American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2016, 4(17), 1191-1196
DOI: 10.12691/education-4-17-1
Open AccessArticle

Humor as a Coping Strategy for People with Usher Syndrome

Nadja Högner1,

1Deutsches Taubblindenwerk gGmbH, Albert-Schweitzer-Hof 27, 30559 Hannover, Germany

Pub. Date: November 02, 2016

Cite this paper:
Nadja Högner. Humor as a Coping Strategy for People with Usher Syndrome. American Journal of Educational Research. 2016; 4(17):1191-1196. doi: 10.12691/education-4-17-1


Introduction: Usher syndrome (USH) is a genetic condition characterized by hearing loss or deafness and progressive vision loss. Due to their dual sensory impairment, people with USH may have problems perceiving humor in their surroundings. The purpose of this study was to assess the sense and use of humor as a coping strategy in people with USH. Additionally, the differences between depressed and non-depressed people with USH were evaluated. Methods: Two questionnaires were used: The Coping Humor Scale (CHS) and the Sense of Humor Scale (SHS) each in the German version. The questionnaires were filled in by 86 persons with USH, primarily recruited from self-help groups (ages 27-75, mean age = 48; 48 % female; 9 % depressed). As comparison samples German people were used, on which the German edition were normed. Differences between the USH sample and the comparison sample were determined by using methods of classical test theory. Results: In comparison to a given control group, people with USH use less humor to cope with stress in difficult situations (p = .00). They are less playful and in a less positive mood (p = .02), laugh less (p = .02) and use less humor under stress (p = .00). Depressive persons with USH are more serious (p = .01) and less playful (p = .05) than the non-depressed group. Discussion: Overall the results indicate that people with USH may not use humor as a coping strategy. Thus there is a need for special programs such as Humor training and Laughter Yoga, which are based on the tactile sense, in order to develop beneficial coping strategies for people with USH. Such programs may help them to use and understand humor as a resource for stress management. Given this persons with USH and depression should be encouraged to actively engage in humorous situations with a positive mood.

deafblindness Usher syndrome humor coping stress

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