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Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital Relationship

The Relationship Between Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital Relationship

 

Table of Content

TitlePage no
Declarationi
Certificateii
Acknowledgementiii
Table of contentiv
List of tablesvii
List of Abbreviationsviii
List of AppendicesIx
Abstract
Chapter 11
 Introduction1
1.1Happiness2
1.1.1Components of happiness3
1.2 Marriage3
1.2.1 Marital happiness4
1.2.2 Marriages in Pakistan6
1.2.3 Factors of happy marriage8
1.3 Humor10
1.3.1 Components of humor11
1.3.2  Styles of humor11
1.3.2.1  Types of humor styles12
1.4 Happiness and humor styles14
1.5 Theoretical frame work14
Chapter 217
Literature review17
2.1 Happiness17
2.2 Marriage18
2.2.1 Marital happiness19
2.3 Humor22
2.3.1 Sense of humor23
2.3.2 Humor styles25
2.4 Indigenous researches30
 2.4.1 Happiness30
 2.4.2 Marital happiness31
2.4.3 Humor styles33
2.5 Summary35
2.6 Rationale of the study36
2.7 Objectives of the study36
2.8 Hypotheses36
Chapter 338
Method38
3.1 Research design38
3.2 Sample38
3.2.1 Inclusion criteria38
3.3 Operational definitions39
3.3.1 Humor styles39
3.3.2 Marital happiness39
3.4 Assessment measures39
3.4.1 Humor Styles Questionnaire39
3.4.2 Demographic form40
3.4.3 Construction of scale40
3.4.3.1 Item formulation40
3.4.3.2 Pilot study42
3.5 Procedure42
3.6 Statistical analysis42
3.7 Ethical considerations43
Chapter 444
Result44
4.6 Graphical representation of demographic variables51
4.7 Summary of findings57
Chapter 558
Discussion58
5.1 Limitation67
5.2 Suggestion67
5.3 Implications68
References
Appendices

List of Tables

Tables Page No.
 Table 1Reliabilities of  Study Variables44
 Table 2Pearson Product Moment Correlation between styles of humor, demographic variables and marital happiness46
 Table 3Independent sample t-test for gender differences in marital happiness48
 Table 4Independent Sample t-test comparing differences in responses of married in family48
 Table 5Independent Sample t-test comparing differences in the responses of knew before marriage49
 Table 6Regression analysis used to find out the predictor50
 Graphical representation of demographic variables51
List of Appendices
  • Appendix-A                                       Permission letter from Author
  • Appendix-B                                        Informed Consent
  • Appendix-C                                        Demographic form
  • Appendix-D                                       Assessment Scales
  • Appendix-E                                        Plagiarism Report
List of Abbreviations and Symbols
  • N                                             Sample size
  • n                                             Number in Sub-sample
  • M                                            Average arithmetic mean
  • SD                                           Standard deviation
  • S.E                                          Standard error of estimation
  • f                                              Frequency
  • p                                             Significance level
  • α                                             Alpha: Cronbach’s Index of Internal Consistency
  • %                                            Percentage

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to examine the role of humor styles i.e. affiliative, self enhancing, aggressive and self defeating in marital happiness. Sample consisted of 50 married men and 50 married women (N=100) were included by using with purposive sampling technique. Humor Style Questionnaire HQS by (Martin, Puhlik-Doris, Larsen, Gray, and Weir, 2003) was used to assess different styles of humor and a scale was developed to assess marital happiness in Pakistani cultural context. For this purpose, standard procedure was followed: opinions of experts, interviewers, literature consultation, item generation, testing and final scale construction. Pilot testing was done on this scale. Correlation was examined in order to check the association between humor styles with marital happiness. It was found that none of the humor styles were related with marital happiness. But significant correlation found between opinion and choice in marriage with marital happiness.  T-test analysis showed that there were gender differences in marital happiness. It was found that women were happier than men.  No relationship was found in age and marriage duration with marital happiness. Regression analysis results revealed that self-enhancing humor was the predictor of marital happiness. So it is concluded that humor styles have no relationship with marital happiness. In our culture there may be other variables that affect marital happiness. The outcome of the study was that a reliable scale of Marital Happiness in Pakistan has been constructed and rated.

Chapter 1

Introduction

Happiness is the fundamental element of married life. Marital satisfaction is the better understanding to the spouse, responsible role of both partners to fulfill the requirements of close relationship, ability to resolve conflicts positively and good decision making (Fowers & Oloson, 1993). Perfectionism influences all domains of life including passionate relationships and marital satisfaction (Stoeber & Stoeber, 2009). But if humor is used in a positive way in married life, it makes the relationship more smooth and freshen. Humor can promote communication, sharing and believable interaction between parents and children and if it is used inappropriately, it unties the relationships by encouraging poor interpersonal skills, bad habits and negative beliefs (Martin, 2003).Humor styles differentiate the means in which humor is naturally implemented (positively and negatively) in social relationships (Martin, 2003). There is rare research on humor styles with marital happiness and how marital life is affected by these styles. Humor styles have made known to be associated to constructive and pessimistic influence (Kuiper, Grimshaw, Leite  & Kirsh, 2004), that stables the qualities as hope, joyfulness and shocking mood (Martin, Doris, Larsen, Gray, & Weir, 2003), and sociotropy (Frewen, Brinker, Martin, & Dozois, 2008).

The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between styles of humor and happiness in marital relationship. Happiness and humor styles are interrelated with each other which are necessary for running a married life smooth and consistent. This chapter will present definitions of humor, humor styles, happiness and marital happiness and theoretical perspective will also be presented. It will then provide a theoretical rationale for the relationship between variables.  By studying this research, One can have best understanding of different styles of humor and their effect on married life.

1.1 Happiness

Happiness exactly means delight and joy, but it is not merely joy and pleasure. In fact it is state of mind where a person feels good and providential and to have long-lasting pleasure and satisfaction. The person tries to avoid that situation where he comes across depression and misery. Happiness is an entire reception of life in good, bad and hideous ways. Love can thrive in environment which is enlighted with happiness and is a part of every soul. Being happy all the time does not mean bad things do not take place with you, it just means you are able to grip them and not let them to make you helpless and hopeless. The capability to seek constructive meaning to deal with adverse life events can be a reason of happiness in religious people and they deal these events courageously (Myers, 2000).

Happiness is an indivisible part of human existence, an important factor in our life. Happiness plays an important role in human life and has pure physiological effect on a human being. Every physician knows what advantageous effect happiness has, it serves as nature’s own medicine and is more successful treatment than any medicine. Happiness is an organic factor used by nature in order to make easier man’s struggle for life and happiness is defined as succession of leisure (Chekola, 1974).

Happiness is alternative that an individual makes by him. Depending on our recent experiences, our happiness changes set points which disposes some people to be ever cheerful and others down (Myers, 2000).

Sumner (1996) described ‘to be happy’ as keeping a specific type of optimistic view towards life, that is consists of cognitive and emotional component. The cognitive portion of happiness contains an optimistic evaluation of life, a decision that is in a balance state, it faces constructively against standard or potential. The affective side of happiness contains in sense of well-being, finding life enriching or rewarding or feeling satisfied or fulfilled by it.

1.1.1 Components of Happiness.

Happiness has different levels. Following two components of happiness are

  • 1.1.1.1 Hedonic level of affect: We practice various types of affect like feelings, emotions and moods and these practices vary in their size and magnitude, such as lively and motionless, pleasant and unpleasant. That former portion is called hedonic tone. We actually examine the good looks of our feelings, emotions and moods when we assess how good we feel (Veenhoven, 2006).
  • 1.1.1.2 Contentment: The degree to which a person seems his desires to be fulfilled is called contentment. This idea conceptualizes that the individual has created some careful desires and has shaped a plan about their understanding. The exact accuracy of this idea is not at stake. Happiness as a trinity leads different theories to explain how we examine how happy we are (Veenhoven, 2006).

1.2 Marriage

Marriage is most vital center touching the lives of the people and satisfaction. Marital association regularizes intimate relations and enhances promise between couples. This promise has constructive effects, for example; on partners’ fitness and their salary in the industrial place (Thomas, 1997).

Marriage provides vital insurance against unfavorable life events and promotes gains from economies of scale and specialization within the family (Becker, 1981).

Compatibility is a part of marriage. Both the partners become incompatible with each other when they are not ready to adjust with each other or find it difficult to make an adjustment for one another. Origin of the word in compatible is derived from the word compassion. Couples should be compassionate with each other, they should feel and care for each other. They are concerned to each other’s hopes, desires, ideas, problems and predicaments. If one hurts, the other hurts too. Therefore one should do something to stay away from hurting one’s partner (Sharma, 1996).

Marital function can be defined as a cluster of emotions, attitudes, behaviors and etiquette that a partner runs out to communicate in the context of marriage involvement and relationship (Thomas, 1977).

Marriage is an agreement between two persons of opposite sex that confirm their unification. Marriage is an intimate relationship that has some requirements and uniqueness, the intimate relationship requests to both partners of the bond to fulfill these needs and obtain these distinctiveness in industrious ways. That increases the splendor of connection and offer them a structure to live life in ease manners (Cook & Jones, 2002).

1.2.1 Marital happiness.

Marital happiness is the decision made by husband or wife that predicts the sense of well being or peace he/she experiences in married life. When both partners bring new ways of repairement to the table and talk about them humbly and openly, the chances of securing a happy or happier marriage go from side to side (Stacy, Rogers, Danelle, & DeBoer, 2001).

Scanzoni (1978) argued that contributing economically of women is the basics of gratifying marital interaction and are essential for growing equality between partners and successful marital relationships.

Marital Satisfaction is an inner condition of mind, the wishes and outlook of each party, the contract of both partners at the things that make happy, plays a fundamental role, satisfaction is essential need and desire, responsibility to make the relationship painless by fulfilling each spouse’s desire in prepared manners (Brothers, 1993).

