Antecedents and effects of parasocial relationships: A meta-analysis

Riva Tukachinsky, Nathan Walter, Camille J. Saucier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The current meta-analysis synthesizes four decades of research (k=120) on the antecedents and effects of parasocial relationships (PSRs). In line with contemporary theorization of PSRs as an extension of, rather than as a substitution for social relationships, the meta-analysis does not find a significant relationship between social deficiencies and PSRs. PSRs are also strongly correlated with factors that facilitate interpersonal bonds (e.g., homophily), other forms of involvement (e.g., identification, transportation), and persuasive outcomes. Furthermore, the analysis validates the theoretical distinction between PSRs and parasocial interactions (PSIs) revealing only a moderate correlation between the two constructs. Likewise, while PSRs and PSIs did not differ with respect to effects on persuasive outcomes, PSRs emerge as a stronger predictor of media involvement. The findings are discussed in relation to theoretical models of media involvement and effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-894
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Media Involvement
  • Meta-analysis
  • Parasocial Interaction
  • Parasocial Relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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