Confidant Relations in Italy


  • Jenny Isaacs
  • Francesca Soglian
  • Edward Hoffman


Confidants are often described as the individuals with whom we choose to disclose personal, intimate matters. The presence of a confidant is associated with both mental and physical health benefits. In this study, 135 Italian adults responded to a structured questionnaire that asked if they had a confidant, and if so, to describe various features of the relationship. The vast majority of participants (91%) reported the presence of a confidant and regarded this relationship as personally important, high in mutuality and trust, and involving minimal lying. Confidants were significantly more likely to be of the opposite sex. Participants overall were significantly more likely to choose a spouse or other family member as their confidant, rather than someone outside of the family network. Familial confidants were generally seen as closer, and of greater value, than non-familial confidants. These findings are discussed within the context of Italian culture.