Using the Social Relations Model to Examine Correlates of Adolescent Humor

Beth Manke and Coleen Carlson

in Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early Adolescence

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195157475
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848065 | DOI:
Using the Social Relations                         Model to Examine Correlates of Adolescent Humor

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Humor is often cited as a desirable personality trait and a panacea for all that ails us. It is thought that people who consistently use humor in their everyday interactions are extroverted and outgoing, are more likely to feel better about themselves, experience less depression and loneliness, and are more competent in their social interactions. This chapter examines the temperament and well-being correlates of humor in adolescent family interactions. Specifically, it investigates whether adolescents' consistent use (actor effects) and elicitation (partner effects) of affiliative and aggressive humor are related to parental reports of children's temperament (sociability, emotionality, activity, and attention span), internalizing and externalizing problems; children's reports of depression, loneliness, and self-esteem; and teachers' reports of children's social competence. This chapter draws on data from the Colorado Sibling Study, a subproject of the Colorado Adoption Project, and represents an extension of a previous investigation of interpersonal humor using the same sample.

Keywords: Colorado Sibling Study; humor; actor effects; partner effects; children; depression; loneliness; temperament; well-being; social interactions

Chapter.  8886 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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