Mueller, Charles, Mueller, Toby, Parcel, Fred, and Pampel, (1979) emphasizes that spouses are happiest when domestic tasks are divided reasonably. Though the role homophile viewpoint focuses mainly on the compensation of a mutual humanity view and company, resultant from having related roles and the equity perspective emphasizes on the profit of sharing household tasks fairly, both point to equivalent roles for husband and wife lead to greater marital excellence.

Marital satisfaction was defined as the better understanding to the spouse, responsible role of both partners to fulfill the requirements of close relationship, ability to resolve conflicts positively and good decision making (Fowers & Oloson, 1993).

Waite, Luo and Lewin (2009) found that marital happiness for women increases as their income increases. It is positively related with their marital happiness and have no impact on men’s marital happiness. Becker (1991) stresses that gains to marriage will decrease without interest but does not make a clear relationship between interest and marital happiness.

Having more assets may persuade wives to start change in authority relations, in the domestic division of tasks, and in couple’s roles more commonly (Blood & Wolfe, 1960; Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983). A study in the relevant area focuses the positive effects of more equivalent marital domination for role division and larger marital satisfaction. Scanzoni (1978) asserts that the financial contribution of females laid the foundation of marital happiness and it is important for establishing fairness between couples and efficient marital relationship.

In minute organizations where public are concerned with recurrent, frequent and long lasting relationships, satisfaction may possibly be visible to a specific extent. Couples are evidently a great case of this kind of circumstances, and it has really shown that partners are able to foretell each other’s acknowledged levels of happiness (Diener, 1984).

Stutzer and Frey (2006) showed that the high level of happiness of married people is somewhat due to a selection effect, however not completely.

Perfectionism influences all domains of life including passionate relationships and marital satisfaction (Stoeber & Stoeber, 2009). A study indicated that the spouses who have unenthusiastic perfectionism show less marital satisfaction and the spouses who have ordinary perfectionism show higher marital satisfaction (Ashby, Rice, & Kutchins, 2008).

1.2.2 Marriages in Pakistan.

Families and marriages possess an important place in Islam (Mansoori, 2009). In Islam, marriage is protected under the five basic aims of shariyt. Marriage is not mere a social agreement, but it also include the purity of shariyt and gratification of Allah Pak. Muslim jurists consider nikkah as both worldly matter as well as act of adoration. Islam has given the right of marriage with the willingness of the person and this is also included in the legal laws of Pakistan. Furthermore, Universal Declaration of Human Rights have also reputed this in international human rights. Whereas, in Muslim countries, many families it has been trodden by general and conventional practices. It is due to deficient in religious knowledge, uselessness of the law and inappropriate policies and measures adopted by a government (Riaz, 2013).

  • 1.2.2.1 Islamic teachings on marriage and patterns of marriage in Pakistan: Marriage has been very much highlighted in Quran and ahadis. Our Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W) said on an event that “marriage is my Sunnah, whoever turns away from my Sunnah, does not belong to me” (Bukhari, hadith no; 5063 & Sahih Muslim, hadith no, 1020). Holy Quran has also stated that “Marry women of your choice two, three or four” ( Al Quran, no 3).

Islam completely permits the partners to marry according to their will and choice. It has no any teachings of forced marriages but in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab, Marriages are approved by WattaSatta which also caused forced marriages. In WattaSatta practice, mostly, sister of groom is forced to get married with the brother of bride to carry on her own brother’s marriage. In Pakistan, forced marriages are common especially in those families that have double nationality and living in Europe.  In forced marriages, the individuals are forced to marry with an unfamiliar person who is sometimes, twice their age.  Furthermore, in Pakistani society, females are not given the right to choose a husband of their own choice, if they do so, they are humiliated, tortured and even murdered because they have gone against their families (Riaz, 2013).

1.2.3 Secrets of a Successful/Happy Marriage.

The following sixteen factors were found that lead to a happy marriage (Fatima & Ajmal, 2012).

  • 1.2.3.1 Similarities of religious sects: Religious sects have a significant role in marital happiness. It the two partners have different religious sects, there would be conflicts between them.
  • 1.2.3.2 Satisfaction: Satisfaction is another important factor of happy marriage. If both or any of the partner is not satisfied, they would not be in a position to spend happy married life.
  • 1.2.3.3 Compromise: compromise plays a great role in happy married life.
  • 1.2.3.4 Love:  Love has undeniable role in marital relationship because it is the love which makes easier for both the partners to reimburse each other’s weaknesses and forgive each other’s blunders.
  • 1.2.3.5 Care: Care is a better way of expressing one’s love. if spouses love each other but they do not express care orally, it is sure that there would be more chances of misunderstandings between them
  • 1.2.3.6 Trust and Understanding: Trust and understanding are the basic factors of happy married life. Understanding partners needs and desires, and hopes and trying to fulfill them leads towards a healthy relationship. And having trust in each other give a sense of satisfaction.
  • 1.2.3.7 Communication: Communication lead to solve among problems and makes  marital life more stronger.
  • 1.2.3.8 Age difference: Age difference may affect marital relationship negatively. It may result in misunderstandings and problems between the spouses.
  • 1.2.3.9 Sincerity and respect: Partners who are sincere with each other, always try to do best for their spouse and stand with each other in adverse situations. As well as those who respect each other, value one another in front of family and society makes their marital relationship more happier and healthy.
  • 1.2.3.10 Sharing: Sharing of personal belongings with the partner, shows your trust in that person.
  • 1.2.3.11 Forgiveness: Forgiving each other’s mistakes shows your love and care for the spouse and it is necessary to make marital relationship happy.
  • 1.2.3.12 Spouse temperament: Spouse temperament is another factor which affect marital happiness. If both partners are hostile and short tempered, there are more chances of fights between them and so it makes the relationship unpleasant.
  • 1.2.3.13 Strength through children: In Pakistani culture females feel themselves more stronger in their relationship if they have children.
  • 1.2.3.14 Family structure: Family structure has different effect for different couples. Mature and working people give importance to nuclear family system. Whereas, immature partners need to have joint family system.
  • 1.2.3.15 Education and status: Education and status is another factor of married life. Educated people are more sensible and have groomed personality as compared to uneducated.
  • 1.2.3.16 Positive in-laws relations: Positive in laws relations have a stronger effect in making marital relationship healthy.

1.3 Humor

Humor can promote communication, sharing and believable interaction between parents and children and if it is used inappropriately, it unties the relationships by encouraging poor interpersonal skills, bad habits and negative beliefs (Martin, 2003).

Sense of humor can be described in a different ways Martin, (2003). Styles of humor and humor as an affecting character are considered to be mainly related to emotional intelligence and social fitness that are used by people as two multidimensional measures of humor .Humor styles differentiate the means in which humor is naturally implemented (positively and negatively) in social relationships (Martin, 2003).

Martin, Doris, Larsen, Gray and Weir (2003) differentiated four styles of humor, from which two are seemed to very much beneficial to relations and emotional welfare (affliative and self enhancing humor) and from which two styles are understood very harmful (aggressive and self-defeating humor). A study was conducted by using the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ) to measure the four areas of humor. The results that were found  that self enhancing and affliative humor were positively related to tools of close relations and satisfaction, on the other hand, aggressive humor was related to unfriendliness, and self defeating humor was correlated to negative effects, low self-esteem, and low social help (Kuiper, Grimshaw, Leite, & Kirsh, 2004).

Laughing is a flexible, productive means to deal with difficulties of life and it can be employed as a healing channel (Brooks, Guthrie, & Gaylord, 1999).

Oxford English Dictionary defined humor as that fameness of any act, verbal words, or text that produces laugh, pleasure, peculiarity, facetiouness, comicality, fun (Spimson & Weiner 1989).

Humor is wide-ranging and comprehensive concept, it can be defined operationally and theoratically in different manners. It includes behavioral, cognitions, affects and social aspects (Martin, 2003).

1.3.1 Components of Humor.

Humor is composed of two parts, physical and language. Originally, physical humor evolves from development of motor actions and the ability of the new born to follow or track the movements of those people who are moving around him. This involves a smile that is liked in society and laughter that is produced due to being thrilled or by showing a smiling face. Humor related to linguistic arouses when the portion of the brain, entire temporal lobe processes the information that is related to auditory, and fix and position it using past occasions that are stored in episodic memory, where the impressions related to sensation and parts of the receptive information are stored (Kazarian, & Martin, 2006).

Humor is a primary cognitive process that often leads to laughter. The basic use of humor is to help to design new ways to deal controversial social situations. Moreover, humor is extensively used during courtship (Weisfeld, 1993).

Besides the societal sphere, humor enhances self-effacing physical remuneration such as increases immunity (Bennet, Zeller, Rosenburg, & McCann, 2003; Martin, 2001).

1.3.2 Styles of Humor.

Humor styles have made known to be associated to constructive and pessimistic influence (Kuiper et al., 2004), that stable the qualities like hope, joyfulness and shocking mood (Martin et al., 2003), and sociotropy (Frewen, Brinker, Martin, & Dozois, 2008). Cann and Etzal (2008) found that the styles of humor describe a large portion of  inconsistency in three various traits that are related with optimistic personality and  to the two self-governing styles that are important like individual predictors.

Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ) (Martin, Doris, Larsen, Gray, and Weir, 2003) provides a widespread appraisal of various humor styles that have been considered. The HSQ measures four styles of humor, which include those, humor styles that may possibly make pressure worse than to decrease it. The affiliative humor is like the earlier assessment tools that were used for sense of humor that focus on the constructive use of humor. Affiliative humor style is characterized by amusing and supporting others through humor. An aggressive humor style is associated by the humor that is used to degrade or insulting others, just to achieve some position for one. The regular use of this style of humor can be harmful for close relationships (Cann, Zapata, & Davis, 2009).Self-enhancing humor is linked with the use of humor to uphold a optimistic attitude towards life and to deal with stressors by verdicting new ideas to interpret them. Self defeating humor involves mockery or humiliating of the self in order to gain kindness from others. This style is found to increase the levels of anxiety and depression and lower one’s positive influence rather than to increase it (Martin et al., 2003).

