The Protective Role of Adaptive Humor Styles in Depression: A Culturally Diverse Study
MetadataShow full item record
This paper aimed at exploring the role of adaptive humor styles and personal-level collectivism in depression in a cross-cultural context. It was hypothesized that both adaptive humor styles would be negatively associated with depression and positively with personal- level collectivism, which would also be negatively associated with depression. Using online versions of the short Humor Style Questionnaire (HSQ), the Individualism-Collectivism Scale (ICS), and the Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), a total of 650 self-report responses were examined. Subjects’ age ranged between 18 - 65 years (M = 33.4, SD = 12.5), with 58% females, 41% males, and less than 1% of other gender and a relatively heterogeneous distribution of educational levels. As hypothesized, the self-enhancing humor style and personal-level collectivism were negatively associated with depression. Unexpectedly, the affiliative humor style was not. Both adaptive humor styles were positively correlated with personal-level collectivism, as expected. Further, personal-level collectivism partially explained the negative relationship between the self-enhancing humor style and depression. The affiliative humor style in interaction with the self-enhancing humor style, however, diminished the protective role the self-enhancing humor style had on depression. Overall, despite some methodological limitations, findings suggest a protective role of the self- enhancing humor style and personal-level collectivism in depression. An important implication is the encouragement of clients’ self-enhancing humor style and collectivistic values in clinical interventions for depression.