Given the current state of our society, the importance of social media has skyrocketed. Many individuals, especially in the younger generation, find themselves spending hours mindlessly scrolling or forming connections with someone that they have never met. Parasocial relationships are one-sided relationships in which the individual creates a relationship or bond with a celebrity or tv show character and may try to emulate them or try to make themselves visible to said celebrity (Schramm, 2015). In the same token, spending a great deal of time on social media has been found to have negative effects (Phua et al, 2017) on individuals, especially one’s self-esteem. Research has shown that there has not been a clear causation of what makes individuals engage in parasocial relationships, studies have shown that there is a correlation between individuals that have things in common with the television characters or celebrities and have a greater likelihood of forming parasocial relationships (Perse & Rubin, 1989). There are many questions that arose when forming this research topic such as: Which relationships will have the most influence over risky behaviors? Will there be a significant difference in the amount of influence each type of relationship has over said behaviors? Will there be a correlation between likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors and gender identity?


Wilhelms, Evan



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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