A new study in the US has claimed that girls who played video games with their parents had a stronger family relationship and good mental health.
The study, carried out by researchers at the Brigham Young University's School of Family Life, measured positive behavior, aggression, family connection and mental health. It involved 287 families with children of teenage years.
Although girls don't play as much as boys do, and their choice of games are distinctly different from the boys', they bond more with their parents, especially fathers. "They can talk about stuff, make decisions together, where they're not just trying to beat each other," Dr. Judith Myers-Walls, Professor Emeritus of Child Development and Family Development at Purdue University said. "You may end up talking strategy and supporting each other on how well the other has done without saying, 'gee, I beat you.'" And that is why researchers claim that it is a good relationship-building exercise.
Researchers also claim that the games must be age-appropriate as otherwise, it defeated the whole purpose. They also reveal that this activity did not impact the boys in the same way.
Dr. Judith Myers-Walls brings in a more rational explanation when she states," You have to be careful with causality here. It could be that these girls are closer to their parents anyway, rather than the games causing the closeness."
Co-author Laura Padilla-Walker goes further, "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."