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Seeing the forest and the trees: a meta-analysis of the antecedents to online self-disclosure

Ruihe Yan (School of Humanity and Law, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China)
Xiang Gong (School of Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, China) (School of Management, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China)
Haiqin Xu (School of Business, Anhui University, Hefei, China)
Qianwen Yang (School of Economics and Management, Northwest University, Xi'an, China) (School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 18 June 2024




A wealth of studies have identified numerous antecedents to online self-disclosure. However, the number of competing theoretical perspectives and inconsistent findings have hampered efforts to obtain a clear understanding of what truly influences online self-disclosure. To address this gap, this study draws on the antecedent-privacy concern-outcome (APCO) framework in a one-stage meta-analytical structural equation modeling (one-stage MASEM) study to test a nomological online self-disclosure model that assesses the factors affecting online self-disclosure.


Using the one-stage MASEM technique, this study conducts a meta-analysis of online self-disclosure literature that comprises 130 independent samples extracted from 110 articles reported by 53,024 individuals.


The results reveal that trust, privacy concern, privacy risk and privacy benefit are the important antecedents of online self-disclosure. Privacy concern can be influenced by general privacy concern, privacy experience and privacy control. Furthermore, moderator analysis indicates that technology type has moderating effects on the links between online self-disclosure and some of its drivers.


First, with the guidance of the APCO framework, this study provides a comprehensive framework that connects the most relevant antecedents underlying online self-disclosure using one-stage MASEM. Second, this study identifies the contextual factors that influence the effectiveness of the antecedents of online self-disclosure.



The work described in this study was supported by grants from the Anhui Philosophy and Social Science Planning Project of China [Project Nos. AHSKQ2021D30].


Yan, R., Gong, X., Xu, H. and Yang, Q. (2024), "Seeing the forest and the trees: a meta-analysis of the antecedents to online self-disclosure", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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