Sense of humor and its association with psychological disturbances among dental students in India.J Dent Educ. 2013 Oct;77(10):1338-44
Authors: Madhan B, Barik AK, Patil R, Gayathri H, Reddy MS
Although the health benefits of humor and the potential advantages of having a good Sense of Humor (SoH) have been long recognized, they have not been investigated in dental students. The aim of this study was to assess the extent and demographic correlates of SoH in dental students and its association with their self-reported level of psychological disturbances. Six hundred and five students (age 20.3±1.83 years, 250 males, 355 females) from two dental schools in India anonymously completed the Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale (MSHS) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21. Independent samples t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to analyze the intergroup differences based on gender and year of study, respectively. The association between SoH and each of the three negative affective states was evaluated with multiple linear regressions. The mean MSHS score of the sample was 59.65±11.77. Male students showed a marginally higher SoH than females (60.78 vs. 58.86, p<0.05). The level of SoH steadily improved along the course duration, with statistically significant increases in the third and fifth years of study. SoH was negatively associated with all three negative affective states and explained nearly 3 to 5 percent of their variance. These results warrant further inquiry on the correlates of SoH in dental students, the psychosocial roles of humor, and their application in improving the psychological climate in dental schools.