Longitudinal associations between humor styles and psychosocial adjustment in adolescence

C. Louise Fox, Simon Hunter, S.E. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

© 2016 PsychOpen. All rights reserved.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 pages13
JournalEurope's Journal of Psychology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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