Humor styles, self-esteem, age and subjective well-being.
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Since previous research showed different associations between humor styles, well-being and self-esteem, this study aims at providing insight into how these positive psychological traits relate to each other in one combined model while also examining the contribution of age. Based on the broaden-and-build theoretical framework, which underline the role of positive emotions in building personal resources and other related empirical findings in regard to positive personality characteristics, it has been hypothesized that adaptive humor styles would be positively associated with self-esteem and well-being, whereas maladaptive humor styles would be negatively associated with self-esteem and well-being. Age would not relate to well-being. The mediator/moderator role of self-enhancing humor style between self-esteem and psychological well-being has been investigated. International participants (n= 114, 85 females and 29 males) aged 18-74 years, vast majority of them was highly educated (university level or higher - 93, high school - 20, primary education - 1) completed an online survey including The Humor Styles Questionnaire, The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, The Flourishing Scale, and provided demographic information. Results revealed that well-being was positively associated with self-esteem, age and adaptive humor styles. Maladaptive humor styles had no association with well-being. High self-esteem was related to higher usage of adaptive humor styles as well, but lower usage of self-defeating humor style. Age was positively associated with well-being, and not related to self-esteem or any of the humor styles. Further analyses showed that the most valuable predictors of well-being were self-esteem and self-enhancing humor styles. No moderation effect of self-enhancing humor style on self-esteem and well-being was found. Besides that, well-being was significantly predicted by the combined mediation effect of self-esteem and self-enhancing humor style. Several limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research are discussed. For further research, it might be interesting to examine the role of maladaptive humor styles on self-esteem and well-being. A greater focus on them could produce interesting findings and add new insights on the inconsistent link between them, well-being, and self-esteem.