Fear of being laughed at and family interaction are highly related. Parental over-control and over-protection influence children's excessive anxiety over being laughed at. Conversely, parental attachment is an important index of the parent–child relationship and is closely correlated to children's gelotophobia. However, is it the style of parenting or the outcome of parenting (i.e. attachment) that influences a child's gelotophobia? To answer this question, the present study analysed the relationships between gelotophobia, perceived parenting of children and parent–child attachment, as well as the mediating role of attachment between parenting and children's gelotophobia, using a sample of 373 high-school students. The results show that being highly communicative and close attachment completely weakened the negative correlation between warm, caring parenting and the child's gelotophobia; moreover, being highly communicative and close attachment, together with over-protective and over-controlling parenting, influence children's gelotophobia. In sum, this study indicates that parent–child attachment has a direct and indirect influence on perceived parental care and protection and children's fear of being laughed at.
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