The analysis of elementary and high school students' natural and humorous responses patterns in coping with embarrassing situations

Hui Ju Chang, Chien Ya Wang, Hsueh Chih Chen*, Kuo En Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This research aims to examine the use of humor in early adolescents for coping with imagined situations. The main issues investigated are the response patterns of participants to requests to answer the imagined questions by taking both general and humorous perspectives. The Interpersonal Coping Questionnaire was used to survey 485 fifth- to eighth- grade elementary school students in Taipei County and Taipei City for their answers to the imagined questions. The results show that, compared to the general answering perspective, elementary school students taking the humorous answering perspective tended to use specific coping strategies, humor techniques and content. The analysis of techniques of humor in our study has also revealed that irony, imitation, and metaphor were the most used strategies to cope with embarrassing interpersonal conditions in cases where a humorous approach was requested. In terms of age, both male and female junior high school students use more humorous techniques than the fifthand sixth-graders do, indicating a significant correlation between the creation of humor and the development of cognition. In terms of gender, female junior high school students use illogic and parody/imitation more than the male counterparts do. The respondents' humorous responses were also classified as aggressive, affiliative, self-defeating, or self-enhancing. It was discovered in this study that in terms of age, male elementary students mostly frequently used aggressive humor, whereas female elementary students mostly often used affiliative humor responses. As for junior high school students, male students use more aggressive humor, while their female counterparts use more self-defeating humor. These findings of the present research provide a valuable understanding for education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-347
Number of pages23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May


  • Coping strategies
  • Humor skills
  • Interpersonal Coping Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • General Psychology


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