Parents' behavior linked to kids' videogame playing

September 7, 2011, Michigan State University

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.

Explore further: Middle-aged mothers and fathers only as happy as their least happy grown child, research shows

Related Stories

Middle-aged mothers and fathers only as happy as their least happy grown child, research shows

August 24, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Despite the fact that middle-aged parents are no longer responsible for their grown children, the parents' emotional well-being and life satisfaction remain linked to those children's successes and problems ...

Recommended for you

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

Tracking the impact of early abuse and neglect

January 17, 2018
Children who experience abuse and neglect early in life are more likely to have problems in social relationships and underachieve academically as adults.

Study: No evidence to support link between violent video games and behaviour

January 16, 2018
Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent.

Can psychedelic drugs 'reconnect' depressed patients with their emotions?

January 15, 2018
Imperial research suggests psilocybin can help relieve the symptoms of depression, without the 'dulling' of emotions linked with antidepressants.

Study listens in on speech development in early childhood

January 15, 2018
If you've ever listened in on two toddlers at play, you might have wondered how much of their babbling might get lost in translation. A new study from the University of Toronto provides surprising insights into how much children ...

Study suggests people dislike you more for humblebragging than for regular boasting

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers from Harvard University and UNC-Chapel Hill has conducted a study regarding humblebragging—in which a person boasts about an achievement but tries to make it sound less boastful by minimizing it—and ...

0 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.