Beentjes, J.W., Van Oordt, M., & Van der Voort, T.H.A. (2002). How television commentary affects children’s judgments on soccer fouls. Communication Research, 29 (1), 31-45.

Abstract: Investigated how television commentary during soccer matches affects children’s judgements on aggressive fouls. 96 Dutch children (aged 10-12 yrs) watched a series of fouls on video with 3 types of commentary: disapproving, neutral, or approving. Prior to watching the excepts of the matches, children received a questionnaire to assess their appreciation of soccer on television (thus indicating their viewing experience). After each except, children judged the foul that was shown in a 2nd questionnaire by marking whether they judged the foul to be very good, good, bad, or very bad. In addition, children indicated whether they favored 1 of the teams. Results show that when the commentator disapproved of the players’ aggressive actions, children rejected the fouls more strongly than when the commentator approved of the actions. The commentary effect was found with fouls among 2 foreign players, fouls by foreign players against Dutch players, and fouls by Dutch players against foreign players. The commentary effect appears to apply not only to children who do not particularly like soccer matches on television but even to children who fancy the genre. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)