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WHAT CHILDREN'S JOKES REVEAL ABOUT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH

Just like adults, children use humor in their everyday lives. Some like to make fun of themselves, whereas others like to laugh at the expense of others. But what effect does a child’s humor have, for example, on their relationships with others and how they feel about themselves? To find out, we studied the use of humor in children aged between 11 and 16, and discovered a link between a child’s humor style and their mental health.

Our study is based on previous research into styles of humor among adults. Rod Martinand colleagues used a questionnaire to identify four different types of humor: self-enhancing, affiliative, self-defeating and aggressive. They found evidence to suggest that someone’s styles of humor can have positive or negative impact on their relationships with others and their psychological wellbeing.


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