Humor Styles, Bullying Victimization and Psychological School Adjustment: Mediation, Moderation and Person-Oriented Analyses

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

4 Citations (Scopus)


Humor can be both adaptive and maladaptive and plays a role in bullying victimization and school adjustment. It was hypothesized that humor styles decrease or increase victimization, which in turn affects school adjustment. Furthermore, humor might moderate effects of victimization on school adjustment. Moreover, a person-oriented approach could improve our understanding of group differences in these variables. An online questionnaire retrospectively surveyed emerging adults (N = 172; 77.2% female; mean age: 22.7 years) with respect to humor style use, bullying victimization and school adjustment. Mediation and moderation analyses were computed, and two sets of person-oriented analyses compared victims, bully-victims and noninvolved students on humor styles and school adjustment, and three latent humor-related groups (overall-high, adaptive-high and adaptive-low) on victimization and school adjustment. Victimization fully mediated the positive effect of affiliative humor and partially mediated the negative effect of self-defeating humor on school adjustment. The negative effect of victimization on school adjustment was magnified by self-defeating humor and attenuated by aggressive humor. Bully-victims used both aggressive and self-defeating humor more frequently, and victims used aggressive and affiliative humor less frequently. Furthermore, both victims and bully-victims showed lower school adjustment. Finally, the adaptive-high humor group showed lower victimization and higher school adjustment. Implications for school interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11415
Pages (from-to)11415
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2022


  • affiliative humor style
  • aggressive humor style
  • bully-victims
  • bullying
  • humor styles
  • psychological adjustment
  • school adjustment
  • school violence
  • self-defeating humor style
  • victimization
  • Bullying/psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Young Adult
  • Crime Victims/psychology
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schools
  • Adaptation, Psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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