College of Arts & Sciences

Date of Award

Spring 5-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jim Olson Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Spencer K. Thompson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jennifer Rockett, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between marital satisfaction and the use of humor, and to investigate whether or not this relationship was influenced by the length of marriage. I also examined how humor was appreciated as the couples were married longer and who produced the most humor; the husband or the wife. It was hypothesized that marital satisfaction would be highest among married couples who use higher levels of humor, that couples who had been married longer would have a greater appreciation of humor, and that the male partner would produce the most humor in the relationship. Results revealed no significant relationship between marital satisfaction and humor. Results also indicated that greater appreciation of humor was not related to the length of marriage. Finally, there was a significant difference in the production of humor in a relationship. That is, males seem to produce more humor than females in marital relationships. The study of marital satisfaction, as it relates to humor, provides us with a better understanding of how humor may affect married couples and this understanding may lead to better communication between couples and decrease divorce.

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