Study shows video games could strengthen family ties

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A recent study at Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life has found that playing video games with parents could be beneficial for young girls.

In a study of children between the ages of 11 and 16 years old, researchers found that girls who played age-appropriate video games with their parents behaved better, had better mental health, and felt more connected to their families.

However, the study also found that playing video games that were rated M for Mature could be related to weakened family ties.

Professor Sarah Coyne, the lead author of the study, noted the difference in results between boys and girls. “The surprising part about this for me is that girls don’t play video games as much as boys,” she said, “but they did spend about the same amount of time co-playing with a parent as boys did.”

Coyne noted that boys may have gotten less out of playing video games with parents because they played more with friends or by themselves, so that the time playing with parents did not stand out as much.

Laura Padilla-Walker, co-author of the study, added that the benefits could simply be the result of spending quality time with kids. “Any face-to-face time you have with your child can be a positive thing, especially if the activity is something the child is interested in,” she said.