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Douglas S. Wilbur

Abstract

This qualitative research project employed semi-structured interviews (analyzed with qualitative coding techniques) to examine how (N = 22) male American combat veterans manage privacy. The two-fold purpose of this study was to determine how combat veterans adhere to or deviate from the principles of communication privacy management theory (CPM). Secondly, to provide new knowledge that can shape counseling strategies and transition programs to account for how veterans manage their privacy. Some of the significant findings are that veterans believe that merely participating in combat implicitly creates a collective boundary that all veterans must maintain to protect the group. Secondly, the veterans did not use boundary coordination or privacy rule development. Instead, they relied upon internal rules that helped them craft a disclosure that minimized risk. Veterans reported having dense privacy boundaries by default, even towards members of their own family. These dense boundaries present significant obstacles to therapists working with veterans and their families.