Girls Benefit From Family Video Game Time

Deborah Shipley's picture
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A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that girls benefit from family video game time.

The study, done by researchers at Brigham Young University, focused on adolescents aged 11 to 16 who played video games with a parent. They study concluded that girls who played video games with a parent were better behaved, shared deeper connections with family, and had stronger mental health.

Interestingly, the study also found that playing video games with a parent had little, or no effect for boys.

The girls chose video games with titles like: Mario Kart, Mario Brothers, Wii Sports, Rock Band and Guitar Hero. While the boys favorites were: Call of Duty, Wii Sports and Halo.

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The researchers revealed that they believed the daddy-daughter connection was a big factor for the study results. Moms were not as likely to play the video games with the adolescents as dads. Co-author Laura Padilla-Walke says, "Co-playing is probably an indicator of larger levels of involvement. "

Lead researcher Sarah Coyne says, "The surprising part about this for me is that girls don't play video games as much as boys, but they did spend about the same amount of time co-playing with a parent as boys did."

According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), forty-percent of gamers are actually girls. This is a surprising statistic to many who believe that boys tend to be more attracted to video games. The ESA also reports that 48 percent of parents play video games with their kids at least once per week, and 67 percent of American homes either own a console, and/or use their PC to run entertainment software.

It is also of note that the 11 to 16 age group often will reveal M-rated games to be their favorite. This can be concerning to parents because the game content is actually geared towards adult viewing. Parents should be aware of the video game content, and decide as a family on the appropriateness of each game.

For more research and facts on the positive benefits of family time visit: http://www.familyfacts.org/index.cfm

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