Rachel O'Donovan


The aim of the current research was to observe the effect that participating in fandom activities had on parasocial relationships. Research suggests that people who participate in fandom activities may feel excluded from society and experience loneliness; this is linked to symptoms of mental illness. It was further suggested that fan people often view fandom as a religion or way of life and that they are capable of forming relationships in their fandoms that mimic traditional social relationships so as to provide the same benefits. The data in this study comprised of twenty-three female participants who formed a targeted sample. They were asked to rate the intensity of their main parasocial relationship before and after they began participating in fandom activities, as well as asking the nature and frequency of which they participated in these behaviours. The data from the first set of questions was analysed using a Pearson’s Correlation, the second section, concerned with qualitative data was analysed using Thematic Analysis. Strengths and limitations of the research were discussed as well as practical applications and possible future research avenues.