A systematic review of humor use in romantic relationships

Lorena Antonovici, Maria Nicoleta Turliuc, Iulia Diana Muraru


Previous studies show that there is a significant relation between the use of humor and quality of romantic relationships. Nevertheless, the literature on this subject is really poor and, regarding the previous systematic reviews on humor and romantic relationships, we were unable to find recent data. This present study is intended to elucidate the role of humor in the context of romantic relationships in the recently researched literature, in order to provide relevant information for future directions of study. The following databases and electronic journal collections were searched for articles that were published between 2005 and 2015: PsychInfo® and PubMed®, full text, peer-reviewed. The studies included were published empirical ones, of any design, measuring and reporting in the English language. Sources, study populations, data on study design, variables, methods of measurement, types of tool, study outcomes and limits were extracted from each study. The 12 studies included in this review were almost exclusively linked to humor styles and relationship quality. Other investigated variables were generally linked to stress, communication/ -couple conflicts and, -humor functions. Among all the studies included, only two were experimental based designs. Despite the interest in humor within romantic relationships, we still have a small amount of information about the importance of the use of humor in relationships or regarding which are the best ways to assess it. Studies using more advanced approaches to evaluate the relevance of humor for romantic relationships are required in order to inform us more properly.

humor, romantic relationships, directions of study, systematic review

LORENA ANTONOVICI – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Maria Nicoleta Turliuc – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, E-mail: turliuc@uaic.ro

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