1.3.2.1 Types of humor Styles.

There are four types of humor relating to individual differences in humor use, as follows:

  •  1.3.2.1.1 Affiliative humor: Individuals who greatly use this style have a tendency to say funny things, to tell jokes to entertain others, to make contacts smooth and to lessen one’s worries (Falanga, Carolia, & Sagonea, 2014). This humor style seems to be related to extraversion, joyfulness, self-worth, closeness, relationship contentment, and primarily affirmative moods and feelings.
  •   1.3.2.1.2 Self enhancing humor: Individuals, high on this aspect have usually entertaining viewpoint towards life, involves partiality to be frequently pleased by the misfortunes of life, and employ humor even in the adverse situations of life (Kuiper, Martin, & Olinger, 1993). This humor style is found to be negatively associated with negative feelings such as anxiety and depression and positively associated with directness to experience, self-worth and psychological happiness.
  •  1.3.2.1.3 Aggressive humor: It involves the employ of humor to influence others by ways of vague threat of mockery (Falanga, Carolia, & Sagonea, (2014). Specifically, it is associated with the ability to articulate humor without observing its probable effect on others and includes uncontrollable expressions of humor in which it is hard for oneself to control the impulse to say amusing things that means to taunt or put away others. This style of humor is absolutely related to resentment, annoyance, and aggression and pessimistically related to relationship satisfaction, kindness and carefulness.
  • 1.3.2.1.4 Self-defeating humor: This area is found to include the use of humor as a type of defensive rejection, or the ability to indulge in humorous acts as a mean of

Concealing ones original negative feelings, or avoiding dealing beneficially with

problems. The individuals who are high in this humor style seem to be relatively clever or active, but there is a component of emotional need, escaping, and low self-esteem predispositioning their use of humor (Kuiper, Martin, & Olinger, 1993). This humor style is likely to be positively correlated with neuroticism and negative affect such as depression and anxiety, and negatively correlated with affiliation, psychological happiness and self-esteem.

1.4 Happiness and Humor Styles

Happiness is significantly related with constructive humor styles and negatively related with negative humor styles. A finding by Yue, Hao, and Goldman (2008) proved that humor styles are positively related with happiness in various extents that range from hope to low level of cruelty. For example, optimism and psychological health was found to be positively related with affiliative and self-enhancing humor but negatively correlated with depression (Martin et al. 2003). Self enhancing humor was optimistically associated with happiness and negatively linked with anxiety and depression (Thorson et al. 1997). Whereas, aggressive humor was related with resentment and hostility. It was shown that individuals with higher aggressive humor might create indirect use by sorting out themselves from others through their humor. Their humor lessens their happiness because they want large or concerned social interactions for help when dealing with traumas (Kuiper et al. 2004). In the meantime, self defeating humor style was negatively correlated with happiness and social hold up, but positively related with anxiety, despair, lack of sympathy, and aggression (Thorson et al. 1997).

1.5 Theoretical Framework

  • 1.5.1 Incongruity theory of humor: Incongruity model of humor was first described by Suls by clearly differentiating the proper and improper part of humor with a model consisting of two stages (Suls, 1972) According to Suls, absurdity can be solved by using an alternative formulation to the convergence types of humor.
  • 1.5.2 Superiority theory of humor:  Plato suggested that people laugh and smile at the cost of others. When someone puts him/herself above others, it gives a sense of dominance. Hence, the name superiority theory. Plato said that higher the position of authority, the greater the laugh (Conger, 2009).
  • 1.5.3 Release/relief theory: Sigmund Frued said that all thoughts and behaviors are instinctual. He also proposed that all thoughts and behaviors have a concealed sexual component. Frued believed that not only the humor is a defense mechanism, but also that the reason we laugh and smile is a physical means to release sexual tension (Conger, 2009).
  • 1.5.4 Authentic happiness:  Seligman (2003) described Authentic Happiness theory that consists of three various kinds of happiness: first is the pleasant life, second is the good life and third is the meaningful life. The former two are subjective, but the last is somewhat objective in relation to helping what is better and more valuable than the wishes and desires of one self. In that manner this theory manufactures all the three ways of life: in the sense of pleasure-seeking, the pleasant life is related to happiness. The Good Life is concerning to happiness in Needs sense, and in Objective list sense the meaningful life is regarding to happiness. Furthermore Authentic Happiness allows for the full life, a life that satisfy all three dimensions of happiness.
  • 1.5.5 Desire theory:  Desire theories embrace that happiness is getting the things what you desire and leaving those people to whom you dislike. Desire theory subsumes pleasure-seeking that we want more pleasures and a little pain. According to desire theory when a wish is achieved, it increases one’s happiness and it not depends on the quantity of satisfaction and dissatisfaction (Seligman, 2003).
  • 1.5.6 Objective list theory: Nussbaum (1992), Objective List theory lodges happiness as an outer exterior emotion and on a list of truly valuable things in a realistic manner. It focuses that the existence of happiness is due to human life that gains particular things from a file of  significant pursuits: this list may consists of career activities, companionship, liberation from disease and pain, objects comforts, community strength, prettiness, education, love, facts, and a sense of right and wrong.
  • 1.5.7 Quality of marriages theory: According to Karney and Bradbury’s (1995) theory states that quality of marriages depends on the ways, couples use to deal with the life events. Relationship between Individual partner’s weaknesses and the intensity of daily life stressors determine the adaptive patterns of the spouses. Couples, who have less weaknesses and low adaptive patterns, have higher level of satisfaction and firmness. Whereas, repeated or intense exposure to stressful events may test even those marriages where the couples have more capabilities to deal and their particular patterns of interaction.

Chapter 2

Literature Review

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a review of current literature related to styles of humor and marital happiness.

2.1 Happiness

To find out the association between age and happiness (Frigters & Beaton, 2012) looked for a U-shape in the three assessment measures, the German Socioeconomic Panel, the British Household Panel Survey and the Household Income Labor Dynamics Australia. It was found that the raw statistics provided evidenced for a wave-like shape that only feeble looked U-shaped for the 20–60 age range. That feeble U-shape in middle age becomes more noticeable for socio-economic variables. However, it was found that the leading age effect in the three measures indicated high level of happiness around the age of 60 followed by a major turn down after 75, and the results showed that with the U-shape, there was no change in happiness in the age range.

Khalatbari, Ghorbanshiroudi, Azari, Bazleh, and Safaryazdi (2012) investigated the relationship between marital satisfaction and emotional stability. Assessment measures that were used in the study were two questionnaires of Islamic Marital Satisfaction and the five factors Personality Questionnaire The results indicated that there is a significant relationship between marital satisfaction and emotional stability. This means that the greater their marital happiness level, the lesser their neuroticism level and they possess more emotional constancy. It was found that there is a relationship between marital satisfaction and emotional stability.

A study by Guven (2012) was conducted to investigate whether the changes in life satisfaction or happiness direct to changes in utilization and reserves behavior. The researcher used provincial sunbeams to assess personal happiness using the Dutch Household Survey. It was found that sunshine promotes happiness significantly. By associating happiness with sunshine, the results showed that happier people save more, waste less, and had a lower trivial trend to consume. Happier people took more time for making decisions and had more control over expenditures. They expected a longer life and seemed more worried about the future than the present, they also predicted less price rise in the future.

Sillich and Schutte (2006) revealed the extent to which perceived parental love is linked with happiness levels in adulthood and examined whether emotional intelligence and self esteem mediate this relationship. Perceived maternal and parental love were investigated separately, it was found that maternal love was positively related with adults happiness with mediation through high emotional intelligence and self esteem or emotional intelligence. It was shown that mother’s love that is provided in childhood may be specifically important in adult’s happiness.

2.2 Marriage

A study was conducted by Vaid (1999) to examine the relationship between marital status and several health consequences among workers and to examine whether it depends on gender and occupational social class. Interviews were conducted in Spanish National Heath Survey. Four health consequences were examined: self-perceived health status, mental health, psychiatric drugs utilization and hypertension. Stratified regression analysis was performed. The results showed no confirmation that being married and living with the life partner is definitely related to better health status among Spanish workers. They asserted on the significance of not only bearing in mind marital status, but also partner status, as well as the responsibility of gender, social class and the socio cultural context in analyzing the relationship between family distinctiveness and health.

A longitudinal study by Stutzer and Frey (2006) was conducted to find out the factors of spouse’ marital friendship in the early months of marriage that predicted constancy in opposition to decrease in marital satisfaction over the shift to parenthood. It was found that husband’s expression of fondness towards wives, husband’s high awareness for her wife and their relationship, were the indicators of stable or increasing marital satisfaction. In contrast, the decrease in marital satisfaction of mothers was indicated due to the husband’s pessimism towards his wife, the husband’s dissatisfaction in the marriage, or when the husband or wife described their lives as disorganized.

2.2.1 Marital Happiness: A study on how marital quality is affected by the institutional context and the normative environment, Lee and Ono (2008) conducted a study to examine the relationship between specialty and happiness in marriage in the U.S. and Japan. A general Social Survey was conducted in U.S. and Japan to find out the similarities and differences in the determinants of marital happiness. The findings were mixed; in the U.S. females followed the indicators of bargaining model, while reporting marital happiness where their happiness is determined by their own income. Men followed the predictions of specialization model in reporting their marital happiness. It was revealed that men were more happy when their wives were not working or when they were economically dependent on their wives. In Japan, they found proof for the specialization model, mainly in the case of females, they were happier when they were expert in the household and when they had a higher family income.

Ortega, Whitt, and Williams, (1988) examined the association between religious homogamy and marital happiness. Religious structures were classified on the basis of policy and ceremony that produced six categories: Baptist, Calvinist, Catholic, fundamentalist, Lutheran, and Methodist. These categories used to develop a measure of expected religious detachment or degrees of heterogamy. The results showed that the larger the religious detachment or inequality, the greater the probability of unhappiness with the marriage.

