Girls Who Play Video Games With Mom and Dad Are Better Behaved, Study Shows

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Tweens, Research Reveals: Teens

girls video game pictures

Go ahead and play video games with your daughter -- she may be better off for it. Credit: Getty

Can't wrestle the video game controller out of your teenage daughter's hands? Instead of stressing, just say game on, and join her.

Plenty of research has pointed to negative effects of video games on teens, but a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that girls who play video games with their parents are generally better behaved and show lower rates of depression than those who play solo or not at all.

Researchers from Brigham Young University looked at 287 families with children ages 11 to 16, and found that girls who played collaborative games such as "Rock Band" with a parent reported better behavior, more feelings of familial closeness and less aggression than girls who played alone or with friends, Bloomberg reports.

But, researchers say, the study did not show the same results for boys, possibly because male teens play video games with their friends and spend less time with their families.

Sarah Coyne, a psychology professor at Brigham Young, tells Bloomberg she got the idea for the study after watching her sisters play video games with her mother.

"When parents are willing to put in the time, they show they're interested, and I think that level of involvement is having an influence on the outcomes we have," she tells the news service.

Previous research has found that children who play video games an average of 31 hours a week show increased anxiety, depression and social phobia, and that their school grades decline. In some children, there is hostile behavior, Bloomberg reports.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.