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Humor style similarity and difference in friendship dyads

Hunter, Simon C. and Fox, Claire L. and Jones, Siân E. (2016) Humor style similarity and difference in friendship dyads. Journal of Adolescence, 46 (1). pp. 30-37. ISSN 0140-1971

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Abstract

This study assessed the concurrent and prospective (fall to spring) associations between four different humor styles to assess the degree to which stable friendships are characterized by similarity, and to assess whether best friends’ humor styles influence each other’s later use of humor. Participants were aged 11-13 years, with 87 stable, reciprocal best friend dyads. Self-report assessments of humor styles were completed on both occasions. Results indicated that there was no initial similarity in dyads’ levels of humor. However, dyads’ use of humor that enhances interpersonal relationships (Affiliative humor) became positively correlated by spring. Additionally, young people’s use of this humor style was positively associated with their best friend’s later use of the same. No such effects were present for humor which was aggressive, denigrating toward the self, or used to enhance the self. These results have clear implications for theories of humor style development, highlighting an important role for Affiliative humor within stable friendship dyads.