Dissertation Defense Announcement
College of Education announces the Final Dissertation Defense of
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
March 29, 2019 at 3:00 PM in Ball Hall
Advisor: Owen Richard Lightsey
Humor Styles and Self-Esteem as Mediators of the Relationship Between Personality and Life Satisfaction
ABSTRACT: Life satisfaction is a key component of hedonic or subjective well-being as well as a pivotal predictor of other health-related indices. One of the strongest predictors of life satisfaction is personality, including neuroticism (a strong inverse predictor) and extraversion. The current research examined two constructs that potentially mediate the relationship between the predictor variable of personality and the outcome variable of life satisfaction: humor styles and self-esteem. Path analysis procedures were utilized to examine a primary model, in which it was hypothesized that specific humor styles would partially mediate the relationship between extraversion and neuroticism and the outcome of life satisfaction via self-esteem. Narcissism, controlled as a potential confound in initial analyses due to evidence of correlations with self-esteem and other variables examined in this study, did not predict humor styles, self-esteem, or life satisfaction, and was removed from the final model. Partially supporting hypotheses, self-enhancing humor and self-defeating humor mediated the relationship between extraversion and neuroticism and the outcome variable of life satisfaction via self-esteem. The model accounted for 28% of the variance in life satisfaction. An alternative model, in which it was hypothesized that self-esteem would serve as the proximal mediator and humor style as the distal mediator in the relationship between personality and life satisfaction was also examined but did not provide a good fit to the data. These results provide support for further research on how self-enhancing and self-defeating humor can potentially impact well-being and how these humor styles might be purposefully shaped to produce positive outcomes.