In this study we investigate parasocial relationships in media; more specifically we explore why audience members fashion attachments with television personalities. The study aligns with previous research in the area by Cole and Leets (1999) that looked at attachments formed with media figures and the correlation to level of attachments in real-life relationships. In their study, Cole and Leets (1999) used a three-dimensional attachment scale that included anxious-ambivalent, avoidant, and secure, and found those with higher insecurity or unstable real-life relationships have stronger parasocial relationships. We surveyed university age respondents and we used the same scales as Cole and Leets (1999) to examine whether in Kuwait, where dating violates social norms and looser bonds are found outside of the home, that stronger parasocial relationships with media personalities will be found because of the need to fulfill relationship needs outside of family. Our hypotheses in this chapter is that higher levels of anxious-ambivalents and avoidants both will be found due to the strict collectivist nature of the society forcing many to compensate for lack of real world relationships by forming mediated bonds. Moreover, we posited and discovered that that these two groups also showed the highest levels of parasocial relationships in our sample.
Dinkha, J., Mitchell, C., & Dakhli, M. (2015). Attachment Styles and Parasocial Relationships: A Collectivist Society Perspective, Construction of Social Psychology: Advances in Psychology and Psychological Trends Series, 105-121. In Science Press.