Waite, Leo, and Lewin (2009) examined the results for psychological well-being of marital constancy and change over the five year duration between the two waves of the National Survey of Families and Households. Interviews were taken from the different classes of marital status. Following hypotheses were tested, those who divorce or separate experience decrease in mental satisfaction as compared to those who remain married. Among those unhappy with their marriage, those who divorce or separate look for betterment in mental health functioning, specifically if they get married again, compared to those who remain married to the same person. Whether psychological well-being decreases in the first year or two following the end of the marriage and then improves to earlier levels. Whether women experience greater improvements in psychological well-being from leaving an unhappy marriage than do men. Results found strong and consistent evidence only for the first hypothesis that those who divorce or separate experience decrease in psychological well-being compared to those who remain married.

Lewis (1973) analyzed the causal relationships between marriage and subjective well-being in a longitudinal data set spanning 17 years. It was found that happier individuals choose more likely to get married and that there were large differences in the benefits from marriage between couples. Potential, as well as actual, division of labor seems to contribute to spouses ‘satisfaction, especially for females, when there is a young family to brought up. In contrast, large differences were found in the couples’ educational level that had a negative impact on experienced life satisfaction.

Asoodeh, Khalili, Daneshpur and Lavasani, (2010) conducted a study to identify the factors of successful marriage that accounts from self-described happy couples. The results showed that flourishing couples trust and discuss with each other, are honest, believe in God, make mutual decisions, make obligation to each other, and have friendly relationship. Traditional couples and nontraditional couples differed only in the dealings of family organization.

Sanderson and Evans (2001).found that the most frequent reason given by gay men for engaging in sexually risky behavior was, ironically, that the behavior demonstrated the love, trust and assurance shared by the couples

Liu (2012) worked on feminism and marital dissatisfaction. A questionnaire measuring sex-role attitudes and Kipnis Marital Power Questionnaire was used as assessment measure. It was found that in general and sexually, feminist women found to be less contented with their relationship and had somewhat lower frequency of sexual contact than traditional women. Analysis of the means used to yield command within the relationship that showed that feminist women were more given to disagreement than accommodation, which might take into account for their marital problems. Another type of woman who tended to be unhappy in her marriage was the traditional domestic woman who privileged emotional management as a means of influence within the relationship. The result showed that that happiness decreased with age, duration of marriage and number of children.

Levenson, Carstensen, and Gottman (1993) studied long-term marriages varying in couples’ age and relative marital satisfaction. Spouses independently completed demographic, marital, and health questionnaires and then participated in a laboratory-based method and focused on areas of conflict and sources of pleasure. Findings supported a positive view of older marriages. Compared with middle-aged marriages, older couples proved (a) less potential for clashes and greater potential for pleasure in various areas (including children), (b) same levels of overall mental and physical health, and (c) lesser gender differences in sources of pleasure. It was found that the relation between marital satisfaction and health was stronger for women than for men. In satisfied marriages, wives’ and husbands’ health was same, in dissatisfied marriages, wives had more mental and physical health problems than their husbands.

2.3 Humor

Genz, and Jacob (2014) conducted an experiment to examine the impact of a humor therapy meeting on physical and mental health of older people living in attending leading centers. The participants were assessed two times, at start and after six months of physical and mental health. The findings showed that participants in the meeting had significantly less follow ups regarding to anxiety and depression having better well being. There were found no differences for general health, health quality of life, or mental sufferings.

Reershemius (2012) investigated difference between the German and English research cultures as articulated in the field of expert research presentations, and the function of humor as a practical tool in their relevant backgrounds. The data was analyzed with the help of the paradigms of corpus-assisted speech studies. The results showed that in research presentations humor was used as speech reflexivity. They also disclosed a significant difference in the quantitative division of humor in research presentations that was dependent on the educational, linguistic, and cultural background of the presenters; hence it gave evidence for the concept of various research cultures.

Curry and Dunber (2013) studied that individuals have a preference to relate with others who have same customs, and also that shared approval of humor provides a particularly effective means of identifying others with the related preferences and knowledge. A dummy rating procedure was used in this study to compare the effects of sharing an admiration of non-humorous and humorous cultural stimulus on interpersonal affiliation, humanity and appraisal. The results showed that the extent of shared approval for both sets of stimuli was positively related to affiliation; altruism effected by humorous stimulus, and none of them were related to the evaluation of people’s characteristics. Hence, the results sustained the general theory that shared culture encourages affiliation, and provide confirmation of the extraordinary role of humor in interpersonal dealings.

2.3.1 Sense of Humor: Greengross and Miller (2011) conducted a study to find out that a good sense of humor reveals intelligence, creativity and good qualities. Measures of abstract reasoning, verbal intelligence, humor production ability, and mating success were used to assess the data. It was shown by structural equation models that universal and oral intelligence was the predictor of humor producing capability that predicted mating success. In addition, it was found that males uttered above average humor manufacturing capacity. Findings showed that the sense of humor in human emerged somewhat through sexual assortment as an intelligence-predictor.

A research conducted by Moran, Rain, Gauld, and Mar (2013) to find out how sense of humor can be fractionated into appreciation, production fluency and production success. And how appreciation and production relates, and their relation to individual differences. The participants rated the humor of captioned cartoons and created captions for various cartoons. People who wrote funnier captions were less amused by the competently captioned cartoons. It was found that production fluency was not related to admiration. Personality predicted humor appreciation, but not predicted production success. It was shown that demographics predicted production success, but not appreciation. Results were inconsistent with the notion that humor creators were motivated by dominance and humor appreciators by affiliation.

Martin, (2003) conducted a study to know about the physical and psychological effects of sense of humor and amusement among patients with chronic disruptive pulmonary disease. Measures of sense of humor, depression, anxiety, quality of life, and recent illness were completed by patients. A set of patients completed a laugh producing study. Pulmonary function, mood state, and dyspnea were assessed. It was found that sense of humor was related with fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety and an improved quality of life. Whereas, stimulation of laugh led to lungs hyper inflation. Sense of humor among patients with chronic disruptive pulmonary disease was related with positive mental functioning and improved quality of life, but laughing audibly may lead to sharp decrease in pulmonary function resulting to worsen hyper inflation.

2.3.2 Humor Styles: Gignac, Karatamoglou, Wee and Palacios (2013) conducted a research to examine association between emotional intelligence and humor styles They developed a descriptive audio-visual humor admiration measure that was based on the responses to apparently funny video clips. The measure was found to be related with factorial validity, as three were positively related factors evolved. Moreover, convergent validity was found for the AVHAM, as it was reliable and a little relationship was found between the AVHAM and the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ). Lastly, incremental predictive validity was found to be linked with self-reported emotional intelligence and styles of humor, but not humor with admiration.

Cayirdag and Acar (2010) investigated a study to find out the relationship between humor styles and deviating thinking of Turkish among school level students. Two measurements were administered by 84 students. Humor Style Questionnaire was used to measure humor styles and Guilford’s Uses Test was used to assess deviating thinking. Correlation analysis was performed to analyze the data. It was found that aggressive humor style was negatively associated with fluency, creativity, and originality catalog and self-defeating humor style was negatively interrelated with fluency scores.

Dyck and Holtzman (2013) investigated whether the various effects of humor styles on well-being can be described by their associations with social support, and whether the weak and contrary association between aggressive humor and well-being may be due to a moderating role of gender. The Humor Styles Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Interpersonal Support Evaluation List were used as assessment measures. Mediation analyses were used to examine the data and it was found that there was positive relationship between affiliative and self enhancing humor and well-being was linked with larger perceived convenience of support. In the meantime, the negative relationship was found between self defeating humor and well-being was mediated by negligible perceived support. The results proved that aggressive humor style was positively linked with social support in males and low social support among females.

Zhao, Kong and Wang (2014) investigated the moderator effects of self-esteem and styles of humor on the relationship between shyness and loneliness among college students. Participants completed assessment measures of Cheek and Buss shyness scale, Rosenberg self-esteem scale, humor style questionnaire and emotional and social loneliness scale. The results showed that self-esteem and humor style partly mediated the relationship between shyness and loneliness. A note worthy mode was shown from shyness through self enhancing humor and self esteem to loneliness. Moreover, a multi group investigation showed that male college students were more likely to be alone as they use less self-enhancing humor than females counterparts.

Leung (2007) conducted a study to find out the effect of gender and the inter correlations among the four styles as suggested by Martin (2003); affiliative style, self enhancing style, aggressive style and self defeating style. Two sets of assessment measures were used in the study, Humor Style Questionnaire and Cross Cultural Personality Assessment Inventory. Results of the study found considerable difference between the procedures of aggressive humor style for male and female university students, while both sexes don’t see themselves as humorous, but they consider it important.

Schermer, Martin, Lynskey, and Vernon (2013) examined the phenotypic, genetic, and environmental associations between a general factor of personality and humor styles. The assessment measures used in the study were; Humor Styles Questionnaire and a short form of the NEO personality scale. Results showed that at the phenotypic level, the general factor of personality was found to associate significantly with the humor styles; positively correlated with affiliative and self enhancing humor, and negatively associated with aggressive and self defeating humor style. Three of the four phenotypic correlations were found to be correlated with genetic factors, signifying that these styles of humor and the general factor personality may be linked with common genetic factor.

Moran, Rain, Gould, and Mar (2014) conducted a research on how appreciation and production relate, and their relationship to individual differences. Participants were asked to rate the humor of captioned cartoons and formed captions for various cartoons. It was found that participants who wrote funnier captions were less pleased by the professionally captioned cartoons. Production fluency was not correlated to admiration. Personality predicted humor appreciation, but not production success. Demographic analysis showed success in production but not in appreciation. Appreciation and production achievement emerge to rely on divisible mechanisms and motivations.  The results were also contradictory with the notion that humor makers are provoked by supremacy and humor appreciators by attachment.

