University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The purpose of the current study was to extend previous research (Woznicki et al., 2020) to see if parasocial relationships (PSRs) with figures from various social media platforms might be beneficial for those lower in real-life social support. We predicted that there would be a negative relationship between social support and perceptions of marginalization, loneliness, and depression, but that for people who perceived themselves as marginalized, the relationship between social support and loneliness would change depending on the strength of their PSR. In this correlational study, 135 participants took an online Qualtrics survey which assessed social media use, PSR strength, perceived social support, loneliness, depression, and perception of marginalization. Most hypotheses were supported. Participants who perceived less social support reported more loneliness, and people who perceived themselves as more marginalized reported greater feelings of loneliness and depression. Finally, marginalized participants with stronger romantic parasocial feelings were less lonely than participants with weaker romantic parasocial feelings when perceived social support was low. These results support previous research that indicate that parasocial relationships formed via social media may serve a valuable function for people dealing with lack of social support in their offline lives.
Christy, Madison and Adam, Aimee
"Perceived marginalization, social support, and mental health: The role of parasocial relationships,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 28:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol28/iss2/2