M. L. Olson, D. S. Hugelshofer, P. Kwon, R. C. Ref
Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005)
The current study examines the effects of rumination and humor on individuals' dysphoria level. Measures of humor (affiliative and self-enhancing), rumination, and depressive symptoms were completed by 303 undergraduate students. Consistent with our hypothesis, both affiliative humor and rumination independently accounted for variance in dysphoria levels. In addition, self-enhancing humor and rumination were independently associated with dysphoria. Moreover, significant interactions between affiliative humor and rumination, and self-enhancing humor and rumination, on dysphoria also emerged. Results indicated that among individuals with high rumination, those with high affiliative and/or self-enhancing humor had significantly lower levels of dysphoria than individuals with low affiliative and/or self-enhancing humor. The combination of low affiliative and/or self-enhancing humor and high rumination led to substantially higher levels of dysphoria than any other combination. Implications for psychotherapy and research in this area are discussed.