Galloway (2010) studied humor styles individually rather than the grouping of styles features of any specific person. A cluster analysis was performed that was based on styles of humor. It was found that there were recognized four groups of people that were consisting of those who scored above average, below average on all of the styles, or above average on the positive styles and below average on the negative styles or above average on the negative styles and below average on the positive styles.

Tucker, Judah, Keefe, Mills, Lechner, Davidson, Grant, and Wingate, (2013) conducted a study to examine whether humor styles moderate the relationship between social nervousness and depressive symptoms in an unselected sample. Measures of humor styles and symptoms of social anxiety and depression were used to collect the data. The results showed that affiliative and self defeating humor styles independently moderated the relationship between social anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Dois, Benitez, Rico, Ruch, and Benitez (2014) studied the affective and attitudinal basis of the sense of humor. State Trait Cheerfulness Inventory was designed to assess the erratic base of sense of humor. Three theoretically driven concepts were used such as: cheerfulness, seriousness, and bad mood. They examined the dimensionality, test-retest reliability and internal consistency of the scales and its facets. Furthermore, there was relationship between the unpredictable core of sense of humor and personality and happiness were also replicated. Results presented strong evidence for using the Spanish version to examine the temperamental basis of sense of humor in the Spanish population.

Falanga, Caroli, and Sagone (2014) explored humor styles, pro social tendencies, and empathic or social self-efficacy in Italian middle adolescents. Humor Styles Questionnaire, Empathic and Social Self-efficacy Scales and Pro social Tendencies Measures were used in the study. The results showed that affiliative and self enhancing humor was positively related with empathic or social self- worthy, while self defeating humor was oppositely related with social self-worthy. It was shown that in worse and emotionally arousing situations, helping behavior was positively related with empathic self-worthy and it was just for the boys with affiliative humor. Communal and unidentified pro social capacities were negatively related with affiliative humor.

Saroglou, Lacour and Demeure (2007) investigated the association between religiosity and spirituality and the use of specific humor styles. Humor Styles Questionnaire, Sense of humor and styles of everyday humorous were used to gather data. Two studies were conducted in the research. The results showed that in study 1 men’s spirituality and religiosity were shown to be negatively related with the use of antagonistic and social humor. In study 2, it was found that there was not strong but positive confirmation that both religious men and women did not like to use aggressive and plain humor nor social humor. Religious men were tended to use self-defeating humor; it might be due to their greater uncertainty in attachment. Furthermore, religiosity and spirituality was found to be related with between-spouse likeness in many humor styles. Religious people were agree to share alike values and ways of delight with their partners as well as it was found that agitation with religion with humor seems to include a large number of humor styles.

A study was conducted by Saroglou, (2007) to investigate the relationship among demographic variables and styles of humor and subjective well-being in university students. Assessment measures of Positive and Negative Affect, Satisfaction with Life, Humor Styles Questionnaires, and Socio-Demographic Information Questionnaire were used to collect data. T-test, correlation, and stepwise regression analyses were used to examine the data. It was found that cumulative happiness, aggressive and self defeating humor styles of male students were considerably greater than female students. Though, negative manipulation of female students was significantly greater than male students. There were found no major difference between male and female students in satisfaction in life, positive effect, affiliative and self enhancing humor was predicted. Furthermore, it was revealed that self enhancing humor, aggressive humor, loving relationship, gender and economic status were the predictors of cumulative subjective well-being.

2.4 Indigenous Researches

There is a little research on humor styles and marital happiness in Pakistan. So it is the need to conduct researches on this topic.

2.4.1 Happiness: Huma (1994) conducted a study to examine the relationship between and pessimistic attribute of life and happiness. 200 participants were selected by random sampling. The measures that were used for analysis were; house tree person test and interviews which were applied on the sample. Further, the sources of happiness which belong to different aspects of life were also studied. It was found that there was a relationship between optimistic and pessimistic attribute of life and happiness. Whereas, age was not determinant factor of life in achieving happiness.

Hassan (2013) examined relationship of capabilities with happiness in useful policy insights. A unique self-reported questionnaire about psychological well being in the Pakistan Socio-Economic Survey was conducted to measure Sen.’s capabilities (freedom, functioning and efficiency) of “being achieved” and assessed them with happiness that seems to be the predictor of subjective well-being. It was shown that the Pakistan Socio-Economic Survey capability predictors of subjective well-being provided important information while mutually with the happiness predictor they held further insights about subjective well being. It was also shown that capabilities were the most significant and constant determinants of happiness.

2.4.2 Marital Happiness: Sadiq (2011) investigated marital satisfaction and life satisfaction among couples with the difference in the level of education. It was hypothesized that marital satisfaction and life satisfaction were related with the level of education of partners. Marital Satisfaction Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale and demographic questionnaire were used to collect data. Positive relationship was found between marital satisfaction and life satisfaction among partners. There were found no relationship between marital satisfaction and education. No differences were found in marital satisfaction and life satisfaction among those partners who belong to nuclear family system and joint family system.

Fatima and Asir (2012) studied the factors leading to a happily married life. The sample involved a married woman by convenient sampling. Semi-structured interview was conducted to examine her practice of being happily married and what factors she thinks were vital to be happily married. The results provided 16 factors that were important to lead a happy married life.

Tufail (2013) conducted a study to examine the self esteem, subjective well-being and autonomy among married females. Two exploratory studies were conducted. Self Esteem Scale, The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire and a self constructed scale of autonomy were used to gather data. The results showed that there was major difference in self-esteem and subjective well-being in newly couples and older couples. Significant difference was found in self-esteem and subjective well-being before and after marriage. Self esteem and subjective well-being found to be enlarged in women after marriage. But there were shown no differences in autonomy in women after marriage. Results showed that autonomy predicted subjective well-being. Means, females possess more autonomy possess greater subjective well-being. Age, showed significant negative relationship with subjective well-being. It was also revealed that there was no significant relationship between marriage duration and subjective well-being.

Shafiq (2012) examined the relationship between intimacy, trust and spousal relationship in older adults. Assessment measures that were used in collecting data were; Relationship Assessment Scale, Trust scale and Intimacy Scale. Between group research design was used to examine the data. The results showed that trust was significantly related with couple’s relationship.

Batool, Khalid and Ruhi (2012), studied the role of emotional intelligence in the prediction of marital quality in Pakistani scenario. Assessment measures of Emotional intelligence, Marital Adjustment Questionnaire and Conflict Resolution Questionnaire were used to gather data. The results showed strong positive relationship between emotional intelligence, marital adjustment and conflict declaration. It was found that the areas of emotional intelligence predicted marital quality.

Zaidi (2009) conducted a study to examine the relationship between gratitude, happiness and emotional intelligence. Gratitude Questionnaire, The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire and Self Report Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire were used to gather data.  The results showed positive relationship between emotional intelligence and gratitude. It was also found that emotional intelligence was definitely related to happiness.

A study was conducted by Waqar (2008) to examine the effect of infertility on marital adjustment. The hypothesis of the study was that there is an effect of infertility on the marital adjustment. Few items from Dyadic Adjustment Scale were taken to gather data. The results showed that there was a consequence of infertility on the marital adjustment.

Nasreen (2011) examined a study to find out the relationship of rational identity orientation with trust and marital satisfaction of professional females. It was found that there was a positive relationship between trust and marital happiness as well as between relational identity orientation and marital contentment.

A study investigated by (Zahid, 2010) to find the relationship between marital disenchantment, psychological well-being and emotion regulation. Marital Adjustment Scale and Emotion Regulation Questionnaire were used to collect data. Correlation analysis was used in this study. It was found that there was no positive relationship between marital disenchantment, psychological well-being and between marital disenchantment and emotional directive in married women. But, there was found positive relationship between emotion regulation and psychological well being in married women.

2.4.3 Styles of Humor: Tariq and Aslam (2013) conducted a study to investigate the relationship between sense of humor and mental health. Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale and Mental Health Questionnaire were used to gather data. The results showed that there was a strong relationship between sense of humor and mental health. It was also revealed that there were gender differences in the practice of sense of humor for dealing with pressure and there were differences in efficient usage of sense of humor and coping among school and university students.

A study conducted by Rezan (2007) to examine the relationship between loneliness and styles of humor, and which style of humor was the best predictor of loneliness among university students. Data were collected by using the revised Loneliness Scale and the Humor Styles. The results showed verification according to the theoretical framework of humor styles and loneliness that predicted higher negative relationship between loneliness and affiliative and self enhancing humor, and reasonable positive relationship between loneliness and self defeating humor, but no momentous relationship was found between loneliness and aggressive humor style. It was also found that four styles of humor contributed appreciably to loneliness, and the affiliative humor style was the best predictor of loneliness.

A study was conducted by Nazeer, (2001) to examine the relationship between empathy and humor styles with social competence. Correlation survey design was used in this study. It was found that social competence was considerably predicted by empathic concern and self enhancing humor style. It was also found that men used more maladaptive styles of humor than women. There were no significant differences in empathy and social competence between male and female students.

Kanwal (2013) examined the difference between emotional maturity, social competence and styles of humor in orphan and children living with their parents. It was hypothesized that children living with their parents have greater emotional maturity as compared to the children living within orphan homes. Assessment measures of Emotional Maturity Scale, Competence Scale and Humor Style Questionnaire were used to collect data. Results showed that those children, who were living with their parents, have more emotional maturity and social proficiency as compared to those children who were living in orphan homes. Emotional mellowness was found to be positively related with social competence. It was also found that that was no relationship between styles of humor, emotional maturity and social competence.

2.5 Summary

Humor is a great blessing of God. A good humor can facilitates happiness in marital relationship. It can also make things more tolerable and less stressful. It has four styles involving affiliative, self-enhancing, self-defeating and aggressive style. Affiliative and self-enhancing are positive humor styles while self-defeating and aggressive are negative humor styles.

