Effects of language and social behaviour on children's reactions to foreign people in television

K. Durkin, J. Judge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated children's reactions to people speaking a foreign language on television in either prosocial or antisocial representations. It was predicted that prejudice would be greatest in the condition in which the targets were shown speaking a foreign language and behaving in an antisocial manner, and that this would be most marked in younger children. Participants aged 6, 8 or 10 years viewed short programmes in which the same family appeared as English-speaking or foreign-speaking, prosocial or antisocial. The language was created for this study, circumventing the possibility of pre-existing biases affecting responses. Children completed three prejudice measures. The results indicated bias against foreign speakers in the 6- and 8-year-old groups, but not in the 10-year-olds. The findings are discussed in relation to developmental changes in prejudice and implications for media portrayals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-612
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • child psychology
  • language
  • television
  • developmental psychology


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