Humor Styles and Marital Satisfaction: Cluster Analysis of the Relationship
Humor use in communication is considered an important factor that affects relationship satisfaction according to past studies. However, there is insufficient evidence on how humor influences marital satisfaction at the couple level. This study aimed to classify couples into clusters with different humor types based on their humor styles and to investigate whether the humor styles of husbands and wives influence marital satisfaction. In total, 170 couples completed a humor style and marital satisfaction inventory by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with grouping the data of their humor styles and using cluster analysis to determine whether there were differences in marital satisfaction among couples with different humor types. The results revealed five humor types for the couples: “positive humor couples,” “aggressive husband and self-defeating wife,” “humor denier husband and general humor wife,” “general humor husband and humor denier wife” and “humor denier couples.” The ANCOVA results indicate that the highest marital satisfaction occurs among couples with positive humor and the lowest is among couples with denier humor. This study illustrates the humor types that likely occur among couples and concludes that marital satisfaction is high when both partners use positive humor and low when neither partner uses humor.