Perceived Parental Warmth and Rejection in Childhood as Predictors of Humor Styles and Subjective Happiness


  • Shahe S. Kazarian
  • Lamia Moghnie
  • Rod A. Martin


This research examined maternal and paternal warmth (acceptance) and rejection (hostility and aggression, indifference/neglect, and undifferentiated rejection), as remembered by young adults, in relation to humor styles and subjective happiness. A total of 283 Lebanese college students completed the Arabic versions of the Adult Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire for Mother and Father, the Humor Styles Questionnaire, and the Subjective Happiness Scale. As predicted, parental warmth correlated positively and parental overall rejection and specific rejection scores correlated negatively with subjective happiness ratings. Parental warmth tended to correlate positively with use of adaptive humor styles, and negatively with use of maladaptive humor styles, while parental rejection tended to correlate positively with use of maladaptive humor styles and negatively with use of adaptive humor styles. In addition, self-enhancing humor mediated the relationships between parental warmth and rejection and subjective happiness. Overall, the findings are consistent with the view that parental warmth and rejection might contribute to the development of particular styles of humor, which in turn may contribute to later happiness and well-being.