Humor Style and Motor Skills: Understanding Vulnerability to Bullying


  • Stephanie Plenty
  • Susanne Bejerot
  • Kimmo Eriksson


The purpose of this study was to examine the role of humor style and motor skills in vulnerability to bullying. 729 adults responded to the Humor Style Questionnaire (HSQ) and items retrospectively addressing their motor skills and bullying experiences during childhood. Consistent with recent research, poorer motor skills were associated with a greater extent of having been bullied. An association between stronger motor skills and affiliative humor was found, lending support to a shared biological basis theory underlying social and motor competency processes. Most importantly, being bullied was associated with higher self-defeating humor and lower affiliative humor. This supports earlier theoretical work by Klein and Kuiper (2006) and highlights the role that humor styles play in social interactions that can promote positive peer acceptance and wellbeing.