Research indicates that reality TV viewing frequency and involvement with reality TV are linked. However, previous studies employed cross-sectional designs and were carried out among college students and general adult population, but not among the most frequent consumers of reality TV: adolescents. To better understand the causal link between this demographic segment’s reality TV viewing and involvement, we conducted a longitudinal study among 392 adolescents (ages 15 to 17). Frequency of reality TV viewing increased narrative engagement, parasocial interaction, emotional empathy, merging with the characters, wishful identification, perceived realism, and enjoyment of reality TV six months later. No reverse effects on viewing existed.,
Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Kühne, R. (Rinaldo), & Opree, S.J. (2020). From Admiration to Devotion? The Longitudinal Relation between Adolescents’ Involvement with and Viewing Frequency of Reality TV. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. doi:10.1080/08838151.2020.1728688