Parents' behavior linked to kids' videogame playing

September 7, 2011

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

Recommended for you

For health and happiness, share good news

January 22, 2017

Service members, including both active and recently separated, have been called upon to fight overseas and to assist during natural disasters at home. They can face unique challenges when they return in both the workplace ...

The great unknown—risk-taking behaviour in adolescents

January 19, 2017

Adolescents are more likely to ignore information that could prompt them to rethink risky decisions. This may explain why information campaigns on risky behaviors such as drug abuse tend to have only limited success. These ...

Mandarin makes you more musical?

January 18, 2017

Mandarin makes you more musical - and at a much earlier age than previously thought. That's the suggestion of a new study from the University of California San Diego. But hold on there, overachiever parents, don't' rush just ...

Adoptees advantaged by birth language memory

January 18, 2017

Language learning very early on in life can be subconsciously retained even when no conscious knowledge of the early experience remains. The subconscious knowledge can then be tapped to speed up learning of the pronunciation ...

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.