinations. It should be noted that in some combinations, the intimacy level of the initial disclosure was reciprocated while in others, the respondent did not reciprocate the intimacy level of the initial disclosure. The stimulus materials for these videotapes were derived from 2 pilot studies. Following the viewing of the videotapes, subjects were requested to; (A) recall the exchange; (B) judge the respondent on the likability and friendship scales; (C) give explanations for their judgements. The results implied that the sixth grade children provided evidence for the norm of reciprocity pattern by indicating more liking and greater desirability for friendship with the High-High, Low-Low stimulus person combinations in which .the respondent reciprocated the intimacy level of the initial disclosure. The explanations of judgements given by the sixth grade children also provided some support for the norm of reciprocity pattern. In contrast, the results indicated that the kindergarten children based their liking and friendship judgements on the content of communication.