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Sense of humor among the elderly: Findings using the German version of the SHS


Proyer, Rene T; Ruch, Willibald; Müller, L (2010). Sense of humor among the elderly: Findings using the German version of the SHS. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 43(1):19-24.

Abstract

Empirical studies on humor among the elderly are lacking. Based on the model of sense of humor by Paul McGhee, different age groups are compared (n=979) in the present study. Data suggest that playfulness and sense of humor are stable across different age groups (in a cross-sectional design) but that elderly participants were highest in positive mood. However, they also indicated that they laughed less and less easily than younger participants. Among the elderly, those who frequently (more than once a week) meet with friends and colleagues yielded higher expressions in different aspects of the sense of humor than those who meet friends and colleagues less often. Generally, humor was positively associated with personal and national well-being. However, among those participants older than 60 years of age, national well-being (i.e., satisfaction with the government, safety, or economics in the country) was negatively related to humor. Results are discussed together with a general outlook on the use of humor interventions for increasing the well-being and quality of life of elderly people.

Abstract

Empirical studies on humor among the elderly are lacking. Based on the model of sense of humor by Paul McGhee, different age groups are compared (n=979) in the present study. Data suggest that playfulness and sense of humor are stable across different age groups (in a cross-sectional design) but that elderly participants were highest in positive mood. However, they also indicated that they laughed less and less easily than younger participants. Among the elderly, those who frequently (more than once a week) meet with friends and colleagues yielded higher expressions in different aspects of the sense of humor than those who meet friends and colleagues less often. Generally, humor was positively associated with personal and national well-being. However, among those participants older than 60 years of age, national well-being (i.e., satisfaction with the government, safety, or economics in the country) was negatively related to humor. Results are discussed together with a general outlook on the use of humor interventions for increasing the well-being and quality of life of elderly people.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:elderly; humor; sense of humor scale; well-being
Language:English
Date:1 February 2010
Deposited On:27 Jan 2010 14:11
Last Modified:09 Jun 2016 09:20
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0948-6704
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-009-0082-0
PubMed ID:20012065

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