After reviewing literature it can be concluded that a good humor style is directly related to happiness in marriages. Men use more destructive styles of humor (Yip & Martin, 2006; Leng, 2007; Wong, 2010;) In the quality of interpersonal relationships, styles of humor play a key role. (Yip & Martin, 2006) people with adaptive style of humor have more empathic concerns (Hampes, 2010). So humor styles can directly affect marital relationship. A good humor style can make marital life more pleasant and a bad humor style can destroy this relationship.

2.6 Rational  

There was a very little research on humor styles and marital happiness in Pakistan. This study is being conducted to see the effect of styles of humor in marital happiness and to examine how much people are satisfied or happy in the presence of different styles of humor in their lives and how positive and negative styles of humor affect a marital happiness. Constructive humor styles keeps marital relationship healthy and negative humor styles leave a bad impact on marital happiness. A little dose of daily fun is necessary to maintain married life happy and strong.  So this study will leave a positive impact in recent researches and will be knowledgeable for the readers.

2.7 Objectives

The aim and objectives of the current study was to explore the relationship between different styles of humor and happiness in marital relationship. To identify whether positive humor styles are positively related with marital happiness and negative humor styles have negative relationship with marital happiness. And in what ways different humor styles make married life pleasant or unpleasant.

2.8 Hypothesis

  1. There is likely to be positive relationship between positive styles of humor and marital happiness and negative relationship with negative styles of humor and marital happiness.
  2. There is likely to be relationship between age and marriage duration with marital happiness.
  3. There is likely to be gender differences in marital happiness.
  4. Positive styles of humor (self enhancing humor and affiliative humor) predict marital happiness.

Additional hypothesis:

  1. There is likely to be relationship between responses of raae, inthkhaab, parent’s choice and how well knew with marital happiness.
  2. There are likely to be differences in the responses of married in family and knew before marriage in marital happiness.

Chapter 3

Method

This section gives description of research design, sampling strategy, sample, assessment measures, procedure, ethical consideration and statistical analysis and graphical representation of demographics.

3.1 Research Design

Cross sectional Correlation research design was used for analyzing the relationship between humor styles and happiness in marital relationship.

3.2 Sample

Sample was consisted of N=100, (50= married men) and (50=married women) and purposive sampling was used. Purposive sampling technique was used due to specific nature of data to collect from Lahore, Kasur and Raiwind.

3.2.1 Inclusion criteria

  1. People with and above 3 years marriage duration were participants.
  2. Both working and non working married men and women were participants.
  3. Both from joint and nuclear families were included.
  4. Participants with the age range of above 20 to 50 were included.
  5. Participants with the education of B.A and above were taken.

3.3 Operational Definition

  • 3.3.1 Humor styles: Humor styles describe a large portion of the inconsistency in three different qualities that are related with optimistic personality (optimism, hope, and happiness) and to the two self-governing styles that are important as an individual predictors (Cann & Etzel, 2008).
  • 3.3.2 Marital happiness: Marital happiness is the decision made by husband or wife that indicates the sense of well being or peace he/she experiences in married life. When both partners bring new ways of repairment to the table and talk about them humbly and openly, the chances of securing a happy or happier marriage go from side to side (William & Anny, 1996).

3.4 Assessment Measures

  • 3.4.1 Humor Styles Questionnaire: The Humor Styles Questionnaire(HSQ) was designed by Martin, Puhlik-Doris, Larsen, Gray, and Weir, (2003) which assesses different ways of humor. This questionnaire consists of four sub-scales, Affiliative humor, Self-Enhancing humor, Aggressive humor, and Self-defeating humor. It has 32 items. Each sub scale has eight items. The response format used a 7 point Liker scale ranging from1 (Totally Disagree) to 7 (Totally Agree) with a higher score indicating greater humor style. The value of Cronbach alphas for affiliative humor, self enhancing humor, self defeating humor and self aggressive humor are .73, .73, .68, and .75.  Test–retest correlations were .80 to .85.
  • 3.4.2 Demographic Form: A demographic form was prepared consisting of all the necessary information about the participants like age, gender, education, marriage duration and important questions related to married life were asked.
  • 3.4.3 Construction of Scale: A scale to assess marital happiness was constructed by the researcher to assess happiness in marital relationship. It has 31 items. The response format used a 5 point Liker scale ranging from1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree) with a higher score indicating greater marital happiness.

3.4.3.1 Item Formulation: At first interviews were conducted from married people and they were asked to give their opinions about happiness in marriages. They were asked to tell what factors lead to a happy married life. Most of the participants were cooperative during the interview. They showed interest and expressed their experiences openly. Authentic statements were taken into account while generating items like, item no 1 Loyalty, “me apne shareek e hyaat ki wafadari se mutmaain hun”. Dostana taaluqaat was converted into item no 3, “mere apne shareek e hyaat k sath dostana taluqaat hen”. Understanding into item no 12, “mera shareek e hyaat muje smjne me nakaam rha hy”. And into item no 16, “me or mera shareek e hyaat ek dosre ko achi trah smjhte hen”.  Jazbaat ka izhaar into item no 14, “ me or mera saathi ek doosre se apne jzbaat ka izhaar krte hen”. Care into item no 31, me apne share ke hyaat ka both khyaal rkht/rkhti hun”.

Different scales on marital satisfaction, adjustment and happiness and all the indicators of happy marriage from literature were also consulted opinion of experts were also converted and following statements were generated: e.g. item no 2, “mera jivan saathi tmam ghrelu himaayt mje frahm krta hy jiski muje zrurt hy”, item no 4, “kaafi arsa guzr jata hy hum dono ikthe bahir ni jaate”, item no 5, “ mera jivan saathi meri baton per khub hansta hy”, item no 8, “me or mera jivan saathi ek dosre se jld hi ukta jate hen”, item no 9, “ mera/meri shareek ehyaat both bor shakhsiyt hen”, item no 10, me is shaadi ko hmesha qaaim rkhna chahuga/chahungi”, item no 13, “mera shreek ehyaat meri bharpoor koshish krne per meri hosla afzaai krta hy”, item no 18, “me apne shareek e hyaat ko apna behtreen saathi smjta/smjti hun”. Item no 19, “mera apne shareek ehyaat k sath tsalli bakhsh jinsi taaluq hy”, item no 20, “mera shareeek ehyaat meri raae ka izhaar krne k liye mje kaafi mwaaqa fraahm krta hy”. Item no 23, “muje azdwji taaluq me lutf mehsos hota hy”., item no 25, me is shaadi se niklne ya isko khtm krne ka sochta/sochti hun”, item no 27. “me apne shareeke hyaat ki trf se frahm krda peson se khush hun”, item no 28, “muje apne jivan saathi ki baaten dilchasp lgti hen”. and then the particular statements from the interviews were compiled.

A model of happy marriage by Fatima and Asir (2013), was also studied and some factors of happy marriage were taken and items were generated while constructing the scale. Like, factor of religious sect were converted into item no 6 “mere khyal me ek hi ya mukhtalif mazhabi firqe hone se hmare azdwaji taaluqaat mutaasir ni hote”. Factor of Love, into item no 7 “ mera jivan saathi mujse muhaabat krta hy”. And item no 15, “ me apne shareek e hyaat se muhabbt krta/krti hun.” Communication was converted into item no 11, “mere or mereshareek e hyaat k darmyan both km guftgu hoti hy.” And item no 29, “me or mera shareek e hyaat sirf zruri maamlaat per guftgu krte hen”. Respect into item no 17, “ mera shareek e hyaat muje izzat deta hy”. And item no 22, “me apne shareek e hyaat ki izzat krti hun”. Temperament into item no 26, “hum dono k mizaaj ek jese hen.”

Items were corrected repeatedly. Ambiguous, irrelevant or unclear items were excluded or refined. After that pilot study was done.

3.4.3.2 Pilot study: Pilot study was conducted to determine the reliability of the scale. 20 participants were taken and they were asked to fill the questionnaire. After completion of the questionnaire, they were asked if they had any difficulty while completing the scale.. The Cronbach’s Alpha value for the scale was .82. The scale was reliable. The scale was finalized.

3.5 Procedure

In order to assess the relationship between styles of humor and happiness in marital relationship. Sample was taken from 50 married men and 50 married women. Before the formal data collection, the participants were informed about the research. The participants filled the consent form in order to show their willingness to participate in the study. Rapport was established assuring them the confidentiality of their information. The participants were asked to fill the demographic form and questionnaires. Initially they filled the demographic information form and then scales were administered.

3.6 Proposed Statistical Analysis

  1. Reliability analysis was used to find out the reliability of the scales.
  2. Bar graphs were drawn to find the frequency of the some demographic questions.
  3. Correlation analysis was performed to find out the relationship between variables and demographic questions.
  4. T-test analysis was performed on demographic questions.
  5. Regression analysis was carried out to find out the predictors.

3.7 Ethical Consideration

In order to conduct this research, some ethical considerations kept in mind.

  1. The consents were given to the participants and the nature of the study was explained to them before administration of the questionnaire.
  2. The participants had a right to withdraw from participation and terminate at any time they wish.
  3. The participants were ensured that the information required from them will be held confidential and would not be used for any other purpose other than this research.
  4. Results were reported accurately.

Chapter 4

Result

This chapter includes reliability analysis, Pearson product moment correlation analysis, independent sample T-test and regression analysis was carried out for assessment measures. Graphs were also drawn to find out the frequency of the demographics. Correlation analysis was used to explore the relationship between positive and negative styles of humor and marital happiness.

4.1 Reliability Analysis

The reliability analysis for humor styles and marital happiness was carried out using Cronbach’s Alpha. The Cronbach’s Alpha value for humor style is .81, for marital happiness is .822

Table 1

Reliability analysis for assessment measures.

Variables kM(SD)            α
Humor styles32114.4(40).92
Af831.4(7.76).47
Se832.5(10.28).75
Ag824.6(5.55).07
Sd823.4(9.55).73
Marital happiness31119.1(27.62).84

Note: Af= Afiliative hunor, Se= self enhancing humor, Ag= aggressive humor, Sd= self defeating humor.

