A Michigan State University study has found that children, who think their parents are poor monitors or nag a lot, tend to play videogames more than other kids.
The researchers surveyed more than 500 students from 20 middle schools and found that the more children perceived their parents' behaviour as negative and the less monitoring parents did, the more the children played videogames.
The next step, said lead researcher Linda Jackson, is to find out what's fuelling children's videogame behaviour - a topic she and her team plan to examine.
"Does a parent's negative interactions with their child drive the child into the world of videogames, perhaps to escape the parent's negativity?" said Jackson, professor of psychology.
"Or, alternatively, does videogame playing cause the child to perceive his or her relationship with the parent as negative?" she asked.
There also could be another characteristic of the child that's responsible for the relationship between perceptions of parent negativity and videogame playing, she stated.
Jackson said an equally interesting question is the relationship between videogame playing and actual rather than perceived behaviour of parents.
Perceptions don't always mirror reality, she said, and this may be the case in the child-parent relationship.
The study appears in the Proceedings of the 2011 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications.