Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease vol:199 issue:10 pages:757-764
This study examined whether, in a community sample of Israeli adults (N = 335), benign (i.e., affiliative and self-enhancing) and injurious (i.e., aggressive and self-defeating) humor styles mediated or moderated the relationship between self-criticism and neediness, two traits that confer vulnerability to depression, on the one hand, and levels of depressive symptoms, on the other. There was no evidence of any moderating effect of humor styles on the relationship between self-criticism and neediness and depressive symptoms. However, results indicated that the use of injurious styles of humor mediated the relationship between self-criticism and depressive symptoms as well as the relationship between neediness and depressive symptoms. Moreover, the relationship between neediness and depressive symptoms was also mediated by low levels of benign humor. These findings may have important implications for theories concerning vulnerability to depressive symptoms and intervention strategies.