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Gamer Girl

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on February 2, 2011


In a new study of 11- to 16-year-old kids, Brigham Young University researchers found girls who played video games with a parent seemed to profit in a variety of ways.


The girls behaved better, felt more connected to their families and had stronger mental health, said the scientists.


“The surprising part about this for me is that girls don’t play video games as much as boys,” said lead author Dr. Sarah Coyne. “But they did spend about the same amount of time co-playing with a parent as boys did.”


The study is found in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


The findings come with one important caveat: The games had to be age-appropriate. If the game was rated M for mature, it weakened the statistical relationship between co-playing and family connectedness.


The study involved 287 families with an adolescent child. “Mario Kart,” “Mario Brothers,” “Wii Sports,” “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” topped the list of games played most often by girls.


“Call of Duty,” “Wii Sports” and “Halo” ranked 1, 2 and 3 among boys.


For boys, playing with a parent was not a statistically significant factor for any of the outcomes the researchers measured (positive behavior, aggression, family connection, mental health). Yet for girls, playing with a parent accounted for as much as 20 percent of the variation on those measured outcomes.


Coyne and her co-author Dr. Laura Padilla-Walker offer two possible explanations for what’s behind the gender differences.


Read in Full: http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/02/02/teen-girls-benefit-from-video-gaming-with-parents/23116.html



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