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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 2017: 1.27

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.415
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.228

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Volume 27, Issue 2


Relationship-focused humor styles and relationship satisfaction in dating couples: A repeated-measures design

Sara Caird / Rod A. Martin
Published Online: 2014-05-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2014-0015


This investigation used a repeated-measures diary methodology to examine associations between humor styles used in the context of dating relationships and relationship satisfaction over time. Over a period of three weeks, undergraduate students (N = 136) completed seven online questionnaires that assessed their relationship satisfaction and dissatisfaction and their use of humor styles with their dating partners over the previous three days. This study represents a departure from previous cross-sectional designs that focus on between-person correlations. Results from the within-person level (i.e., changes within individuals over time), as well as the between-persons level are reported. For some humor styles, within-person findings mirrored between-person findings. For example, affiliative humor use at both levels was positively associated with relationship satisfaction. However, other humor styles revealed different effects at the two levels of analysis. For instance, aggressive humor was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction at the between- but not the within-persons level. A significant cross-level interaction was also found. A strong negative association between daily self-defeating humor and relationship satisfaction was found only for individuals who used high levels of this humor style overall. In contrast, no within-person association was found for those who rarely used this type of humor.

Keywords: humor styles; relationship satisfaction; relationship persistence; dating relationships; repeated measures; multilevel modeling

About the article

Sara Caird

Sara Caird is a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Western Ontario. She is currently conducting her doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Rod A. Martin.

Rod A. Martin

Rod A. Martin has been a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Western Ontario since 1984. He has been conducting research on associations between humor and psychological well-being for more than 30 years. He is a member of the editorial board of Humor and is a past president of the International Society for Humor Studies.

Published Online: 2014-05-09

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: HUMOR, Volume 27, Issue 2, Pages 227–247, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2014-0015.

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