Styles of humor and social skills in students. Gender differences



Styles of humor and social skills could significantly determine a person’s functioning. This study aimed to analyze whether styles of humor and social skills correlate, and also the relation that links these variables according to gender. We employed the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ) and the Social Skills Scale (EHS, in Spanish) to assess 643 participants. The results showed that males used styles of humor (Affiliative, Self-enhancing, Aggressive and Self-defeating) more than females. We found gender differences for social skills only in the factors Expression of disapproval (higher scores for females) and Say no and interrupt interactions (higher scores for males). The data indicate correlations among the factors styles of humor and social skills, but not in them all. When we formed groups that allowed the classification of participants according to styles of humor and social skills, females showed a more even distribution, while three of every four males obtained high levels for styles of humor (except for Self-defeating humor) and social skills (except for Making requests). The model created with styles of humor and social skills indicated an optimum fit: χ2(25) = 56.921 p < 0.001; χ2/gl =2.27; CFI = 0.97; NFI = 0.94; TLI = 0.94; RMSEA = 0.044, 95%CI (0.029–0.060), with minor gender differences in the relation between styles of humor and social skills. In conclusion, this research shows how males scored higher than females for all four humor styles and dimensions, and not only for negative humor styles as in previous research works. We found that gender differences for social skills revealed only two factors, which may be related to the use of negative humor styles (Expression of disapproval and Say no and interrupt interactions). Finally, one in every three males and two in every three females had problems in some, or several, sections to manage styles of humor and social skills. Hence we should work on this matter in classrooms. Further research on the interpersonal context of humor and the role of gender in humor styles and social skills is warranted.


Styles of humor Social skills Gender 



This study was performed by Research Group OPIICS, University of Zaragoza (Zaragoza, Spain) and supported by research funds provided by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of Aragón (Spain), and the European Social Fund. We wish to acknowledge the extensive and continuous help of all patients, without whom the present registry would have not been possible.

Author’s Contributions

The author read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All the procedures performed in studies that involved human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Subjects voluntarily participated and signed informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Salavera
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pablo Usán
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laurane Jarie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Group OPIICSUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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