The relation of humor and child development: social, adaptive, and emotional aspects.
ABSTRACT A sense of humor has been linked to social competence, popularity, and adaptability. The purpose of this review was to investigate the extant research in humor in childhood. Emerging work on the neuroanatomy of humor was discussed with findings of right hemispheric involvement for the comprehension and appreciation of humor for the affective network and the left hemisphere for cognitive understanding. These findings are intriguing when examining humor functioning in children with various disabilities, particularly the right hemisphere for children with autistic spectrum disorders or nonverbal learning disabilities. Examination of research in humor in childhood disabilities found most articles on humor in children with autistic spectrum disorder or mental retardation, with few to none in learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It was concluded that further study is needed to understand humor in children with disabilities and that such understanding will assist with interventions.