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International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.660
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.059

CiteScore 2018: 1.00

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.367
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Volume 25, Issue 4


Childhood experiences of professional comedians: Peer and parent relationships and humor use

Gil Greengross, / Rod A. Martin, / Geoffrey Miller,
Published Online: 2012-11-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2012-0026


This study examines a commonly held belief, left over from psychoanalytic theories of humor as a coping mechanism, that relationships with parents strongly influence comedians' temperaments and career choices. Thirty one professional stand-up comedians and 400 students completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), which concerns recollected parental care and protectiveness, and a new self-report questionnaire that measures popularity and humor use among peers during adolescence. Results show that comedians' parents did not differ from students' parents in care or protectiveness, and comedians did not differ from students in adolescent popularity, but comedians did use more humor among adolescent peers (were more likely to be class clowns, make fun of others, laugh at themselves, and be the butt of jokes). The results suggest that stand-up comedians do not differ much from ordinary college students in their parental or adolescence peer relationships.

Keywords: humor; comedians; stand-up comedy; parental bonding; development

About the article

Published Online: 2012-11-08

Published in Print: 2012-11-14

Citation Information: Humor, Volume 25, Issue 4, Pages 491–505, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2012-0026.

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©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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