James, Lucy Ameila (2017) Humour styles and psychosocial adjustment in junior school pupils. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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It has been proposed that four main styles of humour exist. Research with adults and older children has identified links between these four styles of humour and psychosocial adjustment. Whilst adaptive humour styles have been found to be positively related to adjustment, maladaptive humour styles have been found to be negatively related. This thesis consists of four studies investigating the relationship between humour styles and adjustment in children aged 8-11 years, an age group which has previously been neglected. Study One used an experimental approach whereby children were presented with a vignette describing either a male or female child using one of the four styles of humour. Findings demonstrated that those using adaptive styles of humour were perceived more positively than those using maladaptive styles of humour. Study Two involved providing further validation for a measure of the four styles of humour suitable for primary-aged children which was administered alongside measures of psychosocial adjustment. The measure was found to be reliable and valid whilst associations consistent with those found previously were evident between humour styles and adjustment variables. Following on from this, Study Three used a longitudinal design to examine the associations between children’s humour styles and adjustment over time. Findings suggest that whilst children’s psychosocial adjustment may influence their use of humour styles, it may also be that their use of humour impacts upon their adjustment. Finally Study Four involved designing and evaluating a short intervention aimed at increasing children’s awareness of the different styles of humour. Following the intervention it was found that children’s understanding of both adaptive and maladaptive forms of humour increased. Overall the studies in this thesis suggest that younger children may use all four styles of humour and that associations with psychosocial adjustment are also present in this age group.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Contributors: Fox, CL (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 10:38
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 12:27
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/3027

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