The Development of 3 to 5-Year-Old-Children’s Sense of Humor and the Relationships Among Children’s Temperament and Parents’ Humor Style in China

Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 15)


Sense of humor refers to a stable personality characteristic or individual differences in a psychological variable. Using a combination of a questionnaire and a task, this study focused on understanding young children’s gender and age characteristics as factors in the development of their sense of humor and also explored the influences of child temperament and the humor style of children’s parents on the children’s sense of humor. The research was conducted with 110 preschool children aged 3–5 years old in a northern city in China. Three experimental tasks of different difficulties were used to observe the tendencies of the children’s reaction to humor sensory stimuli. The results of the study revealed a significant difference by age in humor development. The age of 4 was a turning point for children’s development of the sense of humor. There was no overall difference in gender for 3 to 5-year-old children’s sense of humor; however, an interaction between gender and age was evident. There were close relationships among 3 to 5-year-old children’s humor development, their temperament and their parents’ humor styles. Children’s age, temperament reaction, activity, inhibition, and parents’ affiliative humor style partially predicted the development of preschool children’s sense of humor.



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PsychologyLiaoning Normal UniversityDalianChina

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