Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Rudd, Jill

Subject Headings

Fathers and sons, Communication in families, Aggressiveness, Wit and humor, Verbal aggression, Relational Satisfaction, Fathers and Sons, Humor Orientation


The purpose of this study was the examine the role of verbal aggression and humor within the father and adult son relationship. Specifically, the study investigated the relationship between verbal aggression and humor orientation and how this relationship impacted relational satisfaction within the father and son dyad. A total of 101 father and son pairs were surveyed. The Humor Orientation scale (Booth-Butterfield & Booth-Butterfield, 1991) and the Verbal Aggression Scale (Infante & Wigley, 1986) were used to measure communication traits and a modified version of Quality Marriage Index (Norton, 1983) was used to measure relational satisfaction. Generally, most of the verbally aggressive message types were not significantly related to humor orientation. That being said, teasing was the only verbally aggressive message type to be significantly and negatively related to humor orientation. Further analysis found several significant main effects and interactions impacting relational satisfaction. Most notably, fathers' humor orientation, fathers' verbal aggression, and the interaction between fathers' humor orientation and fathers' verbal aggression were significant predictors of both fathers' and sons' relational satisfaction. Directions for future research are presented

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Communication Commons