Theorizing Development of Parasocial Engagement

Research Paper

by Riva Tukachinsky, Gayle Stever, December 15, 2018

Communication Theory, Volume 29, Issue 3, August 2019, Pages 297–318

The article proposes a theoretical model of the development of parasocial relationships (PSRs) building on Knapp’s model of relationship development. Through synthesis of research across disciplines, the model conceptualizes the relational goals and parasocial interactions (PSIs) specific to the PSR. The model identifies variables that predict engagement at that level, describes the stage’s outcomes/effects, and considers the utility of existing measures to assess these stages. The conceptualization of PSRs as a dynamic process rather than intensity of a monolithic experience offers new directions worthy of empirical examination.