When I grow up I want to be a comedian! assessing the impact of comedy and laughter training on the emotional and social wellbeing of schoolchildren

Abstract

This study assessed the impact of a comedy and laughter training programme on the social confidence and well-being of 145 UK-based primary school students. Scores in self-efficacy, shyness and happiness were taken once before and twice following (immediately after and eight weeks later) the programme for both students on the programme and a control group. The statistical analyses found no significant difference on any of the three variables between the two conditions, across the three occasions; nor was there any interaction between the variables. These results appear to show that participating in comedy and laughter training did not result in improvements in the students’ confidence or well-being. While the training did not produce the benefits expected, the findings do offer insights into the challenges facing any attempt by educators or researchers to employ or enhance humour in an educational setting. Consequently, in the discussion I will explore these findings in relation to issues such as the definition of a ‘sense of humour’ and potential areas of future research such as comparing positive and negative humour are discussed.

O'Siochru, C. (2021) When I grow up I want to be a comedian! assessing the impact of comedy and laughter training on the emotional and social wellbeing of schoolchildren. Educationalfutures, [online] Vol. 12(1). Available at: https://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=16038 [Accessed 22 Jan, 2022].