Relationship between types of humour and stress response and well-being among children in Japan

Ryota Tsukawaki, Nanae Kojima, Tomoya Imura, Yoshiya Furukawa, Katsuhiro Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the relationship between three types of children's humour (aggressive, self-defeating, and playful) and the children's stress response and well-being in the Japanese context, where a collectivistic culture is prevalent. To do so, 500 study participants (250 elementary and 250 junior high school students) were recruited. The participants reported the types of humour, stress responses, and level of well-being that they experienced. After correlation analysis, aggressive humour and playful humour showed a positive correlation with stress responses; in addition, aggressive humour showed a negative correlation with well-being. Self-defeating humour showed a negative correlation with stress responses and a positive correlation with well-being. We also conducted a cluster analysis using the scores for the three types of humour, analysing four groups: “aggressive humourists” (respondents who demonstrated above-average aggressive humour and scored average for all other humours), “nonhumourists” (below-average humour in all areas), “self-deprecating humourists” (above-average self-defeating humour, below-average aggressive humour, and average playful humour), and “multiple humourists” (above-average humour in all areas). Upon comparing the results of stress responses and well-being scores among the four groups, we found that self-deprecating humourists reported the highest level of well-being. These results show that in collectivistic cultures, self-defeating humour may be adaptive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Japan
  • Well-being
  • children
  • humour
  • stress response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between types of humour and stress response and well-being among children in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this