The present studies examined how attachment impacts parasocial engagement. Previous research has established a strong connection between attachment style and parasocial engagement and has hinted at the notion of parasocial attachment, but research has yet to examine parasocial attachment empirically. The first study situated parasocial attachment within the traditional framework of attachment by demonstrating this form of attachment elicits proximity seeking, felt security, and separation protest. Attachment anxiety significantly predicted both parasocial engagement and attachment and significant differences were found between secure and preoccupied individuals and secure and fearful-avoidant individuals in both engagement and attachment. The second study explored how attachment, social needs, and romantic status impacted two different forms of parasocial relationship: parasocial friendship and parasocial romance. Significant differences were found between secure and preoccupied and secure and fearful-avoidant individuals for parasocial friendship. Need to belong and need for social support positively predicted both kinds of parasocial relationship. Romantic status was not a significant predictor of parasocial romance. These findings suggest that parasocial relationships may fulfill some social needs and formation of these relationships depends on attachment style.
Reedstrom, Lydia, "Parasocial Attachment: Framework and Function" (2021). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9620.
Developmental Psychology | Social Psychology
attachment, parasocial attachment, parasocial relationship, social needs
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2021 Lydia Reedstrom