Self-Disclosure and Psychological Resilience: The Mediating Roles of Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion


  • Jacquelyn Harvey
  • Karen Boynton


Self-disclosure involves sharing thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others, typically surrounding emotionally relevant and often times difficult life experiences. Research suggests a link between acts of self-disclosure and improved psychological resilience. Most research argues that resilience arises because acts of disclosure alter one’s thinking around a topic of disclosure, which is then associated with improved resilience. Research also suggests, however, that disclosure can alter personal characteristics such as one’s level of self-compassion or self-esteem. Nevertheless, we know relatively little about the potential mediating role that personal characteristics might play in predicting resilience. This exploratory cross-sectional study assesses whether self-characteristics (specifically self-esteem and self-compassion) mediate the relationship between self-disclosure and psychological resilience. Four hundred and forty-three individuals completed a survey that assessed the aforementioned variables. Findings suggest that self-esteem and self-compassion mediate the relationship between self-disclosure and psychological resilience. Demographically, age and those who identified as male reported significantly higher levels of resilience than individuals of other demographics. These findings pinpoint personal characteristics that could be targeted to supplement and improve the efficacy of self-disclosure interventions.