Dr. Bond's research in media psychology has been published in nearly 30 academic peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Media Psychology, and Psychology of Popular Media. Dr. Bond's research has also been awarded top competitive paper awards from the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. His research and his expertise have also been included in multiple popular press articles. Below are brief summaries of some of his most recent projects, along with links to the latest publications within each project. For more details on Dr. Bond's research, review his CV, or visit his profile on ResearchGate.
Parasocial relationships are one-sided, socio-emotional bonds that audiences develop with their favorite media celebrities and fictional characters. These relationships lack mutuality, but maintain importance as components of people's perceived social networks. Dr. Bond's research examines how these relationships develop, maintain, and dissolve. He is particularly interested in how marginalized populations may use parasocial relationships to compensate for a lack of real-life connection to marginalized others, and how parasocial relationships with marginalized celebrities or characters can influence stereotypes and prejudices.
Dr. Bond's latest work investigating the function of parasocial relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic has received widespread attention from popular press outlets, including ABC News, TIME magazine, and Utah Public Radio.
lgbtq youth & social media
LGBTQ youth have traditionally turned to media for information, guidance, and resources as they developed their sexual and gender identities in an otherwise hetero- and cisgender-normative society. This line of research examines how LGBTQ youth continue to use media for socialization purposes, especially how LGBTQ social media influencers are affecting self-esteem, identity development, and community perceptions among LGBTQ followers.
This line of research has received funding from the Waterhouse Family Institute.
media & mutual socialization
Though we would typically accept the premise that parents socialize their children, children can also socialize their parents. This line of research examines how LGBTQ youth use shared moments of media exposure to initiate socialization of their parents. That is, when LGBTQ youth are co-viewing with their parents and they are exposed to LGBTQ characters, how might those young people employ these media moments as opportunities to teach their parents about their sexual and gender identities? This line of research, a collaboration with Dr. Louise Mares and graduate student Anthony Chen at the University of Wisconsin, investigates these questions of mutual socialization between parents and their queer children.
creators and their content
Academics, audiences, and advocates have long argued that one of the most effective ways to improve the depiction of marginalized fictional characters on entertainment television is to increase the diversity of the storytellers who create the narratives. This line of research empirically investigates this claim, examining how the producers, writers, and directors of entertainment media influence the authenticity, diversity, and stereotypical depictions of marginalized characters. The first study on this topic is an extensive content analysis comparing LGBTQ producers and writers to the depiction of LGBTQ characters. This study is in preparation for presentation at the National Communication Association's annual conference in November 2022.