Video Gaming with Parents - Good for Daughters
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2011 Feb 02
According to a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, gaming may be good for teen girls' mental health — so long as they play with their parents.
Although most past research has consistently shown that video games can be detrimental to teens' mental well-being, the new study of 287 families by researchers from Brigham Young University suggests that the nature of play makes a difference. Researchers found that girls aged 11 to 16 who played video games with a parent reported better behavior, more feelings of familial closeness and less aggression than girls who played alone or with friends.
"It's the face-to-face time, the interaction, that matters," lead author and psychology professor Sarah Coyne told the Wall Street Journal. "Video games are kind of an adolescent thing. When a parent says I'm going to sit down and do what you're going to do, that sends a different message entirely."
However, the study found that while both boys and girls spent an
equal amount of time gaming with a parent, boys didn't reap the same
behavioral or mental benefits. The authors theorized that because boys
play more video games than girls overall, any time spent playing with a
parent likely accounted for a smaller, less meaningful percentage of
their overall screen time.