Research

The most recent publications from aMP lab are listed below. For more details on any of these publications or upcoming research presentations, please contact Dr. Bond at bond@sandiego.edu.

Parasocial Contact

The most extensive longitudinal experiment ever conducted in the aMP lab was recently published in Communication Research. The study is among the first to find strong causal evidence for the ability of parasocial relationships with outgroup characters to reduce outgroup prejudice. Heterosexual individuals who developed strong or moderate parasocial relationships with lesbian and gay characters were subsequently less prejudice toward lesbian and gay individuals than those who did not develop parasocial relationships with the characters.

Bond, B. J. (2020). The development and influence of parasocial relationships with television characters: A longitudinal experimental test of prejudice reduction through parasocial contact. Communication Research. Advanced online publication.

Sex in the Media

Dr. Bond recently worked with Dr. Jennifer Stevens Aubrey at the University of Arizona and Dr. Brandon Miller at the University of Massachusetts Boston on a content analysis project examining sexual references and sexual consequences for LGBTQ characters on television. The content analysis was conducted with undergraduate research assistants at both U of A and the University of San Diego. Findings revealed that sexual consequences were more common for heterosexual characters on television than for LGBTQ characters, and that there no gender differences in sexual consequences for LGBTQ characters even though previous research suggest a gender double standard among heterosexual characters on television.

Bond, B. J., Miller, B., & Aubrey, J. S. (2019). Sexual references and consequences for heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters on television: A comparison content analysis. Mass Communication and Society, 22, 72-95.

Children’s Media Experiences

Dr. Bond has continued to work with scholars at the Children’s Digital Media Center at Georgetown University. These projects reflect the ongoing work at the CDMC regarding children’s development of parasocial relationships with media characters, and how parasocial relationships may explaining children’s learning habits when exposed to mediated educational messages. This research was conducted at the CDMC, not the aMP lab.

Aguilar, N., Richards, M., Bond, B., Putnam, M., & Calvert, S. (2019). Children’s parasocial breakups with media characters from the perspective of the parent. Imagination, Cognition, & Personality, 38, 193-220.

Aguiar, N. R., Richards, M. N., Bond, B. J., Brunick, K. L., & Calvert, S. L. (2019). Parents’ perceptions of their children’s parasocial relationships: The recontact study. Imagination, Cognition, & Personality, 38, 221-249.

Parasocial Relationships among LGBTQ Youth

The study recently published in Media Psychology examines the relationships that LGBTQ youth have with their favorite media characters. The study is rooted in parasocial relationships, the concept that audiences develop socially meaningful, emotionally valuable relationships with their favorite characters and celebrities that mirror real-life friendships in their development, maintenance, and dissolution. The study found that LGBTQ youth are more likely to develop strong parasocial relationships than heterosexual youth, that LGBTQ youth are highly likely to develop parasocial relationships with LGBTQ media personae, especially if they lack real-life friends who also identify at LGBTQ. This is among the first studies to argue how media personae may serve to compensate for real-life friendships among vulnerable populations who have difficulty finding real-life like-others in their immediate social environments.

Bond, B. J. (2018). Parasocial relationships with media personae: Why they matter and how they differ among heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents. Media Psychology, 21, 457-485.

Transgender Individuals and the Media

Dr. Bond has also been invited to start working on empirical studies examining media use and effects among transgender individuals. Some of the most recent studies involving Dr. Bond are cited below. These studies examine parental reactions to transgender media content, and transgender individuals motivations for media consumption. They were primarily conducted at Texas Tech University and North Carolina State University, respectively.

Holiday, S., Bond, B. J., & Rasmussen, E. E. (2018). Coming attractions: Parental mediation responses to transgender and cisgender film trailer content targeting adolescents. Sexuality & Culture, 22, 1154-1170.

Kosenko, K. A., Bond, B. J., & Hurley, R. J. (2018). An exploration into the uses and gratifications of media for transgender individuals. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 7, 274-288.