Parents' behavior linked to kids' videogame playing

Children who think their parents are poor monitors or nag a lot tend to play videogames more than other kids, according to a study by Michigan State University researchers.

The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is one of the first to link parental behavior to kids' videogame playing. The researchers surveyed more than 500 students from 20 and found that the more children perceived their parents' behavior as negative (e.g., "nags a lot") and the less monitoring did, the more the children played videogames.

The next step, said lead researcher Linda Jackson, is to find out what's fueling children's videogame behavior – a topic Jackson and her team plan to examine.

"Does a parent's negative interactions with their drive the child into the world of videogames, perhaps to escape the parent's negativity?" said Jackson, professor of psychology. "Or, alternatively, does videogame playing cause the child to perceive his or her relationship with the parent as negative?"

There also could be another characteristic of the child that's responsible for the relationship between perceptions of parent negativity and videogame playing, she said.

Jackson said an equally interesting question is the relationship between videogame playing and actual rather than perceived of parents. Perceptions don't always mirror reality, she said, and this may be the case in the child-parent relationship.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the 2011 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications.

The study is part of a larger project in which Jackson and colleagues are exploring the effects of technology use on children's academic performance, social life, psychological well-being and moral reasoning.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The two worlds of kids' morals

Mar 02, 2009

Children's moral behavior and attitudes in the real world largely carry over to the virtual world of computers, the Internet, video games and cell phones. Interestingly, there are marked gender and race differences in the ...

Study: verbal aggression may affect children's behavior

Aug 04, 2008

The methods mothers use to control their children during playtime and other daily activities could have a negative impact on their child's self-esteem and behavior, according to a new Purdue University study.

Recommended for you

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety

Nov 21, 2014

Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news ...

Mental disorders due to permanent stress

Nov 21, 2014

Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. The effects of permanent stress on the immune system are studied by the ...

Could there be a bright side to depression?

Nov 21, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A group of researchers studying the roots of depression has developed a test that leads them closer to the idea that depression may actually be an adaptation meant to help people cope with ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.