Sociotropy and autonomy are personality dimensions that represent vulnerabilities for depression, although relatively little is known about the social-psychological mechanisms underlying this association. The present research tested associations between personality-vulnerability dimensions, depressive symptoms, and positive and negative styles of humor in undergraduates as one means of characterizing the social interaction patterns of sociotropic and autonomous individuals. Sociotropy was associated with a self-defeating humor style, whereas Need for Control (an autonomy dimension) was related to the use of an aggressive humor style. Increased use of a self-defeating humor style and decreased use of self-enhancing and affliative humor styles, were associated with increased depressive symptoms. The results are discussed relative to personality-vulnerability theories of depression.
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