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

Toddlers copy their peers to fit in, but apes don't

13 hours ago

From the playground to the board room, people often follow, or conform, to the behavior of those around them as a way of fitting in. New research shows that this behavioral conformity appears early in human ...

Sadness lasts longer than other emotions

14 hours ago

Why is it that you can feel sad up to 240 times longer than you do feeling ashamed, surprised, irritated or even bored? It's because sadness often goes hand in hand with events of greater impact such as death ...

Can parents make their kids smarter?

15 hours ago

Reading bedtime stories, engaging in conversation and eating nightly dinners together are all positive ways in which parents interact with their children, but according to new research, none of these actions ...

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.