An exploration of the relationships between elementary school teachers’ humor styles and their emotional labor

Yu Hsiu Liao, Si Yu Luo, Meng Hua Tsai, Hsueh Chih Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Teaching requires emotional labor. Humor is a promising but under-explored means of coping with such labor. A questionnaire was administered to 302 primary teachers to assess three kinds of emotional labor (surface, deep, and genuine acting) and four humor styles: two adaptive (affiliative and self-enhancing) and two maladaptive (aggressive and self-defeating). Affiliative and self-enhancing humor were positively correlated with emotional labor, whereas aggressive and self-defeating humor were negatively correlated with such labor. These results can help raise awareness of teaching's emotional demands, and encourage teacher-training and professional-development programs to showcase appropriate ways, including humor, of coping with workplace emotions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102950
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan



  • Emotional labor
  • Humor styles
  • Primary school
  • Teachers’ well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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