Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Committee Member

Leesa Dillman

Number of Pages



"Living Expressions" are formal events where appreciative feelings are disclosed to a living recipient by friends and/or relatives. Effects of events on the self-esteem of recipients and recipient's relationships with disclosers were studied. Self-esteem and self-disclosure are components of personal and relational health. Living Expressions were expected to enhance self-esteem and personal relationships through self-disclosure. Living Expressions have semblance to ideas contained in eulogies, Gestalt and other therapies and group theories. Self-enhancement and self-consistency theory conflicts were considered. Social penetration theory and self-disclosure studies were reviewed. Eleven recipients were subjects in this multi-case, qualitative study. The combined self-enhancement/self-consistency theory and social penetration theory were supported. Positive effects on self-esteem were negligible, however, the benefits of self-disclosure were substantial and all relationships were enhanced. Limitations of measures, communication difficulties, and temporal effects, were discussed. Further research was recommended.


Effects; Expressions; Living; Primary; Recipients

Controlled Subject

Communication; Ethnology; Social psychology

File Format


File Size

2.93 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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