SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.36 issue2Factorial structure of the Questionnaire of Experiences Related with Internet on Chilean university studentsCommunicative memory and the themes of the collective memory of the 2001 crisis in Argentina, across generations, political ideology and degree of personal damage author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




  • Have no cited articlesCited by SciELO

Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO



On-line version ISSN 1668-7027


LOPEZ, Eugenia; MESURADO, Belén  and  GUERRA, Paulina. Different styles of sense of humor and their relationship with aggressive physical and verbal behavior in Argentine adolescents. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2019, vol.36, n.2, pp.69-78. ISSN 1668-7027.

The sense of humor gives a new perspective of life by turning the person into a spectator of what is happening, being able to laugh at oneself and to what happens to one. Because of that, it is considered that humor allows us to face problematic situations in a different way. Carbelo and Jáuregui (2006) argue that sense of humor is not a mere remedy to prevent or help overcome disease; instead, it has the capacity to promote greater well-being, enjoyment of life, growth towards greater humanity and fulfillment. These same authors add that sense of humor is a unique trait of the human species and it is possessed by all human beings of different cultures (Carbelo y Jáuregui, 2006). While each culture has its own rules about which facts or situations may be the object or cause of humor, “both humor and laughter are universal” (Cassaretto y Martínez, 2009, p. 289). Although humor has been associated with psychological, physical and social well-being, not all research show consistent results. This is because sense of humor does not imply only positive components, but also negative components (Martin, 2003; Cassaretto y Martínez, 2009). In general, the different studies carried out have perceived sense of humor as a positive feature with the potential to generate positive effects. However, there are negative elements of humor that have a negative correlation with psychological well-being (Martin, 2003; Grimshaw, Kirsh, Kuiper y Leite, 2004). Therefore, it is important to be able to consider the sense of humor not as a one-dimensional construct (taking into account only its positive components), but to be able to focus on a multi-dimensional approach capable of considering all the characteristics and consequences –positive and negative– of it. Martin (2003) postulates that humor is a personality trait composed of either healthy or adaptive components and of unhealthy or unadaptable components. This author proposes the following classification: Adaptive humor is formed by affiliative humor (the tendency to say funny things, to make jokes, and spontaneous and witty jokes to amuse other people) and self-enhancing humor (it implies having fun with the incongruities of life even in adversity and using humor as a strategy to face the vicissitudes), and unadaptive humor is formed by aggressive humor (the tendency to use humor for the purpose of criticizing or manipulating others by resorting to sarcasm, bothering with jokes, ridiculing others) and self-defeating humor (people who use this kind of humor are self-deprecating, make or say funny things at the expense of themselves and laugh with others while ridiculing or belittling). The aim of this work is to study the relationship between these two types of humor and physical and verbal aggressive behaviors. We worked with a sample of 100 adolescents from Argentina of both sexes, aged between 16 and 18 years, of the middle socioeconomic strata of Buenos Aires, Argentina. All participants responded to two scales: the questionnaire of physical and Verbal aggression (Caprara y Pastorelli, 1993, Spanish version of Barrio, Moreno Rosset, López Martínez, 2001), and the version adapted to Spanish by Cayssials (2004) of the scale of humor styles (Martin, 2003). The results indicate that aggressive humor positively predicts aggressive behaviors evaluated in a general way, and aggressive behaviors verbal and physical evaluated specifically. On the other hand, personal improvement humor style mitigates general aggressive behaviors and verbal aggression specifically. Finally, aggressive physical behaviors were only predicted by the aggressive humor style.

Keywords : Adaptive sense of humor; Unadaptive sense of humor; Physical aggression; Verbal aggression; Adolescents.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )