Parasocial relationships A01
A01 Parasocial relationship (PR) is where an individual is attracted to someone (normally a celebrity), where that person is unaware of the existence of the person who has created the relationship. Such relationships can be attractive as the relastionship makes few demands. PRs are most likely to form with TV celebrities who are seen as attractive and similar in some way to the viewer. Celebrities need to be percieved as real or acting in a believable way. PR are generally believed to be dysfunctional.
Parasocial relationships A02
A02 Challenge from Derrick et al (2008) found those low in self-esteem saw celebs like their ideal selves, whereas those high in self-esteem saw celebs like their actual selves. Also found that those low in self-esteem experienced a boost in esteem after writing an essay about their fravourite celeb. This suggests that PRs are not dysfunctional as it can increase your self - esteem.
Support from Maltby et al (2005) found a (link) relationship between attitudes to celebs and body image. The strongest correlation (link) was found among female adolescents aged 14-16. PRs with celebs who are percieved being slim with a good body shape, may lead to poor body image and may also predispose them to eating disorders e.g anorexia. No link found in boys or older women. This suggests that PRs are unhealthy and dysfunctional for people holding them.
Challenge from Schiappa et al (2007) meta-analysis found loneliness was not a predictor of PRs. Research suggests those more socially active and motivated are more likely to have them. This suggests that PR are not dysfunctional as it can benefit many people and help them to be more sociable.