Participants' reports of recent stressors and anticipated stressors were predicted using a measure of sense of humor that assessed positive and negative uses of humor and measures of positive personality characteristics: optimism, hope, and happiness. The prediction was the tendency to use positive humor and/or avoid negative humor would be associated with higher levels of positive personality qualities, and that the positive personality qualities would mediate the relationship between sense of humor styles and perceptions of stress. The mediator model was supported for both past and future measures of perceived stress. Sense of humor differences explained variance in perceived stressors, but the inclusion of the positive personality qualities in the model virtually eliminated the contributions of sense of humor. It appears that appropriate uses of humor may support the selected positive personality qualities, which contribute to less extreme construal of stressors.
© 2008 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin