This study aimed to explore the indirect associations of the early maladaptive schema domains with the severity of depression symptoms through humor styles (i.e., self-enhancing, affiliative, self-defeating, and aggressive humor styles) in Turkish culture. Data were collected from 373 university students via demographic information form and the Turkish versions of Young Schema Questionnaire Short Form-3, Humor Styles Questionnaire, and Beck Depression Inventory. Using Hayes Macro, five separate mediation analyses were performed for testing the indirect associations, one for each schema domain. The results generally revealed that humor styles partially mediated the relationships between the schema domains and depression symptoms. Particularly, self-defeating humor style was found to be the most consistent mediator between the relationship the early maladaptive schema domains with the severity of depression symptoms. Also, the findings showed for the first time that aggressive style (partially) mediated the relations between some of the schema domains and depression symptoms and was negatively associated with these symptoms. Moving from these findings, it can be suggested that humor styles may serve as coping strategies for early maladaptive schemas. Thus, measuring and addressing humor styles in the treatment of depression symptoms may be beneficial in increasing the effectiveness of treatments. In addition, the current finding on aggressive humor style suggests that there may be cultural differences in the use of humor. However, cross-cultural studies are needed to conclude that cultural factors change the mediating role of humor styles in the relationship between schema domains and depression symptoms.
Early maladaptive schemas, humor styles, depression symptoms, mediation analysis