Study: Teen girls may benefit from playing games with dad

Gaming with dad may help teen girls

February 1st, 2011 @ 3:11pm
By Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News

PROVO — Video games are often criticized for their negative effects on children and teens, but a new BYU study has discovered several benefits for adolescent girls who spend that screen time with parents.

"If you're looking for a way to connect with your daughter and she's into gaming, it might be a really good thing to do," said BYU professor of family life Sarah Coyne, and lead author on the study, which is being published in February's Journal of Adolescent Health. "Video games have a pretty bad rap, but when used in the right way, they can have positive effects and even bring you closer."

"A lot of times we focus on how media is a negative aspect in (children's) lives, but we wanted to understand how connections might be fostered through media," Laura Padilla-Walker, BYU professor

The study found that 11- to 16-year-old girls who played age-appropriate games with their parents (mostly dads) exhibited three times better pro-social behavior and about four times less aggression than boys. They also displayed a greater sense of connectivity to family.

"A lot of times we focus on how media is a negative aspect in (children's) lives, but we wanted to understand ... how connections might be fostered through media," said co-author Laura Padilla-Walker, also a professor in BYU's School of Family Life.

Despite the many positive effects on girls, researchers were surprised to note that adolescent boys showed no measurable differences when parents played video games with them.

Read the full article at Deseret News

 Print  Email