Researchers from Brigham Young University's School of Family Life conducted a study on video games and children between 11 and 16 years old. They found that girls who played video games with a parent enjoyed a number of advantages.
Those girls behaved better, felt more connected to their families and had stronger mental health. Professor Sarah Coyne is the lead author of the study, which appears Feb. 1 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
"The surprising part about this for me is that girls don't play video games as much as boys," Coyne said. "But they did spend about the same amount of time co-playing with a parent as boys did."
The findings come with one important caveat: The games had to be age-appropriate. If the game was rated M for mature, it weakened the statistical relationship between co-playing and family connectedness.
The study involved 287 families with an adolescent child. Mario Kart, Mario Brothers, Wii Sports, Rock Band and Guitar Hero topped the list of games played most often by girls. Call of Duty, Wii Sports and Halo ranked 1, 2 and 3 among boys.
For boys, playing with a parent was not a statistically significant factor for any of the outcomes the researchers measured (positive behavior, aggression, family connection, mental health). Yet for girls, playing with a parent accounted for as much as 20 percent of the variation on those measured outcomes.
Coyne and her co-author Laura Padilla-Walker offer two possible explanations for what's behind the gender differences.
"We're guessing it's a daddy-daughter thing, because not a lot of moms said yes when we asked them if they played video games," Padilla-Walker said. "Co-playing is probably an indicator of larger levels of involvement."
It's also possible that the time boys play with parents doesn't stand out as much because they spend far more time playing with friends. The researchers plan to explore the basis of these gender differences in more detail as they continue working on this project.
Padilla-Walker remembers the outcry from gamers two years ago when this study linked frequent video game playing to poor relationships with friends and family. Though she has a Ph.D. and expertise in analyzing statistical pathways, her most effective response to those critics is rooted in common sense.
"If you spend huge amounts of time absorbed in any activity, it's going to affect your relationships," Padilla-Walker said.
And that brings us to some practical parenting advice illustrated by the new study on playing video games with kids.
"Any face-to-face time you have with your child can be a positive thing, especially if the activity is something the child is interested in," Padilla-Walker said.
About the Flourishing Families Project
The Flourishing Families Project is a longitudinal, multi-informant, multi-method look at the inner-family life of families with an adolescent child. The project began in 2007 and to date includes four waves of data (including questionnaire and video data) on nearly 700 families from two locations. The project involves dozens of BYU students every year in data collection and provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate student involvement, which will continue next year as the project seeks to follow the families for a fifth year. Scholarly articles by Flourishing Families researchers have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Early Adolescence, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Research on Adolescence, and Aggressive Behavior.
Joe Hadfield | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine