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The article proposes a theoretical model of the development of parasocial relationships (PSRs) building on Knapp’s model of relationship development. Through synthesis of research across disciplines, the model conceptualizes the relational goals and parasocial interactions (PSIs) specific to the PSR. The model identifies variables that predict engagement at that level, describes the stage’s outcomes/effects, and considers the utility of existing measures to assess these stages. The conceptualization of PSRs as a dynamic process rather than intensity of a monolithic experience offers new directions worthy of empirical examination.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Communication Theory following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version

Tukachinsky, R. & Stever, G. (2018). Theorizing development of parasocial engagement. Communication Theory, qty032. doi: 10.1093/ct/qty032

is available online at DOI: 10.1093/ct/qty032.


Oxford University Press



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