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Positive humor in couples as interpersonal emotion regulation


Horn, Andrea B; Samson, Andrea C; Debrot, Anik; Perrez, Meinrad (2018). Positive humor in couples as interpersonal emotion regulation. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships:026540751878819.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate daily positive humor in couples as an interpersonal emotion regulation strategy. Associated changes in psychological intimacy were tested as a possible socio-affective pathway of emotion regulation that mediates the effects of couple humor on changes in individual momentary affect. Within a dyadic ambulatory assessment framework, 102 couples reported on their production of positive humor as an attempt to regulate their partner’s mood, psychological intimacy, and momentary affect four times a day for 1 week. An actor–partner interdependence mediation model revealed actor and partner effects of humor on changes in daily affect. Furthermore, the indirect effect of own humor via changes in the partner’s feelings of psychological intimacy (socio-affective pathway) on the partner’s affect was significant. Results support the assumption that daily positive humor experienced with one’s romantic partner serves as an interpersonal emotion regulation strategy in daily life as reflected in direct effects on one’s own and one’s partner’s momentary affect. The partner’s changes in affect were partially mediated by changes in their feelings of psychological intimacy. This speaks in favor of an indirect socio-affective mechanism of interpersonal emotion regulation associated with positive humor expressed toward the partner.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate daily positive humor in couples as an interpersonal emotion regulation strategy. Associated changes in psychological intimacy were tested as a possible socio-affective pathway of emotion regulation that mediates the effects of couple humor on changes in individual momentary affect. Within a dyadic ambulatory assessment framework, 102 couples reported on their production of positive humor as an attempt to regulate their partner’s mood, psychological intimacy, and momentary affect four times a day for 1 week. An actor–partner interdependence mediation model revealed actor and partner effects of humor on changes in daily affect. Furthermore, the indirect effect of own humor via changes in the partner’s feelings of psychological intimacy (socio-affective pathway) on the partner’s affect was significant. Results support the assumption that daily positive humor experienced with one’s romantic partner serves as an interpersonal emotion regulation strategy in daily life as reflected in direct effects on one’s own and one’s partner’s momentary affect. The partner’s changes in affect were partially mediated by changes in their feelings of psychological intimacy. This speaks in favor of an indirect socio-affective mechanism of interpersonal emotion regulation associated with positive humor expressed toward the partner.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2018
Deposited On:19 Dec 2018 13:52
Last Modified:31 Jan 2019 10:06
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0265-4075
Additional Information:This research was not pre-registered. The data and materials used in the research are available upon request by emailing a.horn@psychologie.uzh.ch.
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407518788197
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNFS
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleIntra- and interpersonal emotion regulation in couples
  • : FunderNational Centre of Competence in Research “Affective Science”
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPMPDP1_164470
  • : Project TitleCo-sensing of couples’ adjustment to a life transition in daily life: A comparison of interpersonal emotion regulation in couples with and without depression risk

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