Mental Health

Report: Girls Happier After Playing Video Games with Parents

| by Alex Groberman

According to research done by the Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, girls who play video games with their parents were noticeably less aggressive, better behaved and had better connections with their families.

The study, which looked at 287 families with children ages 11 to 16, focused on the impact of video games on the mental health of boys and girls.

Interestingly enough, while girls weren’t found to play the video games as much as their male counterparts, kids of both genders played around the same amount of with their parents. Of the children who played video games with their parents, boys’ aggression, behavior and mental health didn’t particularly differ from those who didn’t.

Girls, though, experienced as much as a 20 percent variation when it came to how their mental health differed from boys after playing video games with their parents.

Apparently, when girls played age-appropriate video games with their parents, they experienced multiple positive effects. These positive effects included but weren’t limited to increased happiness, more willingness to communicate and a better general attitude.

The research also highlighted that fathers were the ones to play video games with their children, not mothers.

"We're guessing it's a daddy-daughter thing, because not a lot of moms said yes when we asked them if they played video games," study co-author Laura Padilla-Walker said in a university news release. "Co-playing is probably an indicator of larger levels of involvement."

Full analysis and findings of this study were published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.