International Journal of Humor Research
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The relationship between early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) and psychopathology is thought to be mediated by the use of maladaptive compensatory coping and deficits in adaptive coping. One form of coping that might be affected by EMSs is an individual’s style of humor, which can be adaptive or maladaptive. This study examined the relationships among EMS domains, styles of humor, and aggression. The EMS domain of Impaired Limits was most consistently related to aggression. Moreover, as predicted, an aggressive style of humor mediated the relationship between Impaired Limits and various aspects of aggression (i.e., verbal, physical, and hostility). In addition, self-defeating humor mediated the respective relationships between hostility and EMS domains of Impaired Limits, Disconnection, and Impaired Autonomy. Taken together, these results suggest that maladaptive humor styles may play an important role as one of the mechanisms by which early maladaptive schemas lead to later emotional and functional disturbance.