Alternative Title

Romanticization of adolescent dating violence in The twilight saga and the romantic relationship beliefs held by female fans of the series

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


Teenage girls-Psychology, Dating violence, Twilight saga, Violence in motion pictures-Psychological aspects, Media, Media effects, Popular culture studies, Adolescent dating violence, Romantic relationship beliefs, Romance studies, Media depiction of relational abuse, Women, Gender studies


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the romantic relationship beliefs held by female fans of The Twilight Saga and to explore influences of media that romanticizes adolescent dating violence. This study specifically examined 18 to 20-year-old female fans’ varying degrees of Twilight exposure, narrative immersion into the series, and their beliefs regarding what constitutes a healthy romantic partnership. A total of 194 individuals who were exposed to the entirety of Twilight completed an anonymous online survey, which asked individuals to reflect on their reading/watching exposure to Twilight and immersion into the series. Participants also answered Likert-scale questions on the dating role attitudes health index, a metric created for this project to capture the overall healthiness of individuals’ romantic relationship beliefs. Results indicated that participants with greater degrees of exposure to Twilight reported increased narrative immersion into the series. This study also found that participants who most identified with the Edward-Bella romantic pairing—considered to be the most abusive relationship in the series—reported overall less healthy views about romantic relationships and greater degrees of unrealistic relationship expectations. Additionally, this study found evidence that repeated exposure to Twilight through re-watching the films negatively impacted participants’ relationship views. These findings offer suggestions for future media effects research related to adolescent dating violence and important implications for social work practice with adolescents, who continue to be the largest consumers of this type of media.




v, 93 pages : illustration. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 71-78)

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Social Work Commons