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An initial study on how families deal with ridicule and being laughed at: parenting styles and parent–child relations with respect to gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism


Proyer, Rene T; Estoppey, Stephanie; Ruch, Willibald (2012). An initial study on how families deal with ridicule and being laughed at: parenting styles and parent–child relations with respect to gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism. Journal of Adult Development, 19(4):228-237.

Abstract

Familial aggregation and the effect of parenting styles on three dispositions toward ridicule and being laughed at were tested. Nearly 100 families (parents, their adult children, and their siblings) completed subjective questionnaires to assess the presence of gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at), gelotophilia (the joy of being laughed at), and katagelasticism (the joy of laughing at others). A positive relationship between fear of being laughed at in children and their parents was found. Results for gelotophilia were similar but numerically lower; if split by gender of the adult child, correlations to the mother’s gelotophilia exceeded those of the father. Katagelasticism arose independently from the scores in the parents but was robustly related to greater katagelasticism in the children’s siblings. Gelotophobes remembered punishment (espe- cially from the mother), lower warmth and higher control from their parents (this was also found in the parents’ recollections of their parenting style). The incidence of gelotophilia was unrelated to specific parenting styles, and katagelasticism exhibited only weak relations with pun- ishment. The study suggests a specific pattern in the rela- tion of the three dispositions within families and argues for a strong impact of parenting styles on gelotophobia but less so for gelotophilia and katagelasticism.

Familial aggregation and the effect of parenting styles on three dispositions toward ridicule and being laughed at were tested. Nearly 100 families (parents, their adult children, and their siblings) completed subjective questionnaires to assess the presence of gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at), gelotophilia (the joy of being laughed at), and katagelasticism (the joy of laughing at others). A positive relationship between fear of being laughed at in children and their parents was found. Results for gelotophilia were similar but numerically lower; if split by gender of the adult child, correlations to the mother’s gelotophilia exceeded those of the father. Katagelasticism arose independently from the scores in the parents but was robustly related to greater katagelasticism in the children’s siblings. Gelotophobes remembered punishment (espe- cially from the mother), lower warmth and higher control from their parents (this was also found in the parents’ recollections of their parenting style). The incidence of gelotophilia was unrelated to specific parenting styles, and katagelasticism exhibited only weak relations with pun- ishment. The study suggests a specific pattern in the rela- tion of the three dispositions within families and argues for a strong impact of parenting styles on gelotophobia but less so for gelotophilia and katagelasticism.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:13 Jul 2012 13:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:53
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1068-0667
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10804-012-9150-6
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-63534

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