Longitudinal associations between humor styles and psychosocial adjustment in adolescence

Claire Louise Fox, Simon Christopher Hunter, Siân Emily Jones

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8 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study assessed the concurrent and prospective associations between psychosocial adjustment and four humor styles, two of which are adaptive (affiliative, self-enhancing) and two maladaptive (aggressive, self-defeating). Participants were 1,234 adolescents (52% female) aged 11-13 years, drawn from six secondary schools in England. Self-reports of psychosocial adjustment (loneliness, depressive symptomatology, and self-esteem) and humor styles were collected at two time points (fall and summer). In cross-lagged panel analyses, self-defeating humor was associated with an increase in both depressive symptoms and loneliness, and with a decrease in self-esteem. In addition, depressive symptoms predicted an increase in the use of self-defeating humor over time, indicating that these may represent a problematic spiral of thoughts and behaviors. Self-esteem was associated with an increase in the use of affiliative humor over the school year but not vice-versa. These results inform our understanding of the ways in which humor is associated with psychosocial adjustment in adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-389
Number of pages12
JournalEurope's Journal of Psychology
Volume12
Issue number3
Early online date13 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2016

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Keywords

  • humor
  • adjustment
  • depression
  • loneliness
  • self-esteem
  • adolecence

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