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Bradley Bond, PhD, takes a social psychological approach to investigating the relationship between media exposure and various health- and identity-related outcomes among child and adolescent populations. Bond’s present research employs content analysis, survey, and experimental methods to better understand how sex is portrayed in the media and the effects of media exposure on the sexual identities and sexual behaviors of gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. Additionally, Bond studies how audiences develop parasocial relationships with media characters and how the strength of those relationships may influence learning from those characters among audiences.
Bond’s work on media effects has received top paper awards from the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. His dissertation was also recognized as the 2013 top dissertation in Children, Adolescents, and Media from the International Communication Association. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Mass Communication and Society, Journal of Children and Media, Sexuality & Culture, and Early Education and Development, to name a few. He has also contributed to multiple edited volumes on children, adolescents, and the media.
- PhD, Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychology, Georgetown University
- MA, Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- BA, Communication, Bradley University
Representative Sample of Recent Publications:
- Bond, B. J. (forthcoming). The mediating role of self-discrepancies in the relationship between media exposure and well-being among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents. Media Psychology.
This study examined how media exposure influences lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents identity development and how, in turn, their identity development was related to their well-being. Results indicated that realistic, diverse depictions of LGB individuals could have a positive influence on the identity development of LGB teens.
- Bond, B. J. & Calvert, S. L. (in press). Parasocial breakup among young children in the United States. Journal of Children and Media.
Using a parental survey, this research examined how children dissolve parasocial relationships with media characters. The study suggested that children's favorite media characters become gender polarized as children age. Children's own maturation, habituation to the character, and the influence of peers influenced children's relationships with media characters.
- Bond, B. J. (2014). Sex and sexuality in entertainment media popular with lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents. Mass Communication and Society, 17, 98-120.
The results of this study come from a content analysis of media popular with LGB teens. The content analysis data led to arguments that gay and lesbian characters are more depicted more frequently today than any other time in history, but that these characters are still portrayed as sanitized of any sexuality and only gay or lesbian by proclamation. The study also looked at differences in the depiction of sex between television, film, music, and magazines.
- Bond, B. J., & Calvert, S. L. (2014). A model and measure of U.S. parents’ perceptions of young children’s parasocial relationships. Journal of Children and Media, 8, 286-304.
- This paper proposed a model to explain how children develop parasocial relationships. The model consists of several variables believed to influence how children develop relationships with characters, including toy engagement, repeated exposure, parental influence, and parasocial interactions.
- Bond, B. J., & Drogos, K. L. (2014). Sex on the shore: Wishful identification and parasocial relationships as mediators in the relationship between Jersey Shore exposure and emerging adults’ sexual attitudes and behaviors. Media Psychology, 17, 102-126.
This study examined the sexual content in MTV's Jersey Shore and then followed up this investigation with a survey of emerging adults to determine if there was a relationship between exposure to Jersey Shore and permissive sexual attitudes. Results indicated that wishful identification and parasocial relationships with the characters on Jersey Shore were stronger predictors of learning about sex from the characters than simple exposure. That is, the complexity and strength of the relationship viewers develop with the cast influence how much they adapt the cast's sexual attitudes and behaviors.
- Bond, B. J., & Loewenstern, J. (2014). Employing memory narratives to dissect the well- being of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents. Journal of LGBT Youth, 11, 189-211.
This study uses narratives written by LGB adolescents to determine what experiences they remember as happy memories in their lives. The study concludes by arguing that the experiences LGB adolescents remember as positive mirror those of heterosexual teens.