It was hypothesized that there is likely to be positive relationship between positive styles of humor with marital happiness and negative relationship between negative styles of humor with marital happiness. It was also hypothesized that there is likely to be relationship between age and duration of marriage with marital happiness. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that there is likely to be relationship between Raae, intkhaab, parent’s choice and how well knew with marital happiness. Correlation analysis was carried out to find out the relationship.

Table 2

Correlation between Age, Marriage Duration, Raae, Intkhaab, Parent’s Choice, how well knew, Self enhancing humor, Affiliative humor, Aggressive humor, Self defeating humor and Marital Happiness

VariablesAgeMDRaaeIntkhaabParent’s choiceHow well knewSEAFAGSDMH
Age.678**.047.042-.040-.020.091  .023*.075.169.025
MD-.096-.122.045 .027.053.102-.015.018.058
Raae    .809**-.006   .239*.036.043-1.33-.118  .479**
Intkhaab-.184     .324**-.129.107-.013  .006  .389**
Parent’s choice-.102-.249*   -.258**  -.322** -.384**.065
How well knew-.034-.005-.044.078-.073
SE   -632**  -431** .577**.164
AF  .375** .529**.095
AG .633**   -.151
SD-.111
MH

Note: *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

Note: MD= Marriage Duration, SE= Self enhancing humor, AF= Affiliative humor, AG= Aggressive humor, SD= Self defeating humor and MH= Marital Happiness

The results showed that there was no significant relationship between positive styles of humor (affiliative humor, self enhancing humor) with marital happiness and negative styles of humor (aggressive humor and self defeating) with marital happiness. But there was a significant positive relationship between Raae and Intkhaab with marital happiness. Greater the Raae and Pasand of people, greater will be marital happiness.  Age and marriage duration were not significantly correlated with marital happiness. But age is significantly correlated with marriage duration and affiliative humor style.

Parent’s choice in marriage was significantly correlated with Self enhancing humor, Affiliative humor, Aggressive humor and self defeating humor style but not significantly correlated with marital happiness. No significant correlation found between how well knew and Self enhancing humor, Affiliative humor, Aggressive humor, Self defeating humor style and Marital Happiness.. Whereas, self enhancing was found to be significantly correlated with Affiliative humor, Aggressive humor and Self defeating humor style. Aggressive humor style was significantly correlated with self defeating humor style. Affiliative humor style was significantly correlated with Aggressive humor and Self defeating humor style. Aggressive humor style was significantly correlated with Self Defeating humor style.

It was hypothesized that there is likely to be gender differences in marital happiness. Additional hypotheses was made that there are likely to be differences in married in the response of married in family and knew before marriage in marital happiness. Independent Sample T-test analysis was used to test these hypotheses.

Table 3

Independent Sample t-test Comparing Gender Differences in Marital Happiness (N=100)

VariableMale

(n=50)

Female

(n=50)

t(98)P95% CI
   MSD     M  SDLLULCohen’s

d

MH115.3421.33122.9813.96-2.11.037-14.79-.482-0.42

Note: MH = Marital Happiness

There were significant gender differences in marital happiness. Females posed to have more marital happiness than males. The effect size of gender on marital happiness was small.

Table 4

Independent Sample t-test Comparing Differences in responses of “married in family”

VariableYes           Not(98)P95% CI
   MSD     M  SDLLULCohen’s

d

MH118.4018.56119.8818.28-.400.690-8.75.8  -0.08

There were no significant differences among the responses of “married in family”. That shows means that people who married in family and who married out of family had equal marital happiness. The effect size of responses on marital happiness was small.

Table 5

Independent Sample t-test Comparing Differences in the responses of “knew before marriage?”

VariableYes         Not(98)P95% CI
   MSD      M  SDLLULCohen’s

d

MH120.2619.37117.9117.24.637.526-4.969.66.128

There were no significant differences among the responses of people who knew their partner before marriage and who did not know. It showed that they both were equally happy in their married life. The effect size of responses on marital happiness was small.

It was hypothesized that positive humor styles (self enhancing humor and affiliative humor) will likely to predict marital happiness. Regression analysis was used to test this hypothesis.

Table 6

Multiple Linear Regression Analysis for the Predictors of Marital Happiness.

 

VariableMarital Happiness
BSE95 % CI
Constant118.469.42[99.75,137.1]
Affiliative humor.183.305[-.423, .789]
Self enhancing humor.574*.240[.097,1.05]
Aggressive humor-.500.359[-1.21,2.14]
Self defeating humor-.437.273[-.978,.105 ]
R2.112
F2.99

Note: *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001,, CI=Confidence Interval

The result showed that self enhancing humor the only humor style which is predicting marital happiness. Affiliative, aggressive, and self defeating humor styles are not predicting marital happiness. The results revealed that the influence of self enhancing on marital happiness is β = .322

4.6 Graphical presentation of demographic variables

Figure 1

Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital RelationshipThis graphs shows that 28% participants’ Raae was not at all included in their marriages. 39% participants’ raae was a little or to some extent was included in their marriages and 34% participants had fully raae in their marriages.

Figure 2

Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital RelationshipThis graph represents that 43% participants did not marry according to their choice and likelihood. 29% had a little or to some extent choice in their marriages and 28% participants responded that their choice and likelihood was fully involved in their marriages.

Figure 3

Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital RelationshipGraph showing that 5% participants not at all married according to their parents’ will. 15% participants responded that their parents’ will a little, to some extent was included in their marriages. 85% participants showed that they fully married according to their parents’ will.

Figure 4

Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital RelationshipThe graph showed that 49% participants married in family and 52% participants did not married in family.

Figure 5

Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital RelationshipIt was shown that 53% participants knew their spouse before marriage and 48% participants did not know their spouse before marriage.

Figure 6

Styles of Humor and Happiness in Marital Relationship39% participants responded that they knew only name of their spouses before marriage. 29% participants met 1 or more time before their marriages. 27% participants knew their spouses very closely before their marriage and 6% participants used another way to know their spouse before marriage.

4.7 Summary of the Results

  1. There is non-significant relationship between humor styles and marital happiness.
  2. There is significant correlation between opinion and choice in marriage with marital happiness
  3. There is difference in male and female happiness; females have more marital happiness than man.
  4. There is no relationship in age and marriage duration with marital happiness.
  5. There are no differences in the responses of married in family and knew before marriage in marital happiness.
  6. Self enhancing humor style is the best predictor of marital happiness.

Chapter 5

Discussion

The present research assessed humor styles and marital happiness. In Pakistan very few researches have been done on the styles of humor and happiness in marital relationship. Therefore the main objective of the present study was to explore the relationship between subscales of humor styles and marital happiness.

According to Freud (1928), when a person faces hard times and bad luck in his life, humor plays a healing role and encourages a person to stable a separate view point that might escape him from tension, frustration and from being upset, while keeping a practical view of himself as well as about the world.  In other psychological theories Maslow (1954), Allport (1961), and Vaillant (1993), have recommended that a sensible person has specific humor styles that is always acceptable for him, is non-hostile, theoretical, and self deprecating. These theories showed that humor and its positive use are related to well-being while negative use of humor style make the relationships worsen. In the present study, it was no relationship was found between styles of humor with marital happiness. These theories are not supporting the findings of the present study.

According to the selectivity theory, starting from the middle age till the old age, people dynamically constrict their social circle develop an increased emotional intimacy in interpersonal relationships (Carstensen, 1992). In present study it was found that there is no relationship between marriage duration and marital happiness. So this theory does not relate to the results of present study.

The gender role socialization model (Eagly, 1987) suggested that people follow other males and females as role models and examine, duplicate, at last adopt the socially acceptable behaviors and attitudes that are gender suitable. According to psychoanalytic theory, in individuation model, (Chodorow, 1978), purpose that the boys children will be more independent if they brought up by a woman and they will be having more experience towards the recognition of other’s requirements and emotions for others. Keeping in view the present models, females are seeming to more responsible, helping and emotional. So they seem to have more marital satisfaction in their marriages. These models supporting the present findings that females have more marital happiness than males.

According to developmental approach, Sharma, (1969) proposed the application of developmental patterns in the growth of heterosexual love association. Building a rapport is the first step between a male and a female, this pattern is hopefully beneficial when both of they possess same socio cultural environment. After the fulfillment of first step, the second step that is achieved is “self revelation” and it also develops by a third step of “mutual dependencies” or mutually supporting practice systems and at last by a fourth step of “personality need fulfillment”. The recurring sequence of these four steps is associated to a “steering wheel of love” which can move ahead to develop and strengthen intimate relationship. This theory is related to agreement and choice of people in their marriage, and knows before marriage which is significantly correlated with marital happiness.

Now the findings are being discussed in the light or researches. First hypothesis of the study was that positive humor styles are likely to be positively related to marital happiness, while, negative humor styles are likely to be negatively related to marital happiness. But the results showed that there was no any correlation among positive humor styles and marital happiness as well as negative humor styles and marital happiness. The results were inconsistent with the previous researches.

