Thesis Title

Association of Open Communication, Perceived Trust, and Relational Satisfaction Among Married Couples

Date of Graduation

Summer 1988


Master of Arts in Communication



Committee Chair

Herbert Jackson


Two schools of thought prevail concerning the correlation of open communication (or self-disclosure), perceived trust, and relational satisfaction among married couples: (1) open, honest self-disclosing communication correlates positively, both with relational satisfaction and perceived trust; and (2) "highly satisfied partners sometimes keep secrets, deceive each other, and even lie to avoid dysfunctional conflicts" (Bochner, 1984, p. 612). Open communication, perceived trust, and relational satisfaction were conceptually defined and indicators of each concept were operationalized. A pilot survey was administered to 24 volunteers. Based on the results, the research instrument was further refined and then distributed to 59 volunteers, married at least 10 years to the same person. In order to insure a homogeneous sample with respect to certain demographic variables, volunteers from Southwest Missouri State University faculty served as subjects for this study. The results of this survey: (1) reveal strong correlations across the variables, self-disclosure, trust, and relational satisfaction, and (2) support the hypothesis that a positive directional relationship exists between self-disclosure and both relational satisfaction and perceived trust.

Subject Categories



© Pamela Rochelle McWherter