According to previous research findings, Humor styles as well as humor as an emotional personality characteristic are thought to be specifically related to emotional intelligence and social capability that are used by people as two multidimensional patterns of humor .Humor styles distinguished the conducts in which humor is naturally expressed positively as well as negatively in social relationships (Martin, 2003). Among men, positive humor was related to improved relationship contentment and to non-divorced status. In females, marital happiness was predicted by Self-defeating humor, but also caused separation. Use of aggressive style of humor particularly by males, predicted divorce and was related to little affiliation worth among divorced couple (Saroglou, Lacour, & Demeure, 2007)  A research by using the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ) to measure the four styles of humor has found that self-enhancing and affliative humor were positively related to measures of interpersonal relationship and emotional well-being, while aggressive humor was related to antagonism, and self-defeating humor was related to negative feelings, low self-worth, and low social support (Kuiper, Grimshaw, Leite, & Kirsh, 2004). The humor styles are known to be linked with positive and negative influence (Kuiper et al., 2004). Affiliative humor is characterized by pleasing and favoring others through humor. An aggressive humor style is characterized to tease or demean others, in order to get some status for oneself. The regular use this style of humor can be damaging for close relationships (Cann, Zapata, & Davis, 2009). Yue, Hao, and Goldman (2008) found that confidence and psychological fitness was positively related with affiliative and self enhancing humor but negatively related to antagonistic and self-defeating humor. Individuals that use more aggressive humor might create tortuous use up by isolating themselves from others through their humor. Their humor decreases their happiness because they desire of wide or sympathetic social circle to call upon when dealing with stressors (Kuiper, Grimshaw, Leite, & Kirsh, 2004). Self-defeating humor style was negatively correlated with well-being and social support, but positively related with worry, despair, lack of sympathy, and aggression (Falanga, Carolia, & Sagonea, 2014). Aggressive humor was related to partner embarrassment and self-defeating humor with feeling embarrassed by one’s partner (Hall, 2010). General factor of personality was found to be related significantly with the humor styles; positively with affiliative and self-enhancing, and negatively with aggressive and self-defeating (Schermer, Martin, Martin, Lynskey, & Vernon, 2013). Social favor and self-esteem fully mediated the association between affiliative humor, self-enhancing humor and life contentment (Zhao, Kong & Wang, 2014). Affiliative and self-enhancing humor was positively related with empathic or social self-efficacy, while self-defeating humor negatively was related with social self-efficacy (Falanga, Caroli, & Sagone, 2014). Incremental analytical validity was found to be associated with self-reported emotional intelligence and styles of humor, but not humor admiration (Gignac, Karatamoglou, Wee & Palacios, 2013).

The previous findings showing that affiliative and self enhancing humor styles enhance relationship satisfaction but self defeating and aggressive humor styles weaken relationship satisfaction.

In previous researches, when marital happiness was assessed with other variables the findings were following: partners are happiest when domestic tasks are divided reasonably (Toby, Parcel, Fred, & Pampel, 1979). Parents’ self-declared happiness is positively related with their children’s happiness (Cook, & Jones, 2002). These findings showed that marital happiness increases when both partners have equal rights, having high salary and children. But in the present study with humor styles showed not any correlation with marital happiness.

The results are inconsistent with the previous findings and it might be due to socio-cultural factors. In Pakistan, people do not consider humor styles influencing their marital happiness. In fact, in Pakistani culture, loyalty, understanding between couples, love, emotional intelligence and of course, religion, matters a lot in marital happiness. It was proved by previous findings that culture and religion have much importance in any happy married life like Pakistani countries. Successful partners trust and discuss with each other, are honest, believe in God, make mutual decisions, make promise to each other, and have friendly relationship (Asoodeh, Khalili, Daneshpur & Lavasani, 2010). Shared culture promotes affiliation, and provides evidence of the special role of humor in interpersonal relationships (Curry & Dunber, 2013). 16 factors of personality like, similarities of religious sects, satisfaction, compromise, love, care, trust and understanding, communication, age difference, sincerity and respect, sharing, forgiveness, spouse temperament, strength through children, family structure, education and status and positive in-laws relations found to be important to spend a happy married life (Fatima & Asir, 2012). The greater the religious detachment or inconsistency, the greater the possibility of dissatisfaction with the marriage (Ortega, Whitt, & Williams, 1988). These findings supporting the reasons that counts a lot in Pakistani people’s married life.

Some components of emotional intelligence appeared to be of prime importance in marital relationship. Role of emotional intelligence is a feasible concept of study in Pakistan because the viewpoint of marital composition in Pakistan is quite different from Europe and America (Batool, 2009). This study may be a new finding in the researches and may lead to a new outlook that it may always not be possible to have correlation among different styles of humor and marital happiness in all cultures.

It was also hypothesized that there is likely to be relationship between opinion, choice in marriage and parent’s choice with marital happiness. It was found in the study that 28% participants’ Raae was not at all included in their marriages. 39% participants’ Raae was a little or to some extent was included in their marriages and 34% participants had fully Raae in their marriages. The results also showed that 43% participants did not marry according to their choice and likelihood. 29% had a little or to some extent choice in their marriages and 28% participants responded that their choice and likelihood was fully involved in their marriages. Graph showed that 5% participants not at all married according to their parents’ will. 15% participants responded that their parents’ will a little, to some extent was included in their marriages. 85% participants showed that they fully married according to their parents’ will. Significant correlation found between opinion and choice of people in selecting their spouse with marital happiness. According to previous researches, people who were involved in selecting their life partners had higher marital satisfaction (Allendorf, Dirgha, & Ghimire, 2012). Pimentel (2000) found that an index of partner’s selection, that involves females when select their own partner, is positively related with more intimacy and less discord between couples. Xu and Whyte (1990) showed that females whose choice were involved in the selection of their partner, seemed to have more happy in their married life as compared to those females whose choice were not involved in selecting their partner.. So the previous researches are consistent with the present findings showing that people who have high opinion and choice in selecting their spouse in their marriages, have higher marital happiness. Higher the opinion and choice in selecting partner, higher will be the marital happiness.

Second hypothesis of the study was, there are gender differences in marital happiness. The hypothesis was proved, results showed difference between male and female marital happiness. The present study found that females were happier in their marital life than men. Female had more marital happiness than men. Previous researches support the present study findings. Work on social support in marriage predicts that the association between marital satisfaction and social support is stronger for wives than husbands. Understanding of social support in marriage is more significantly related to the marital happiness and general well-being of wives than husbands (Acitelli, Linda, Antonnuci & Toni; 1994).  Women were found to have higher level of happiness and life satisfaction than men. Women’s have greater satisfaction than men to grasp for married but not unmarried. The favorable findings proved stronger for females than males (Wood, Wendy, Rhodes, Nancy, Whelan, & Melanie; 1989). Women have greater marital happiness when their happiness is determined by their own salary. Men’s marital happiness was depended when their wives are not working or when they were economically dependent on their wives. Women were happier when they were expert in the family circle and they had a higher family income (Lee & Ono, 2008).  Women and men use humor in same sex and mixed sex environment as one of the mechanism of gender configuration. The relationship between marital satisfaction and fitness was stronger for women than for men (Robert, Laura, & John, 1993).  Kurdek (2005) found that men do not consistently showed greater marital satisfaction in all the areas of marital happiness. So, the results are consistent with the findings that females have more marital happiness and marital satisfaction than males.

It was also hypothesized that there are likely to be differences in responses of “married in family” and “knew before marriage” in marital happiness. The study showed that 49% participants married in family and 52% participants did not marry in family and it was shown that 53% participants knew their spouse before marriage and 48% participants did not know their spouse before marriage. 39% participants responded that they knew only name of their spouses before marriage. 29% participants met 1 or more time before their marriages. 27% participants knew their spouses very closely before their marriage and 6% participants used another way to know their spouse before marriage. According to previous researches, adult spouses who knew each other longer before marriage have more marital happiness are more intended to spend life together than old partners (Levenson, Laura, Carstensen, & Gottman, 1993). The present findings showed no differences in marital happiness of the responses of people who knew each other before marriage. So, the results are inconsistent with the previous researches.

Third hypothesis of the study was, there is relationship between age and duration of marriage with marital happiness. The findings showed that there was no significant relationship between duration of marriage and marital happiness. Marital satisfaction lessens over 15 years for both husbands and wives. Attachment security was linked with greater marital satisfaction, but did not cushion against decrease in marital satisfaction over time. Husbands’ lower primary level of marital satisfaction was found around the first child’s going to school was the only important indicator of marital termination (Hirschberger, Srivastava & Cowan, 2009). There is a relationship between positive and negative attribute of life and happiness whereas; age is not determinant feature of life in gaining happiness (Huma, 1994). There is approximately no change in happiness between the age of 20 and 50. Findings supported a constructive view of older marriages (Frigters & Beaton, 2012).

The results of the present study are inconsistent with the previous researches. There is a contradiction in the present research with the previous literature. It may include the factors of satisfaction with the spouse, loyalty and understanding between husband and wife that leads to equal marital happiness in early years of marriage as well as in later years of marriage. Because if both the spouse have good understanding between them, have trust early in early years of marriages then they equally satisfied and happy in their married life. When the level of understanding, trust, faithfulness established in early years of marriage then it makes no difference that how much happy and satisfied they are, in early years of marriage or in later years.

In the present study, only self-enhancing humor was found to be the predictor of marital happiness whereas, previous findings states that, self-enhancing and/or affiliative, particularly among men, was related to increased relationship satisfaction and to non-divorced status (Saroglu, Lacour, & Demeur, 2010). Humor styles correlated differently, and usually as predicted, with apparent physical condition, psychological satisfaction, and family modification (Kazarian & Martin, 2006). Individuals whose partners used more affiliative and less aggressive humor while communicating were more contented with their relationship and had an increase in supposed intimacy and better problem declaration (Campbell, Martin &Ward, 2008). The results are almost consistent with previous findings as in previous findings self-enhancing as well as affiliative humor styles both are the predictors of relationship satisfaction but in present study only self-enhancing found to be the predictor of marital happiness.

There had been conducted very few researches on humor styles and marital happiness in Pakistan. That’s why very few researches were available to support or reject the findings of the present study.

Limitations

The limitations occur while conducting this research are:

  1. Participants below B.A were not included in the research.
  2. Most of the participants were not willing to share about their married life.

Suggestions

  1. Education should not be specified to assess marital happiness.
  2. Participants should assure that their information will be kept confidential.
  3. There are rare researches on this topic in Pakistan. There should be more researches on this topic in Pakistan.

Implications

  1. The research study will help to do further researches on this topic in Pakistan, because there had been conducted very few researches on this topic in Pakistan.
  2. This study can be helpful as awareness in Pakistani culture so that people may understand that humor styles may not always affect their marital happiness. There are many other components or factors which strongly effect marital happiness.
  3. The study has contradicted results as compared to the previous researches so this is also a new finding in the literature which can help others in their research.
  4. Further variables can studied with the present study for new findings
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